Top of page: Emile de Senerpont Domis. Nederlandse samenvatting van AVM The Hamilton children The larger picture of Lady Hamilton Dunsink Observatory by night The larger picture of Catherine Disney Hamilton around 1861 Two times Hamilton around 1861

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A Victorian Marriage as pdf or epub, background information, and further publications

Catherine Disney, background information, and the sketch about her as pdf or epub

Photos of people in Hamilton’s biography


Emile Domis
Emile Domis (1942-2002),
to whom I dedicated my essay.

Nederlandse samenvatting van
A Victorian Marriage : Sir William Rowan Hamilton


For an English summary of the essay see our ‘gossip article’,
A most gossiped about genius: Sir William Rowan Hamilton

The Hamilton children

The Hamilton children
William Edwin, Archibald Henry and Helen Eliza Amelia
as depicted on p. 17 of the essay. See for the descriptions, the
suggestion that the boy on the first row is most likely William
Edwin, and where the photographs came from, pp. 18-24.

Lady Hamilton

Lady Helen Maria Hamilton Bayly
Lady Hamilton
This is the larger picture as reproduced from Wayman’s 1987 book about Dunsink Observatory.
Lady Hamilton was said to have been fashionable rather than intellectual, and her fashionability
seems to show in this photograph. Unusual for pictures from those times is her faint smile;
she looks as if she found being photographed rather funny.

Dunsink Observatory

Dunsink Observatory
Dunsink Observatory and the South Dome by Sir Robert Ball, one of Hamilton’s successors
Reproduced from The book of Trinity College, Dublin, 1591-1891.
Belfast: Marcus Ward & CO., Limited.
A date is not given but the South Dome, which can be seen on the left, was built in 1865,
while the book was published in 1892. The light, which in Hamilton’s time would have
come from candles and fires in the fireplaces, streaming through the windows beautifully
indicates the atmosphere within the Observatory and on the premises as it must have
looked like when the Hamiltons were at home and still awake; Hamilton working on his
mathematics or talking with his family, and Thompson observing in the dome.
The soft light shining from the left on the lawn, and on the left side of the Observatory,
its south side, seems to indicate moonlight, probably even a full moon.

Catherine Disney

Catherine Disney
Catherine Disney (1800-1853)
This is the larger picture of Catherine Disney. It is a photo from, most likely, a miniature from before 1825.
The photo, or the miniature, was damaged, therefore the right part of Catherine’s face has been modified.
The photo was “attributed as being Catherine Disney” and that this attribution is correct is almost beyond
doubt; the portrait is in complete agreement with Hamilton’s lines about Catherine’s “locks of gold, and
soft blue eyes, and cheeks All rich with artless smiles and natural bloom.”
Courtesy Trinity College Dublin Library.

Hamilton around 1861

Sir William Rowan Hamilton ca 1861
Sir William Rowan Hamilton around 1861
This is the larger picture as it was shown in “What is Life? Celebrating Erwin Schrödinger.”
Manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin, but with the adaptations shown below.


Hamilton ca 1861 org en bewerkt
Two times Sir William Rowan Hamilton
Having tried to remove some blots on this photo, I here show the original
and the altered one to make a comparison more easy.
See for background information this entry.