The Thames Street cottage in Sonning on Thames, Oxfordshire, designed by Gladys Holman Hunt for her parents William and (Marion) Edith Holman Hunt, 1901. Then called The Acre, now split into The Acre and Long Acre (see Coulter). [Click on the image for a larger picture.]

At the end of the revised edition of Hunt's book, Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, his wife, who had revised the work from his notes, added some material about his last days, including his summers at their country cottage:

In 1901, when he abandoned his lifelong passion for travel ... he had a cottage built at Sonning on the Thames, and there he delighted in garden and river and in long country walks, even of ten miles; at times he found particular pleasure in. frequenting the bowling green of an old-fashioned country inn, where he would sit listening to violin, and recitations of heroic or pathetic story much in favour among certain classes of men who would come down for the day from London for rest and refreshment in this quaint spot. It was the social element in him., his belief in joyousess in life, and his love of humour that was thus ministered to. At races and picnics up the river he was amongst the youngest in enjoyment. At the Sonning cottage many a friend carrying weight of years bravely with himself, came to visit him, and infected by his youthfulness of heart almost forgot they had grown old. (381-82)

In this pretty English cottage Hunt also worked on his last and most celebrated version of The Light of the World, the lifesize one that was bought by Charles Booth, and exhibited in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa before being presented to St Paul's Cathedral in a moving ceremony in 1908.

Photograph from Hunt 380. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Universal Digital Library and the Internet Archive, and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.

Related Material


Coulter, Diane. "Artist Fights for Bridges." Newsletter of the Sonning Eye Society. Issue 6, Winter 2006. 1. Web. 22 October 2012.

Holman-Hunt, Marion Edith. "Last Notes by the Editor," in Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, by William Holman-Hunt. Vol. II. 2nd, rev. ed. New York: Dutton, 1914. 380-84. Internet Archive. Web. 22 October 2012.

Last modified 2 March 2018