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The Graphic. An illustrated newspaper. December 1869 to June 1870. London: Office, 190, Strand. London: R. Clay Sons and Taylor, Printers, Bread Street Hill. 1869-1870. Nos. 1 to 30. 720p. The Christmas number has 24p. Price sixpence, seven pence stamped. Each weekly issue is normally of twenty four pages. Printed in the colophon of these issues: “Published by Edward Joseph Mansfield…” The Preface has head and tail pieces after John Leighton. On page 120 of volume, there is a list of artists, “…who have assisted, or promised to assist the enterprise…” These artists are cited as: G. H. Andrews, R. Ansdell, A. R. A., J. Auchen, E. Armitage, A. R. A., R. Barnes, W. Beverley [i.e. probably William Roxby Beverly], E. Buckman, W. W. Deane, George Dodgson, G. Du Maurier, Edward Duncan, A. Elmore, A. R. A., T. Faed, R. A., S. L. Fildes, Birket Foster, W. P. Frith, P. R. A., C. Green, Townley Green, Carl Haag, J. E. Hodgson, J. C. Hook, R. A., A. B. Houghtpon, Alfred Hunt, H. Jeune, A. R. A., E. K. Johnson, C. Keene, F. W. Lawson, J. Leighton, F. S. A., G. D. Leslie, A. R. A., A. H. Luxmore [i.e. probably Arthur Coryndon Hansler Luxmoore], G. Mason, A. R. A., W. Q. Orchardson, A. R. A., J. Pettie, A. R. A., G. J. Pinwell, E. J. Poynter, A. R. A., Val Princep, F. Sandys, Percival Skelton, W. Small, Marcus Stone, G. A. Storey, J. Gordon Thomson, J. D. Watson, G. F. Watts, A. R. A., Harrison Weir, J. Whistler, H. Woods. The title page of the cumulative volume is after John Leighton. The illustrations on age 345 are after Houghton, with the caption: “Graphic America – on the Atlantic steamer.” The “Parts of the Graphic” [i.e. the contents] are printed on page 214 of volume 1. The Robin de Beaumont’s notes about this newspaper are on the upper pastedown and on a separate sheet. The bookplate of Robin de Beaumont is on the upper pastedown.
Binding: Cream endpapers and pastedowns. Half calf. Marbled paper sides. The spine is divided into six panels by (false) raised bands. Panel two has a black leather lettering-piece, with the words: “/ The/ Graphic/ [rule]/ Vol. 1./” tooled in gold.
- Production date
Height: 415 millimetres
Thickness: 55 millimetres
Width: 310 millimetres
- Curator's comments
The first issue of The Graphic, an illustrated weekly newspaper costing 6d, appeared on 4 December 1869 - the birthday of its founder, William Luson Thomas. Thomas and his brother, George, had been employed as draughtsmen and engravers by The Illustrated London News during the 1850s and 1860s. However, when George died in 1868 and William proposed to issue a memorial volume featuring some of George's work for the benefit of his bereaved family, The Illustrated London News refused to lend wood-blocks of George's drawings for the project. The ill-feeling this created strengthened William's resolve to start up his own rival illustrated paper - the capital for which he quickly raised from family and professional acquaintances. The paper speedily achieved success - especially with the fortuitous outbreak of the news-grabbing Franco-Prussian War in 1870 - and became the chief rival of The Illustrated London News. By the 1880s it was selling up to 250,000 copies per week. William and his editors - first Sutherland Edwards (1869-70), followed by Arthur Locker (1870-91) and T.H. Joyce (1891-1906) - employed many talented artists, including Frank Holl, Luke Fildes, Hubert von Herkomer, A.B. Houghton, Frederick Waller and William Small. Initially, the paper featured illustrations of a very high artistic standard - higher, in fact, than most of its competitors; however, with the development of new printing techniques and photography, the quality of its illustrations declined over time. Along with illustrations and news, it also notably published and illustrated fiction - including Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles in 1891, the illustrations for which were drawn by Herkomer and some of his students. The Graphic eventually ceased publication in 1932.
The British Library copy for volume 1, with its original binding case, is at shelf mark: C.188.c.52. See:
Vol. 1. London: Edward Joseph Mansfield. London: R. Clay, Sons & Taylor. viii, 720p. 318x420x55mm. Issued on a Saturday. Each issue was priced at sixpence. The colophon of the early issues reads: “ Printed for the Proprietors by R. Clay, Sons, & Taylor, at 7 and 8, Bread Street Hill, in the City of London, and published by Edward Joseph Mansfield, at The Office, 190 Strand, in the Parish of St. Clement Danes, in the County of Middlesex.” The title page for each bi-annual cumulated bound volume is after John Leighton. It has a densely decorated border with roundels and many [pseudo?] armorials. It is signed bottom left: “/ Iohn [cross] F.S.A./ Leighton/”
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number