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Good was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed. He lived there for almost his entire career and first exhibited in London in 1824. He specialized in small highly finished oil paintings which usually showed one or two figures, often seated, in interiors. Like many genre painters, Good portrayed friends or professional models but introduced studio props and contrived incidents as a means of creating narrative interest. Rather as Wilkie had done in his 'Newsmongers' of 1821, shown nearby, Good was attracted to the theme of people reading a newspaper. During the early nineteenth century, especially during the Napoleonic Wars, the market for newspapers grew rapidly as public interest in current affairs developed.

September 2004