Faces of the Living Dead: The Belief in Spirit Photography

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From the collections of The British Library and other major archives in Britain and America, Faces of the Living Dead includes work by the leading spirit photographers from the 1870s to the 1930s, including William Crookes, Ada Deane, William Mumler and Edward Wyllie, and examines the evolution and popularity of spirit photography. Although subsequently proved to be fakes, spirit photographs remain as compelling historical evidence for technology's power to serve as a means to cope with the inexplicable and ...
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2006 Hardcover New 0977282732. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--160 pages; 92 photos., bibliog., 8vo.

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Overview

From the collections of The British Library and other major archives in Britain and America, Faces of the Living Dead includes work by the leading spirit photographers from the 1870s to the 1930s, including William Crookes, Ada Deane, William Mumler and Edward Wyllie, and examines the evolution and popularity of spirit photography. Although subsequently proved to be fakes, spirit photographs remain as compelling historical evidence for technology's power to serve as a means to cope with the inexplicable and undesirable experiences of modernity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780977282739
  • Publisher: Batty, Mark Publisher
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : credulity and superstition 8
1 The invention of spirit photography 12
2 Spirit materializations 28
3 Psychic photographic impressions 44
4 Ectoplasm 62
5 The return of the dead 88
Epilogue : the spirits' legacy 140
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2007

    An Erudite and Fascinating Examination of Spiritualism and Photography

    Though the subject of spirit photography is not a novel one, few writers have offer the degree of academic investigation, research, and fascinating illustrated documentation of the subject as has Martyn Jolly in FACES OF THE LIVING DEAD: THE BELIEF IN SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY. This beautifully produced book, published on fine paper and designed with the topic in mind, surveys the advent of Spiritualism in the mid-nineteenth century to its gradual dissolution into the New Age Realm in the twentieth century. Jolly writes with infectious enthusiasm for his subject, never stooping to denigrate his topic but rather electing to explain the times and incidents which contributed to the need for Spiritualism and the accompanying wide use of the camera to provide desperately needed evidence that the departed can communicate with us. The book is rich in examples of some very startling photographs that mark the appearance of faces, bodies, and gauzy hoverings in the old photographic portraits that became so popular as the camera gained a foothold in artistic and documentary use. Even if this well-designed book were only of images, the volume would be a fascinating collection of otherworldly strangeness. But it is to Jolly's credit that the reverse is true: his writing is so excellent that the accompanying photographs are almost superfluous, so meticulous is his descriptive commentary. Yet marry the two - the visual and the written - and the result is a book of endless fascination. This book is a fine addition to the libraries focusing on photography, on the history of Spiritualism, and on the needy imaginations of those who shared these treasures with the world. Highly recommended. Grady Harp

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