Occasionally, articles appear in the 19th century newspapers which give a snapshot of day to day life in Ryde from an unusual point of view…
The following two articles appeared in the Isle of Wight Advertiser in October, 1875 under the heading Ryde News:
The establishment of Mr Turner, bookseller, of Union Street, continues a perpetual source of interest and amusement. All day long are to be seen groups of ladies and gentlemen criticising the countenances of the well-known and fashionable people that, cleverly drawn, are here exhibited. We have heard of one lady who has purchased no fewer than four dozen of her own picture.
“Life” in its last number devotes a full column to a narration of fashionable events transpiring in Ryde, and criticism thereon. Prominent amongst the latter is a complaint that on the night of the display of fireworks the members of the Club failed to supply a cup of coffee to the ladies they had invited, and who were choked with smoke; also the tremendous excitement that is now going on in every drawing-room in Ryde – first, concerning the “Sketches” of the prominent people in Ryde, and secondly by whom these clever pictures are drawn. “Where can I stand,” said a lady, “that I may attract ‘Alpha’. I should so much like to be sketched.” Through the exhibition of these sketches the window of Mr Turner’s shop in Union Street is the attraction of the town.
An advertisement for Mr Charles F Turner’s Circulating Library appears on the Gallery 1870s advertisements page.
Sketches of Ryde and its populace regularly appeared in the newspapers and magazines of the 19th century. A selection of them appear here. These images were drawn by Harry Furniss (1854 – 1925) who was a regular contributor to the London Illustrated News, the Graphic and Punch magazines. He also illustrated works by Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray, as well as producing books of his own. Further biographical details can be found on the Wikipedia website here.