Actor Henry Edwards (27 August 1827 – 9 June 1891) in costume that appears to be for the role of Major-General Stanley in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance.
Something of a polymath, Edwards' extensive interest in the natural sciences was outlined in A Mingled Yarn: Henry Edwards, Thespian and Naturalist, in the Austral Land of Plenty, 1853-1866 (Tom W. May, Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 11, no. 3, June 1997, pp. 407-418.)
"Henry Edwards was a man of diverse interests across the arts and sciences. In the realm of so-called 'amateur' science, he perhaps had few contemporary rivals. An actor by profession, Edwards came to Melbourne as a young man in the early 1850s, and was involved in the burgeoning scientific circles of the period. His brother William published works in Melbourne on criminal phrenology and mesmerism. Henry made many collections around Melbourne, and the National Museum of Victoria's collection of Australian insects was partly established from his private material. Edwards left Australia for America in 1866 and died in New York in 1891. His private entomological collection, one of the largest in the world at the time, was acquired by the American Museum of Natural History. Edwards had been a correspondent of Ferdinand von Mueller, and had provided Charles Darwin with data for The Descent of Man. His letters to hundreds of correspondents reveal much about the nature and practice of entomology in the colonial era."
While a resident of San Francisco, Edwards helped found the infamous Bohemian Club. Still active today, the club's all-male membership includes prominent politicians, businessmen, members of the arts, and militaries from around the world. Meeting annually at the secretive Bohemian Grove in northern California, the group is the subject of ongoing conspiracy theories.
Sarony - Photographer
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