On this day

May 25, 1901

cover page of Graphic published on May 25, 1901






Available years

1870-1911, 1914-1932

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.

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1869–1932 The Graphic

This newspaper is published by Illustrated London News Group in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in May 3, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Nov 30, 2016.