Talbot's Epigraph in The Pencil of Nature

Graham Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study elucidates the Virgilian epigraph on the title page of the first fascicle of The Pencil of Nature, first by situating it in the context of Henry Fox Talbot's education and, secondly, by placing it in the larger setting of classical culture in Georgian and Victorian England. The article concludes that the epigraph Talbot selected for The Pencil of Nature was embedded in the classical consciousness of his public school and university educated contemporaries, while also recalling venerable chapters in the British literary heritage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number919222311
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalHistory of Photography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877)
  • The Pencil of Nature
  • Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) (70BCE-19BCE)
  • Georgics
  • John Milton (1608-1674)
  • John Dryden (1631-1700)


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