Letters from Home

A Way to Occupy Her Time

Julia Jackson by Julia Margaret CameronPhotographer Julia Margaret Cameron took up her “hobby” at 49.

The camera was a gift from her family, a way to occupy her time while her husband traveled for work. She set up her own darkroom at their home on the Isle of Wight. She kept a journal.

She presented her own portfolio to the British Museum in 1865. She worked with Tennyson, illustrating his epic poem, Idylls of the King and Other Poems.

She photographed, here, the head of Mrs. Duckworth (a woman who was normally called Julia Jackson). Jackson is Cameron’s niece, a favorite subject. Here she is in mourning for her husband.

Julia Jackson –you can see this if you look — is  the mother of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.

“To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is… at last, to love it for what it is, and then to put it away.”

–Virginia Woolf