American born dentist Dr. James Leon Williams (1852-1932) moved to London in 1887. He spent summers in Stratford-on-Avon making photographs and printing the negatives as photogravures. In 1890, his first project matched these gravures with the poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” written by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). Boston publisher Joseph Knight brought it out in a small edition.
Two years later, Williams followed this with a massive folio entitled The Home and Haunts of Shakespeare published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in New York. Reproductions of 15 watercolors by 15 different American artists are completely overshadowed by Williams’ 45 pictorialist gravures. The New York Times published a review before the book was even finished, crediting Williams with reviving America’s interest in Shakespeare.