Thomas Gibson Bowles was the founder, owner and editor of Vanity Fair until 1889, and also of The Lady. He married Jessica Gordon and they had one son and two daughters. Their daughter, Sydney Bowles, married David Mitford, second Lord Redesdale.
Vanity Fair featured caricatures of well-known figures of the time, accompanied by biographical commentaries written by Bowles under the pseudonym 'Jehu Junior'.
He also had a political career and was conservative MP for King's Lynn 1897-1906, later changed party and was elected Liberal MP for King's Lynn again in the first 1910 election, before losing in the second 1910 election and returning to the Conservative party.
His wife was a collector and he commissioned work from Whistler.
Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004; www.philaprintshop.com/vanfair.html; www.bbc.co.uk/education (accessed 2003).