Sir Leslie Matthew Ward
(1851-1922). Published by Vanity Fair
February 23, 1899
H x W: 15.5 in. / 9.5 in.
The Army and Navy Club Library Trust Fund
Vanity Fair has been the title of at least five different magazines. The second was a British weekly published from 1868 to 1914, where this print originated. Subtitled "A Weekly Show of Political, Social and Literary Wares," it was founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles, who aimed to expose the contemporary vanities of Victorian society. It offered its readership articles on fashion, current events, the theatre, books, social events and the latest scandals, together with serial fiction, word games and other trivia, and included notable contributors such as Lewis Carroll and P. G. Wodehouse. It regularly published caricatures of notable English men and women of the day, including statesmen, military figures, princes and sovereigns, and even racehorses.
Lord Kitchener of Khartoum was a senior British Army officer and colonial administrator who won notoriety for his imperial campaigns during the Second Boer War. He later played a central role in the early part of World War I. On June 5, 1916, Kitchener was traveling on the HMS Hampshire to Russia for negotiations, when the ship struck a German mine just west of the Orkney Islands, Scotland, and sank. He was among 737 who died.