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The House of Julia Margaret Cameron:


Freshwater Bay is scooped from the south-facing chalk downs in the western corner of the island. Dimbola Lodge looks down on the bay across hedge and field, part of the farmland once owned by Alfred Tennyson. The same stretch of sea which inspired Tennyson, Gerard Manley Hopkins and D H Lawrence, as well as a host of painters, still rages, broods or glitters, always a source of fascination.

Julia Margaret Cameron and her husband Charles, already friends of the Tennysons, moved here in 1860. Within a few years, Julia had converted a hen-house into a studio, and began the experiments in photography to which many of today's professional photographers acknowledge their debt.

Parlour maids, poets and philosophers, artists and scientists sat for her, among them Longfellow, Browning, Sir John Herschel, Henry Taylor, G F Watts, Benjamin Jowett, Charles Darwin, and the young Ellen Terry, as well as Alice Liddell, immortally celebrated by Lewis Carroll. One of Cameron's favourite subjects was her niece Julia Jackson, who was to become the mother of Virginia Woolf.