The Tricycle and the Camera: New Technologies for Self-Determination

Starting in the late 1870s, the leisure opportunities of a growing body of affluent middle-class photographers were expanded by the development and mass production of new photography and transport technologies: the dry-plate camera and three- or four-wheeled self-propelled machines (tricycles or quadricycles). While the former had removed the need to attend to the glass-plate immediately before and after exposure, as was the case with the wet collodion process, the latter enabled a new experience of mobility as an alternative to

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Wish You Were Here: Victorian women pioneers of travel photography

In September 1835, Constance Talbot wrote to her husband asking if he would be taking his small experimental “mousetrap” cameras on a visit to Wales. She remarked, “It would be charming for you to bring home some views.”[1] Four years later, William Henry Fox Talbot announced his invention of Photogenic Drawing at the Royal Society, London, and started the extraordinary creative phenomenon we know now as positive / negative photography. We all take photography for granted: it’s an indispensable, ubiquitous

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Julia Stephen: From Freshwater Bay To The Lighthouse

Pity has no creed. We are bound to these sufferers by the tie of sisterhood and while life lasts we will help, soothe, and, if we can, love them. Women are not all blind followers of men. They have power to think as well, and they will not weaken their power of helping and loving by fearlessly owning their ignorance when they should be convinced of it. Women should not reject religion merely because they desire to please men. Man

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Lady Clementina Hawarden: photographic pioneer

Next to a window with shafts of light providing shadowy illumination into a sparsely furnished room stands an adolescent girl. There is a look of casual awkwardness about her, yet she has an enigmatic stare towards the camera, showing a degree of trust shared between herself, the model and the photographer.  Beyond the window is a blurred view of the city, lost in the power of the intimacy of the dramatic pose struck by this girl, the subject of the

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Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 2 of 4)

Part 2: Taking position – ‘the look’ The Christmas tree engraving was not untypical of depictions of the royal family in the mid-nineteenth century, a period which had in recent decades witnessed a vast expansion in the publication and distribution of popular newspapers and periodicals as a result of technical innovations in printing, distribution and communications. [1] In an analysis of Victoria’s representation in the illustrated press, Virginia McKendry argues that images of the Queen in the Illustrated London News

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Michael Nott, Developing Photopoetry

Michael Nott received his PhD from the University of St Andrews. He provides commentaries for the Developing Photopoetry project, and is currently working on his first monograph, a critical history of photopoetry. He tweets, occasionally, @michaeljnott   Among the treasures of the Photographically Illustrated Poetry Collection at the University of St Andrews is Eleanora (1860), an anonymous poem about the courtship of the titular heroine by a knight called Raymond during the Hundred Years’ War. The St Andrews copy is

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Lucinda Matthews-Jones, What is Victorian Studies for?: A Reply to Andersson’s article.

Lucinda Matthews-Jones is a Senior Lecturer in History at Liverpool John Moores University. Her research explores the roles of domesticity, gender and class in the British university settlement movement. As part of this, she is currently completing her first monograph ‘Settling: Domesticity, Class and Urban Philanthropy in the British University Settlement Movement’. Recent publications include Material Religion in Modern Britain: The Spirit of Things. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) with Timothy W. Jones. Articles in ‘Journal of Victorian Culture’, and forthcoming

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Oliver Betts, How Civilized Were the Victorians?: A Reply

Oliver Betts is Research Fellow at the National Railway Museum in York. Having completed his PhD on the working-class idea of home 1870-1914 at the University of York, he is now writing a history of the interplay between railways, society, and human geography in South London 1850-1940. He tweets at @DrOliBetts This post responds to Peter K. Andersson’s Journal of Victorian Culture article ‘How Civilised were the Victorians’. This article can be downloaded here. Working in a National Museum with

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Peter K. Andersson, Real Victorians and False Margins

This post accompanies Peter K. Andersson’s Journal of Victorian Culture 2015 ‘How Civilised were the Victorians’. This article can be downloaded here. An increasing interest in  “history from below” among Victorian scholars can be detected when looking at the contents of periodicals and books. The Journal of Victorian Culture is at the forefront of this evolution with articles on blood-sports, rat-catchers and the material culture of everyday city life. But although an ambition to encompass the “voiceless masses” has never

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Clare Walker Gore, Adventures in Marble and Monochrome: Victorian Sculpture and Photography at Tate Britain

Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840-1860 25 February – 7 June Sculpture Victorious 25 February – 25 May With its fabulous permanent collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, Tate Britain always has an embarrassment of riches to offer the Victorian enthusiast, but its latest exhibitions are a further inducement to make the trip to Millbank if you can. Salt and Silver provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of early Victorian photography, bringing together ninety rare salted paper photographs from the mid-nineteenth

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