British photographic history

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A Village Lost and Found / Brian May and Elena VidalFrances Lincoln publishers have announced a new book called A Village Lost and Found by Brian May and Elena Vidal. The book is scheduled for publication on 8 October at an online price of £35. Brian May's painstaking excavation of exquisite stereo photographs from the dawn of photography transports the reader back in time to the lost world of an Oxfordshire village of the 1850s.

At the book's heart is a reproduction of T R Williams' 1856 series of stereo photographs Scenes In Our Village. Using the viewer supplied with this book, the reader is absorbed profoundly into a village idyll of the early Victorian era: the subjects seem to be on the point of suddenly bursting back into life and continuing with their daily rounds.

The book is also something of a detective story, as the village itself was only identified in 2003 as Hinton Waldrist in Oxfordshire, and the authors' research constantly reveals further clues about the society of those distant times, historic photographic techniques, and the life of the enigmatic Williams himself, who appears, Hitchcock-like, from time to time in his own photographs.

The product of more than 30 years research, the mixture of social, photographic and biographical detail is handled with admirable lightness of touch, belying the depths of scholarship which underpin this ambitious enterprise.

Publication Details below and here:

Publisher: Frances Lincoln
ISBN: 9780711230392
Format: 310 mm x 235 mm (12.2 inches x 9.3 inches)
Binding: Hardback
256 pages
560 photographs in colour and black and white

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Comment by Michael Pritchard on October 31, 2009 at 13:24
Brian and Elena appeared on Radio 4's Open Country this morning talking about TRW and the village where the photograps are taken. It is available via the BBC iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00nhn1n
Comment by Sara Crowe on October 3, 2009 at 17:45
Thanks for posting this. It sounds wonderful - I'm going to order a copy.

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