Object Image

Portrait of P. C. Harry Daley

Diarist, author, muse, Police Constable Harry Daley (1901-1971), is notable for his memoirs This Small Cloud (posthumously published in 1987), a fascinating account of life as a working-class gay man in the early 20th century. Daley realised he was gay at an early age and was generally open about his sexuality, though he often suffered taunts and bullying. In 1925 he joined the Metropolitan Police, and while on the beat in Hammersmith met playwright J. R. Ackerley, who introduced him to many influential figures in the Bloomsbury Group, including Duncan Grant. In 1926 he began a short, turbulent relationship with author E.M. Forster, who found him worryingly indiscreet. Grant is said to have pre...

Oil on canvas
Image and text © Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, 2022

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