Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Victor Prout

Another mystery artist from Eric's booklet...

Victor William Prout was born in Marylebone, London, on 25 August 1862, the son of Victor Albert Prout (a photographer) and Amy Sarah Prout (1833-1904), the daughter of William Thomas & Jane Barber, who had married in St. Pancras in 1860. He was Christened on 2 November 1862 at St. Mary, St. Marylebone Road.

I can find no trace of the family in the 1871 census and I believe that the family was then living in Australia as I have found this site about photographer Oliver Godfrey which mentions that Godfrey's father, John Godfrey had engraved a number of plates for a book entitled Australia by Edwin Carton Booth, published in c.1874. "Artist John Skinner Prout's work also appeared in that book ... The Prout family included several highly regarded photographers including Victor Prout who travelled out from England and became a partner of the Freeman Brothers in a studio [in] Sydney in 1866." Victor would appear to have become well known for his photographs of Sydney Harbour and for photographs taken on a soujourn to Tasmania in the late 1860s. It would also seem that Victor Prout was related to J. Skinner Prout (1805-1876, see also Wikipedia) and watercolourist Samuel Prout (1783-1852, Wikipedia).

It is not known when the family returned to the UK, but I have found that Victor Prout senior died in 1877 at Lewes, Sussex, aged only 40.

In 1881, aged 18, his son was living in Westminster with Thomas Bolton, described as his step-father who, at age 57, is an engraver in wood. Victor is also described as an engraver in wood. In 1891, he and his mother are living with 79-year-old Jane Bolton, who is (according to the census), mother of Amy and grand-mother of Victor. This may simply be a convenience as it seems more likely that Amy was married to Thomas and Jane was probably her mother-in-law. (An area that will require some more checking at some point.)

Victor was married to Isabel Knaggs (the daughter of a doctor) at the Register Office, St. Pancras, on 15 October 1896 and, by 1901, they had a daughter, Eleanor.

It would seem that Victor Prout was a very successful engraver and illustrator. Around the turn of the century, he was contributing to The Royal Magazine, Pearson's Magazine and The Strand.

Victor Prout was living at 187 Camden Road, N.W.1 from at least 1936 until 1950, although his death is registered in Canterbury in 1950, where he died aged 87.

Illustrated Books
Two Knapsacks in the channel Islands by Jasper Branthwaite. London, Jarrold & Sons, 1897.
The Making of Teddy by Eva Jameson. London, Religious Tract Society, 1903.
El Dorado by Robert Cromie. London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1904.
The Red Eric or The Whaler's Last Cruise by R. M. Ballantyne. Ward, Lock & Co., 1904.
When Daddie's Ship Comes In by Beatrice M. Purser. London, Religious Tract Society, 1904.
A Houseful of Girls by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey. London, Religioius Tract Society, c.1905.
Kenelm Chillingly by Lord Lytton. London, Collins' Clear-Type Press, c.1905.
The Holy War Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus by John Bunyan. London, Religious Tract Society, 19o7.
The Fighting Line by David Lyall. London, Religious Tract Society, 1908.
Jessica's Mother by Hesba Stretton. London, Religious Tract Society, 1908.
A Girl's Stronghold by Eliza Pollard. London, S. W. Partridge, 1909.
The Fitzgerald Family by M. S. Madden. London, Religious Tract Society, 1910.
Harry Escome by Harry Collingwood. London, Blackie & Son, 1910.
Kiddie; or, The Shining Way by Amy Whipple. London, Religious Tract Society, 1910.
Margaret; or, The Hidden Treasure by N.F.P.K. London, Religious Tract Society, 1910.
Ursula Tempest by Evelyn Everett-Green. London, Religious Tract Society, 1910.
Brave Sidney Somers; or, The Voyage of the "Eastern Adventurer" by Frank Holmes. London, Blackie & Son, 1911.
A Girl from Canada by Edith C. Kenyon. London, Religious Tract Society, 1911.
Aunt Patience. A story for girls by Evelyn Everett-Green. London, Religious Tract Society, 1912.
Barney Boy by Laura Anna Barter. London, S. W. Partridge, 1912.
The Crew of the Rectory by M. B. Manwell. London, S. W. Partridge, 1912.
Night and Morning by Lord Lytton. London & Glasgow, Collins' Clear-Type press, 1913.


  1. I also have a book by a "mystery" author or so it seems. A Victor Prout did some illustrations in this book. which has a copyright date of 1920. author is Inez N. McFee. She is also author of several other books listed in my book. I have not been able to obtain info on her or the books. Curious to know if Mr.Prout may have illustrated those as well?

  2. Sheila,

    Inez Nellie McFee was an American authoress. As far as I'm aware, only a few of her books were reprinted in the UK, so it would be useful to know the title and publisher of the book you have.

  3. I have "Stories from Chaucer" by J.Walker McSpadden from 1917. There are 13 x b&w illustrations by Victor Prout that are a very good quality; clear and well drawn.



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