Thackeray pp 151-153 | Cite as

A Most Agreeable Man

  • John Everett Millais


From John Guille Millais, Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais (1899) i, 160, 276–7, 376–7. Millais (1829–96), painter, President of the Royal Academy, created Baronet 1885, was one of the originators of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 1848. Thackeray was among his early admirers, and they became good friends. Lord Redesdale (1837–1916), who several times met Thackeray at the Millais household, ‘when he and I would be the only guests, making up a quartette with the genial, handsome host and his no less handsome wife’, recalls Thackeray’s fondness for Millais: ‘He admired his art, and the great painter’s large, honest, bluff and rough nature, his innocence of all humbug or affectation, which Thackeray loathed above all things, appealed to him. The two were perfectly happy together, so in that studio Thackeray was at his best. And what a best it was!’ — Memories (1915) pp. 208–9. They first met in 1852, when Millais found Thackeray ‘most agreable’.


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  1. 1.
    In 1855 Millais married Effie (Euphemia), whose marriage with Ruskin had been annulled. She had known Thackeray during her years with Ruskin, and had then (1850) found him ‘loud and vulgar and fond of good living’, also ‘a handsome man’ but for his broken nose — Sir William James, The Order of Release (1948) pp. 159, 163.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Some years later, Millais ‘lamented that he had been called in by the immediate relatives of the two novelists [Thackeray and Dickens] to paint the lifeless forms of his two illustrious friends. “I cannot refuse,” he said, “cost me what it may” ’ — Arthur Coleridge, Reminiscences (1921) p. 155. Charlie Collins’s wife, mentioned above, was Dickens’s daughter Kate: see below, II, 306.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1983

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  • John Everett Millais

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