Image Source: CodyArchive.org
On a summer day in 1887, crowds of passers-by gathered to stare as an unusual group of celebrities drove through Oatlands Park, London. For many, seeing a group of fashionably dressed gentlemen that included England’s greatest living actor, Henry Irving, would have been exciting in itself. But one of Irving’s companions made the coaching party even more intriguing. With long black hair spilling down over his shoulders and stunning good looks, the figure that adorned thousands of colorful lithograph posters that blanketed London that season was instantly recognizable. Beside Henry Irving sat William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the impresario of the Wild West show sweeping the English capital that summer. Together, the pair drew gasps and, occasionally, shouts of approval from onlookers.