British photographic history

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Book: Dickens’s Victorian London 1839-1901

Or should it be re-named appropriately as Charles Dickens and the dawn of photography?

Next year, or 7th February to be precise, will be Dickens's bicentenary, and he will be celebrated in a big way in the UK -  in print, on screen, on stage, in street festivals and also in exhibitions. One of them, Dickens and London, which opened at the Museum of London last week, is the largest exhibition of its kind and the first major one on Dickens in the UK since 1970.

To accompany this exhibit will be this new book which contains hundreds of images, mostly drawn from the Museum’s archives. There is a remarkable photo by Fox Talbot shot in 1841, and is thought to be the earliest existing photograph of the river Thames. The view is of Westminster, but with no Hungerford Bridge, no Houses of Parliament and no ‘Big Ben’. Only the medieval Abbey and Westminster Hall dominates the skyline. Another good section shows the scars of progress as the early cut-and-cover Underground routes are carved out of Paddington, Blackfriars and Victoria.

The book is by Alex Werner and Tony Williams, and can be purchased from the Museum of London, or you can try the Amazon link on the right.

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