University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Kenneth Grahame:

Photography Collection Literary File

Creator: Grahame, Kenneth, 1859-1932
Title: Kenneth Grahame Literary File
Dates: circa 1900-1930s
Abstract: The Kenneth Grahame Literary File consists of 150 photographs (147 photographic prints and 3 nitrate negatives), including portraits of Grahame, his son Alastair, various other people, and various places in England and Scotland.
Call Number: PH-00281
Extent: 1 box (150 photographs)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 8, 1859. His mother died in 1864, after which Grahame and his three siblings were raised by their uncle, living first in Berkshire and then Cranbourne, England. Childhood illness left Grahame with respiratory problems that followed him throughout his life. After attending St. Edward’s School in Oxford, Grahame aspired to attend Oxford University, but he was denied funding by his uncle. Instead, he moved to London and began work at the Bank of England.

Grahame quickly advanced at the Bank, while concurrently composing his first work. "By a Northern Furrow" appeared in the St. James Gazette in 1888, and his first book, Pagan Papers, was published in 1893. The Golden Age (1895), which met popular and critical success, was a collection of tales of average childhood, and was followed by the similarly-themed Dream Days (1899).

In July 1899, Grahame married Elspeth Thomson. The following May, they had a son, Alastair "Mouse" Grahame. Born prematurely, Alastair was blind in one eye and had poor vision in the other. In 1908, Grahame resigned from the Bank and moved his family to Mayfield, Cookham Dene, Berkshire, where he began to develop another series of stories written for and possibly contributed to by Alastair. These formed the basis for The Wind in the Willows, published in 1908, which was met with wide success in Great Britain and the United States.

The Grahame family moved to Boham’s, Blewbury, Berkshire, in May 1910. Grahame wrote little else following The Wind in the Willows, but he edited The Cambridge Book of Poetry for Children (1916). In the meantime, Alastair struggled in school, and in May 1920 he was killed in a train accident. After the death of their son, Kenneth and Elspeth traveled throughout Italy. Upon their return in 1924 they sold Boham’s and moved to Church Cottage, Pangbourne, Berkshire, where the couple became reclusive. Grahame’s health, poor throughout his life, continued to decline until his death on July 6, 1932. His will established the Kenneth Grahame Fund, to which all of Grahame’s royalties were given; the Fund is the primary purchasing fund for the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

Scope and Contents

The Kenneth Grahame Literary File consists of 150 photographs (147 photographic prints and 3 nitrate negatives), including portraits and snapshots of Grahame, his son Alastair, his wife Elspeth, and various other people. There are also views of various places in England and Scotland, including Blewbury, Pangbourne, Inveraray, and Loch Fyne. An index at the end of this guide lists photographers whose work is featured in this file.



Open for research. Please note: Negatives cannot be accessed without curatorial approval. To make an appointment or to reserve photography materials, please contact the Center's staff at

Index Terms

Grahame, Alastair, 1900-1920.
Grahame, Elspeth.
Grahame, Kenneth, 1859-1932.
Authors, English -- 19th Century -- Pictorial works.
Authors, English -- 20th Century -- Pictorial works.
Group portraits.
Landscape photography.
Photography of families.
Photography of gardens.
Portrait photographs.
Blewbury (England).
Document Types
Offset Lithograph.

Related Material

The Ransom Center also holds manuscript materials by Kenneth Grahame.

Administrative Information


Gift, 1989 (G 8093)

Processed by:

Kait Dorsky, 2015


Hunt, Peter. "Grahame, Kenneth (1859–1932)." In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Accessed April 29, 2015,

Item List

1 Nineteen studio cabinet card portraits of Grahame; seven variant poses including busts as well as poses at desk, undated.
Platinum prints, cabinet card format, 16.4 x 10.7 cm or smaller.
Five studio portraits portrait of Grahame; four variant poses, including two busts and two half-length, undated.
Platinum prints, 29.2 x 22.3 cm or smaller.
Bust portrait of Grahame; image reproduced from passport picture, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 15.8 x 11.2 cm.
Photograph of a 1912 sketch of Grahame by John Singer Sargent, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 20.2 x 15 cm.
Snapshots of Grahame outdoors; one showing him standing by a fence, one showing him seated among baskets, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 8.0 x 10.8 cm or smaller.
Two snapshots of garden front doorway at Blewbury; one with Grahame in doorway, one with unidentified couple in doorway, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 8.8 x 8.8 cm.
Snapshot of Grahame in front of building doorway, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 9.5 x 7 cm (image); 10.7 x 8.2 cm (sheet).
Grahame sitting on luge after a run during winter sports, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 8.3 x 14 cm.
NV:LF Boxes Grahame and his son Alastair "Mouse" Grahame both seated on sleds (negative for 989:0023:0034), undated.
Nitrate negative, 13.9 x 8.7 cm or smaller.
1 Grahame and his son Alastair "Mouse" Grahame both seated on sleds, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 11.4 x 8.6 cm.
NV:LF Boxes Grahame and his son Alastair "Mouse" Grahame standing in snow (access print of negative included with prints), undated.
Nitrate negative, 14 x 8.2 cm.
1 Two snapshots, each mounted on board; one showing Alastair "Mouse" Grahame seated in chair outside, one showing Grahame and Alastair "Mouse" Grahame outside, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 7.2 x 9.8 cm (visible image); 13 x 15.5 cm (frame) or smaller.
Four formal portraits of Alastair "Mouse" Grahame as adolescent and young man; one includes letter dated 27 October, stamped: Boham's, Blewbury, Didcot, Berkshire, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 14.4 x 9.8 cm (image); 27.9 x 20.3 cm (sleeve) or smaller.
Fourteen small snapshots of Alastair "Mouse" Grahame at various outdoors locations and times, alone, with Grahame, and with other children and adults, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 8.8 x 7 cm or smaller.
Snapshot of Grahame and two women outside of Swiss Customs; Handwritten on verso: March 1909 - Gallawga, March 1909.
Gelatin silver print, 9.3 x 9.5 cm.
Formal half-length cabinet card portrait of Elspeth Grahame, undated.
Gelatin silver print, cabinet card format, 15.5 x 10.9 cm.
Elspeth Grahame's passport, United Kingdom; Additional inscriptions and stamps in interior of passport. Stamps include Boulogne Sur Mer, 20 January 1930; Boulogne Sur Mer, 30 January 1931; and Calais, 11 January 1933, 7 January 1930.
Passport, 5.0 x 4.4 cm.
Two formal cabinet card portraits of unidentified child (possibly Alastair "Mouse" Grahame), alone and with unidentified woman, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, cabinet card format, 16.5 x 10.6 cm or smaller.
Two cabinet card portraits of unidentified child (possibly Alastair "Mouse" Grahame), one in goat-drawn carriage, one with toy horse, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, cabinet card format, 10.8 x 16.5 cm.
Cabinet card portrait of unidentified woman, undated.
Albumen print, cabinet card format, 16.6 x 10.8 cm.
Three formal portraits of unidentified women, undated.
Platinum prints, 14.8 x 9.9 cm (image); 22.8 x 17 cm (mount).
Unidentified woman; Handwritten on image: To both you dears M. Wood Hill 1931, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 22.7 x 15.8 cm.
Photograph of a painted portrait of unidentified man, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 19.9 x 16.8 cm.
Nine cartes de visite of an unidentified man, all same pose; Includes envelope inscribed: Mickard, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, carte de visite format, 10.5 x 6.4 cm or smaller.
Eight cartes de visite of unidentified woman, two variant poses; Includes envelope inscribed: Your Mother Ms. Duncan Abcromby Pl, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, carte de visite format, 10.5 x 6.3 cm or smaller.
NV:LF Boxes Snapshot of Alastair "Mouse" Grahame, (standing at center) with three unidentified young men; Includes two envelopes. First inscribed: Ms. Grahame Park Hotel, Keswick, Cumberland. Second inscribed: Valuable Film Small Film Negative 2947 Gillman 6.; stamped: 31 Jul 1920 (access print of negative included with prints), undated.
Nitrate negative, 6.8 x 4.4 cm.
1 Group of unidentified people outside of building, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 8.2 x 10.7 cm.
Waving adieu on Kenneth Grahame's Wedding Day; Handwritten on verso: Waving adieu on Kenneth Grahame's Wedding Day. Left to right - Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, The Late Major Bevil Quiller-Couch, Late Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins, Sir Courtauld Thomson in doorway, circa 1899.
Gelatin silver prints, 25.5 x 20.4 cm.
Wellington bookcase; Handwritten on verso: Height 7' 6," Width 6' 6," Depth 1' 11"; Includes an envelope inscribed: Photograph of Wellington-Bookcase. Typed on envelope: Mrs. Grahame, Church Cottage, Pangbourne, Berks, undated.
Gelatin silver print, 13.8 x 9.9 cm.
Variant views of Boham's Blewbury, Didcot, Berkshire, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 12.0 x 16.3 cm or smaller.
Variant views of grounds and outbuildings at Boham's Blewbury; includes a related newspaper clipping, undated.
Gelatin silver prints; Offset lithograph, 18.7 x 12.8 cm or smaller.
Snapshot and postcard of Pangbourne waterways, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 8.8 x 13.9 cm or smaller.
Sixteen views of Scotland, including the Crinan Canal, Inveraray, Lochgilphead, and Loch Fyne, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 25.1 x 30.2 cm or smaller.
Six views of St. Ives, including boats and buildings, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 16.3 x 21.2 cm or smaller.
Various landscape views, including forest and architecture; includes negative and infrared images, undated.
Gelatin silver prints, 25.2 x 20.2 cm or smaller.

Index of Photographers

  • Barton, Geoffrey--989:0023:0069
  • Basebe, A.--989:0023:0058
  • Bruton, J. E.--989:0023:0065
  • Corbett, Alexander, photographer--989:0023:0041
  • Gillman & Co.--989:0023:0039-0040
  • Grace, Z.--989:0023:0100
  • Hills & Saunders--989:0023:0038
  • Hollyer, Frederick, 1837-1933--989:0023:0001-0019
  • Mendelssohn, H. S. (Hayman Selig), 1848-1908--989:0023:0064
  • Moffat, J.--989:0023:0070-0078
  • Phillips, Lawrence, photographer--989:0023:0118-0123
  • Ross & Pringle--989:0023:0079-0086
  • Smith, Leonard--989:0023:0124-0150
  • Smith, S. H., photographer--989:0023:0062-0063
  • Swaine & Co.--989:0023:0060-0061
  • Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921--989:0023:0066-0067
  • Thomson, William. S., photographer--989:0023:0108-0117