This fascinating and comprehensive album of drawings and watercolours was compiled by the artist’s siblings, as a gift to their mother on the occasion of her birthday, Oct 1878. In one of three accompanying letters written from “Edie” , she explains how “Ted”, ordered the album to be bound in black before finding afterwards his mother wanted it done in dark green. It allows us a wonderful insight into subjects that inspired Smetham. There are studies of animals, birds and botany, portraits of friends and family, figure studies, sketches and compositions for pictures, including scenes from the tempest, and many other romantic and fanciful subjects. Among the landscapes are depictions of Braemar and Hawthondon castles in Scotland. Smetham suffered from mental illness and increasingly he was plagued by bouts of severe depression and paranoia, evidence for this can be seen in two self-portraits pasted in the album.