Frederick Gustavus Burnaby, 1842-1885; “Play up! play up! and play the game!”

Just look at him! Was there ever such a portrait of easeful upper class twittery?  The vague smile, the languid self drapery, the unfocussed eyes, the half-forgotten cigarette, the mirror polished but virtually useless cuirass on the floor, the opera buffa hat on the second couch, the man’s complete obliviousness to himself and his surroundings.  The subject could have stepped straight of a Wodehouse novel, if Wodehouse had ever written about soldiers.

Once again, it’s a case for not making snap judgements. Continue reading