Frank Miles

George Francis Miles (1852–1891) was a London artist who specialised in pastel portraits of society ladies. He was the son of the Rev. Robert Miles, the rector of Bingham in Nottinghamshire, and grandson of Philip John Miles (1773–1845) by his second marriage to Clarissa Peach (1790 - 1868). Philip John Miles was an English landowner, banker, merchant, politician and collector, who was elected MP for Bristol from 1835 - 1837 having earlier been elected for Westbury from 1820 - 1826 and Corfe Castle from 1829 - 1832. Frank Miles was therefore cousin of Philip Napier Miles and half-cousin of Sir Philip Miles, 2nd Baronet.

Today, Frank Miles is best known for being a friend and house-mate (and many believe a lover) of Oscar Wilde whom he met in 1876. Miles introduced Wilde to Lillie Langtry, and to his friend and patron Lord Ronald Charles Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, who later became the model for the worldly Lord Henry Wotton in Wilde's novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray".

In 1887, Miles was committed to an asylum near Bristol, and he died in 1891 of what was diagnosed as 'general paralysis of the insane ['General paralysis of the insane' or 'General paresis of the insane' was a term for neurosyphilis.] (4 years), exhaustion and pneumonia'.

In the 20th century, Miles achieved brief notoriety as being an unlikely suspect for Jack the Ripper theorists. The thin line of argument was that he lived on Tite Street near Sir Melville Macnaghten; a cousin was an equerry to Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence (another unlikely suspect); and the brother of Montague Druitt, yet another suspect, was in the same regiment that Miles had been in.

Frank Miles and his artistic inspiration Lillie Langtry is portrayed in the mini-series "Lillie" (1978).



* Neil McKenna, "The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde"
* Donald Rumbelow, "The Complete Jack the Ripper"
* Molly Whittington-Egan "Frank Miles and Oscar Wilde: such white lilies" published by Rivendale Press, Jan. 2008

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