SHACKLETON, Ernest. Original Postcard of Ernest E. H. Shackleton, C.V.O. Photo by Beresford. [1909]. 88 x 140mm. In fine condition.


Jonathan Shackleton and John McKenna in 'Shackleton. An Irishman in Antartica' referring to this photograph states "Shackleton in 1909, looking uncharactistically 'civilized' ". 1909 was a momentous year for him. Ernest Shackleton, leader of the Nimrod Antarctic Expedition of 1908-09, gave a lecture to the Royal Geographical Society at the Albert Hall, London, on 28th June. The Prince of Wales, representing the king who was unable to attend, gave Shackleton a gold medal 'in recognition of his great and unique achievement'. The Heart of the Antarctic was published at the beginning of November, translated simultaneously in seven languages and in an American edition. To crown the success of the book, Shackleton's name appeared in the king's birthday honours list - Ernest Shackleton, merchant seaman, was to become Sir Ernest.
George Charles Beresford (1864-1938) was a British studio photographer, originally from Drumlease, Dromahair, County Leitrim. A member of the Beresford family headed by the Marquess of Waterford and the third of five children, he was the son of Major Henry Marcus Beresford and Julia Ellen Maunsell. His paternal grandfather was the Most Reverend Marcus Beresford, Archbishop of Armagh, youngest son of the Right Reverend George Beresford, Bishop of Kilmore, second son of John Beresford, second son of Marcus Beresford, 1st Earl of Tyrone. In 1882 he enrolled at the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper's Hill, and from there went to India in 1882 as a civil engineer in the Public Works Department. After four years he contracted malaria and returned to England to study art, eventually exhibiting at the Royal Academy. Between 1902 and 1932 he worked from a studio in Knightsbridge at 20 Yeoman's Row, Brompton Road. Here he produced platinotype portraits of writers, artists and politicians who were celebrities of the time. His images were used in publications such as The World's Work, The Sketch, The Tatler and The Illustrated London News. He donated substantially to the Red Cross in World War I. In his later years he became an antique dealer. In 1943 the National Portrait Gallery acquired some of his negatives and prints from his former secretary. Beresford was a close friend of Augustus John and Sir William Orpen, another Irishman – they produced a number of images of each other.


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