The Jolly Beggar is the biography of William Kidd, a Scottish artist of the pre-Victorian era. Kidd never achieved the eminence of other British genre artists of the period, despite being considered superior to most in humor and color. He was burlesque, vulgar, reckless and a bit of a genius but always his own worst enemy. This work explores the life, the paintings and the legacy of this forgotten artist.
Dr Tompkins obtained his doctorate in biochemist at the University of Toronto and continues to work in science as the Director of Research for a privately-held Canadian company. However in his spare time he turns his research experience to the study of pre-Victorian genre artists. This is his first booklet outside the scientific field.