Born near Norwich, he was apprenticed at 17 as a wood-engraver on the staff of the Graphic in London and contributed regularly to the magazine (1874–85). He also worked for the Illustrated London News and for The English Illustrated Magazine. He became a noted etcher and a prolific drawer of landscapes and of scenes and sites associated with Dickens. He contributed illustrations to W. R. Hughes's A Week's Tramp in Dickens-Land (1891) and was the author of Dickensiana: A Bibliography of the Literature Relating to Charles Dickens and His Writings (1886), Charles Dickens by Pen and Pencil (1890), The Novels of Charles Dickens: A Bibliography and Sketch (1897), Dickens and His Illustrators (1899), and the posthumously published The Dickens Country (1905). He was a founder and a vice-president of the Dickens Fellowship (1902), and his appointment as the first editor of the Dickensian was only prevented by his death. He was particularly active in the campaign for the purchase of Dickens's birthplace by Portsmouth Corporation (see Dickens Birthplace Museum). Following his death his library was purchased as the basis of the proposed national Dickens Library to be formed within the Guildhall Library (transferred to Dickens House in 1926).
From Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).