British photographic history

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Connection: Story Maskelyne and Dillwyn Llewelyn

Interestingly and coincidentally two current postings: the John Dillwyn Llewelyn album to be sold at Sotheby’s and the Story Maskelyne camera obscura, at Christie’s are connected.

John Dillwyn Llewelyn was the father-in-law of Nevil Story Maskelyne, who had inherited the camera obscura from his grandfather, the Rvd. Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal. Before her marriage, Nevil’s wife, Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, assisted her father and became an accomplished photographer in her own right.  Her mother, Emma Thomasina née Talbot, printed Llewelyn’s negatives and Llewelyn’s sister, Mary Dillwyn, too, was a photographer. This family of pioneering women photographers is documented in some detail alongside the featured John Dillwyn Llewelyn in Noel Chanan’s recent biography, The Photographer of Penllergare (I reviewed this last year). Thereza’s surviving diaries and the three volumes of her late memoirs form an important thread in the narrative. Nevil’s meeting with Fox Talbot, his courting of Thereza and his subsequent career are also detailed alongside selective reproductions of his work. For those that missed it first time round a description of the Llewelyn biography and some of its many illustrations can be seen at

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