Dean Mahomet: Travel writer, curry entrepreneur and shampooer to the King


By James Bartlett, published 28th January 2009

The National Portrait Gallery in London is home to many thousands of portraits, photographs and sculptures of the great and the good, as well as those who travelled on the darker side of history.

In 2007 it hosted a small exhibition in the Porter Gallery entitled Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850. The exhibition focused on a dozen or so individuals over that period who travelled - mostly willingly - many thousands of miles away from their native lands of India, Australia, North America, Africa and others to Britain, where their extraordinary presence, cultures and appearance, even over a short period of time, was to have a lasting effect.

One of the people chosen to feature in the exhibition had a strong  connection to Ireland, and the exhibition featured his small red shoes, waistcoat, advertisements and portraits from his period of celebrity, although there is much more to the story of Dean Mahomet, a pioneer and writer of one of the earliest travel books.

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