In 1864 the Reverend John M. Jephson published his book on the birthplace, home, and grave of Shakespeare. Nestled within the pages of text are a series of photographs of sites relating to Shakespeare’s life in Stratford-on-Avon. For a photo-historian like myself these photographs are of particular interest because they predate the commercial continuous and half-tone printing processes we are all more familiar with today.
The fifteen images were all taken in 1863 by the well-known Victorian photographer Ernest Edwards. Each one is an albumen print stuck directly onto the page by hand. Commercial publishing of outdoor photography was still in its early years and these images are among the first to bring realistic images of Shakespeare’s birthplace and memorials into the public eye.