John Speller's Web Pages - British Railways

Great Britain Untitled UKRH Horizontal
"The Travelling Companions" by Augustus Leopold Egg (1816-1863) is, like his friend William Powell Frith's "The Railway Station," painted in the same year 1862, an iconic Victorian painting. I had not heard of it before I saw it thirty years ago in the Birmingham City Art Museum, but I have been absolutely in love with it ever since. It shows two identically dressed young ladies relaxing in a first class compartment. The town of Menton in the French Riviera can be seen in the background. When Augustus Theodore Egg visited the French Riviera his traveling companions were Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. The picture speaks of a day when travel was more relaxed and enjoyable than in these hectic times. A gentle breeze is disturbing the tassel at the top of the open window. I used to enjoy coaches that had compartments with their own doors and used to like to travel with the window down in the summer. It really annoys me that train windows don't open any longer. We now have to endure traveling tightly packed together in closed tin cans like sardines.

Menton in the French Riviera, scene of Egg's "The Travelling Companions" from an advertisement issued by the Chemin de Fer de PLM
Site Contents Untitled