Very little is known about the early life of James Bourne. He was born and raised in the small town of Dalby, Lincolnshire, not far from the North Sea coast of England. He was living in London as early as 1789. A year later he traveled to Manchester, where he must have received his artistic training, for by 1796 he was back in London practicing successfully as a drawing master.Like many of his colleagues, Bourne spent his winters in London, teaching and working his sketches into finished compositions. During the summer months, he traveled, often with students and patrons, throughout England in search of suitable motifs. The view here features the River Dove, in the Dovedale National Nature Reserve, about thirty miles southeast of Manchester. Although the sheet is undated, it may have been produced in 1805, when Bourne was known to have spent the summer painting in the central Midlands.