Inventory of the W. Graham Robertson Papers

Processed by Jean f. Preston; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Xiuzhi Zhou.
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
© 2000
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the W. Graham Robertson Papers

The Huntington Library

San Marino, California

Contact Information

  • Manuscripts Department
  • The Huntington Library
  • 1151 Oxford Road
  • San Marino, California 91108
  • Phone: (626) 405-2203
  • Fax: (626) 449-5720
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Jean F. Preston
Date Completed:
Feb. 1976
© 2000 The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: W. Graham Robertson Papers
Creator: Robertson, W. Graham
Extent: 17 boxes
Repository: The Huntington Library
San Marino, California 91108
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

Publication Rights

In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], W. Graham Robertson Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


Graham Robertson (1866-1948) was a wealthy English gentleman, well-known in art and theatrical circles of the 1880's and 90's as a rising artist. A bachelor, he lived with his mother till her death in 1907, and thenceforth as a country gentleman. His great charm, his quiet humor, and his ready sympathy with the actors, artists and collectors he admired, gave him numerous friendships. Among his correspondents were artists such as Burne-Jones and Whistler, playwrights such as Pinero, James Barrie and Terence Rattigan, actors and actresses such as Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt in the old days, the Lunts and Laurence Oliviers later on, and collectors such as Mrs. (White) Emerson of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Although he painted and wrote surprisingly little after 1914, he maintained extensive correspondence with numerous literary or stage personalities during his long retirement, and many of them made the journey to Sandhills, his Surrey home, for the pleasure of a few hours of talk and companionship with him. As a collector he was best-known for the number and quality of his Blake water-colors, many of which he gave to the Tate Gallery on the outbreak of World War II in 1939, and the rest were widely dispersed to public and private collections after his death in 1948. He had no relatives or heirs; to his long-time friend and executor, Kerrison Preston, fell the task of distributing his books, pictures and estate among various charitable causes. Among these was set up the William Blake Trust, founded with Graham Robertson money, to publish the now well-known Trianon Press facsimiles of Blake's illuminated books.
Graham Robertson's reminiscences, Time Was 1931 (American title: Life was worth living) give a very good idea of his charm and his many friendships. See also Letters from Graham Robertson, edited by Kerrison Preston, 1953, with a biographical introduction; The Blake Collection of Graham Robertson, 1952, edited by Kerrison Preston.


The main collection is fully catalogued, with cards in the alphabetical and collection parts of the Manuscripts Catalogue; Addenda I and II have correspondence catalogued in groups rather than individually, with cards for each correspondent.

Container List



Box 1

Notebooks and sketchbooks.


WR 1-6.

Box 2

List of his work as an artist, 1889-1904, 1904-1915, 1915-1938.

Physical Description: (3 vols.)

Lady Alix Egerton: Poems, 1906-1930.


Alfred Sutro - 2 plays.


WR 7-11.

Box 3

Addenda I.


4 sketchbooks.


Articles from Art periodicals about Graham Robertson the artist.


WR 684-688.



Box  4-15

Correspondence A-Z. (Individually catalogued).


WR 12-683.

Box 16

Addenda I and II.


Correspondence (grouped) and 3 photographs.


WR 689-706.

Box 17

Graham Robertson letters to Kerrison Preston, 1908-1948. (Mostly published in Letters from Graham Robertson).

Physical Description: (c. 840 letters)

WR 707.



Correspondents in Boxes 4-15


Achurch, Janet


Agate, James Evershed


Ainley, Henry


Allen, Beatrice Ellen


Allingham, William


Allingham, Helen (Paterson)


Angeli, Helen (Rossetti)


Armstrong, Thomas


Armstrong, William


Arnim, Elizabeth


Ashwell, Lena


Atkins, Bertha


Bagger, Esther Dean


Balfour, Lady Mary Edith


Bancroft, Marie Effie (Wilton), Lady


Bancroft, Sir Squire


Baring, Hon. Laurice


Barrie, Sir James Matthew


Bate, Rev. Herbert


Bastien-Lepage, Jules


Bax, Clifford


Beerbohm, Sir Max


Bellerby, Rev. Alfred


Bernhardt, Sarah


Blackmore, Richard Doddridge


Blackwood, Algernon


Blunt, Arthur


Bourchier, Arthur


Bourchier, Violet (Vanbrugh)


Bridie, James, pseud, see Mavor Osborne Henry


Bottomley, Gordon


Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Coley


Campbell, Mrs. Patrick


Coates, Austin


Cody, William Frederick


Colefax, Sibyl


Coward, Sir Noel Pierce


Craig, Edith


Craig, Edward Gordon


Crane, Walter


Davies, Hubert Henry


Davis, Fay


De La Pasture, Edmée Elizabeth Monica


Dent, Alan


Dickens, Charles, Jr.


Drew, John


Drinkwater, John


Du Maurier, Sir Gerald


Egerton, Lady Alix


Ellis, C. F. Corbould


Farren, Nellie


Forbes-Robertson, Ian


Forbes-Robertson, Sir Johnston


Fuller, Loie


German, Sir Edward


Gibbs, Sir Philip Hamilton


Gielgud, Sir John


Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck


Gorell, Ronald Gorell Barnes, 3rd baron


Granville-Barker, Harley Granville


Granville-Barker, Lillah (McCarthy)


Grey, Sylvia


Grossmith, Weedon


Halsey, Jean M.


Hamilton, Hamish


Hamilton, Jean (Forbes-Robertson)


Helleu, Paul C. F.


Hichens, Robert Smythe


Holland, Henry Thurstan, 1st viscount Knutsford


Holland, Lionel Raleigh


Hunt, Violet


Irving, Sir Henry


Isaacs, Rufus Daniel, 1st marquess of Reading


James, Henry


Jeffreys, Ellis


Jekyll, Lady Agnes


Kendall, Dame Margaret


Kerr, Frederick


Keynes, Sir Geoffrey Langdon


Knatchbull-Hugesson, Edward Hugesson, 1st Baron Brabourne


Lavery, Sir John


Letts, Winifred M.


Lewis, Kate (Terry)


Lowndes, Marie Adelaide (Belloc)


Lunt, Alfred


Lunt, Lynne (Fontanne)


MacCarthy, Sir Desmond


Mackail, Denis George


McKinnel, Norman


Maeterlinck, Georgette


Maeterlinck, Maurice


Martin, Sir Alec


Matthay, Jessie


Mavor, Osborne Henry


Melville, Arthur


Menpes, Mortimer


Meynell, Alice Christina (Thompson)


Milton, Ernest


Milton, Naomi (Royde-Smith)


Millward, Jessie


Montesquiou Fezensac, Comte Robert de


Moore, Albert Joseph


Morris, Jane (Burden)


Morris, May


Moses, Montrose Jonas


Murray, A. Hallam


Nasmyth, James


Newton, Alfred Edward


Neilson-Terry, Julia


Norton, George Frederic


Norton, Emily


Olivier, Sir Laurence


Olivier, Vivian (Leigh), Lady


Owen, Will


Palmer, Lady Margaret


Parker, Eric


Partridge, Sir Bernard


Pater, Walter Horatio


Pearson, Hesketh


Phelps, William Lyon


Pinero, Sir Arthur Wing


Playfair, Sir Nigel


Pleydell-Bouverie, Douglas


Pleydell-Bouverie, Dorothy


Pollock, Sir Adrian


Poynter, Sir Edward John


Poynter, Sir Hugh


Preston, Ivor Kerrison


Pryde, James


Rattigan, Terence


Redgrave, Sir Michael


Rehan, Ada


Riley, Athelstan


Robertson, Marion


Robson, Hon. Harold


Robson, Iris


Rothenstein, Sir William


Rothenstein, Sir John Kewstub Maurice


Row, Arthur William


Russell, Archibald George Blomefield


Russell, Annette (Beauchamp) Countess Russell


Sandys, Frederick


Sargent, John Singer


Sargent, Emily


Saur, Emil


Seyler, Athene


Shannon, James Jebusa


Sherard, Robert Harborough


Sherwood, Robert Emmet


Shipman, Louis Evan


Simon, Ruth


Snowden, James K.


Spielmann, Marion Harry


Stahl, Rose


Sutro, Alfred


Symons, Arthur


Taylor, Una


Terriss, William


Terry, Edward


Terry, Dame Ellen


Terry, Fred


Thompson, Dorothy


Todd, Ruthven


Trench, Herbert


Tree, Sir Herbert Beerbohm


Tree, Viola


Tweed, John


Walbrook, Henry Mackinnon


Watts-Dunton, Walter Theodore


Watts-Dunton, Clara Jane (Reich)


Whistler, James Abbot McNeill


White, Maude Valerie


Wilde, Oscar


Williamson, George Charles


Woollcott, Alexander


Yeats, William Butler