Publisher description for The Golden age of British photography, 1839-1900 : photographs from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with selections from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Royal Archives, Windsor Castle, The Royal Photographic Society, Bath, Science Museum, London, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh / edited and introduced by Mark Haworth-Booth.


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Introduced to the British public in 1839 by its inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot, photography quickly took its place-alongside explorations of new territories, discoveries in science, and expanding horizons in the arts-as an authentic wonder in an age of wonders. The Golden Age of British Photography presents photographs that represent the era, drawn from the extensive collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum and from other major museums and archives.

The medium's early history unfolds in 199 images, from one of photography's first successes, Talbot's enchanting view of his breakfast table, to Paul Martin's turn-of-the-century beach scenes, the precursors of today's snapshots.

Uninhibited by notions of what the new invention should be, early photographers depicted exotic faraway lands and the disappearing rural landscape, British cathedrals and London slums, the public and private faces of the time, and the newsworthy events that brought the times into view. These images, rarely seen and never before shown together, present photography at its most miraculous, its purest, and its most daring.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Photography Great Britain History