One of his critical books was titled Pictures by William Etty: With Descriptions and a Biographical Sketch of the Painter (1874). Monkhouse's biographical essay introduces the paintings of this artist who specialized in a kitsch nudity. In his essay Monkhouse mentions that Etty's first models, when he was a youth of 18 years. were cats.
THE uncle on whom the would-be artist's hopes were fixed was a gold lace merchant, one of the firm of Bodley, Etty, and Bodley, of Lornbard Street. We know not what reason he had to expect that this uncle, a city merchant, should answer his eminently unpractical expectations. To abet his taking leave of the trade to which he was bound, to throw away the advantage of seven years of labour, to try to make an artist out of a skilled printer, appears, at first sight, to be the last thing which a prudent uncle and merchant would do, especially as a great part of the cost of the hazardous experiment would fall upon him. But Etty's faith was as strong as his hope, and he seems to have trusted in his uncle's sympathy and generosity with the same firm simplicity as he did in his own talents, and he was to be disappointed in neither. He had worked seven years underground making for the little spot of light in the distance, and now he had reached the open air was he to doubt that there would be a hand to guide him on his appointed journey. Such a fear as this does not seem to have come near him.
He had to write more than once, however, before he got the wished-for answer, bidding him to come up to town, where "those three benevolent individuals," as he calls his uncle, and brother, and Mr. T. Bodley, "united hand in hand to second my (his) aspiring and ardent wishes." To try his talents his uncle set him to draw his favourite cats, which he did in crayons so faithfully that his reputation in Lombard Street was soon established.
And no doubt it would be fun to read his study of Tenniel, The Life and Work of Sir John Tenniel, R. I. (1901). Monkhouse also contributed to the new Dictionary of National Biography.