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This is the first publication of the two most important notebooks created by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877), the inventor of negative/positive photography. Henry Talbot preserved the 18th century tradition of the gentleman amateur scientist in the face of increasing professionalisation of science and technology in the 19th century. He had great powers of imagination and often conceived of things well beyond his present ability to execute. Notebooks P and Q span the period from the first public announcement of photography in 1839 through the 1843 plateau of Talbot's researches. They record both his false starts and his triumphs. While the emphasis is on the new art of photography, there is substantial reference to chemistry, electricity, light, optics and railroad motive power. The notebook pages are reproduced in full, preserving the tempo and organisation of Talbot's thoughts, and keeping his sketches in context. A full expanded transcription decodes Talbot's sometimes difficult hand and abbreviations. Extensive notes and scholarly apparatus interpret and establish the context of Talbot's work.Read more
- First publication of highly restricted notebooks
- Information has been long awaited by the scholarly community and the growing photographic world at large
- Larry Schaaf is the most highly regarded historian on the origins of photography
- Winner of the 1996 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards
Reviews & endorsements
'Schaaf's full notes and exemplary scholarly apparatus make these records of four extraordinary years essential reading for anyone interested in the 'dawn of photography'.' Colin Ford, The Times Higher Education SupplementSee more reviews
'… a highly important contribution to photographic history by the world's foremost Talbot scholar, a book which reveals essential background information and by masterly elucidation of the context and contacts leads to a better informed understanding of 19th century British scientific advancement.' 1996 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards Judges
'Larry Schaaf's book is a pleasure … No one writes better about Talbot, and only several can approach Schaaf's knowledge about this remarkable man.' Anthony Bannon, Documentary Editing
'The book is the realisation of years of dedicated hard work and study. It richly deserves the Kraszna-Krausz award. Published by Cambridge University Press in cooperation with the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television.' Roger Taylor, Photographic Journal
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- Date Published: April 1996
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521440516
- length: 449 pages
- dimensions: 252 x 255 x 34 mm
- weight: 1.972kg
- availability: Unavailable - out of print March 2007
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