Whichever member of the Salterton Drama Club thought of this idea, in a year in which we both remember the death of Sir Walter Raleigh and celebrate the return to Budleigh’s Fairlynch Museum of Sir John Millais’ ‘Boyhood’ masterpiece, deserves congratulations.
Millais was indeed at the height of his fame when he came to Budleigh Salterton to paint ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh.’ A few years previously, an important two-volume life of Sir Walter had been published by the historian Edward Edwards. The second volume was particularly valuable, containing for the first time a complete edition of Raleigh's correspondence.
Almost simultaneously, in 1868, the journalist James Augustus St. John had published his Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, based on researches in the archives at Madrid and elsewhere.
It’s not the first time that the painting has inspired a totally fictional plot. The author Victor Clinton Baddeley, brought up in Budleigh Salterton, used it in his 1970 novel No Case for the Police. You can read about that at https://raleigh400.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/fifty-years-ago-boyhood-at-budleigh_50.html
Millais, a self-portrait
In the 2018 Salterton Drama Club’s scenario it is the year 1870 and Salterton’s distinguished visitor Sir John Everett Millais is staying at the Octagon, painting the picture destined to become world famous.
Tickets on sale NOW from Budleigh TIC 01395 445275
Saturday 2 June - Doors open 18:45