Our Peaceable Kingdom: The Photographs of John Drysdale

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John Drysdale's photographs are exciting, tender, hilarious, often exhilarating- but for more than the obvious reasons. Certainly it's not every day that one sees a lion that's befriended a Boston terrier. Maybe elephants don't usually go fishing, and parrots generally don't tend to lounge around in beach chairs, next to their human companions. But in the "peaceable kingdom" of John Drysdale, surprisingly unique alliances flourish. His photographs are whimsical and charming, but also carry a very important, ...

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This is a volume replete with surprising photographs of children and unexpected animals, and the joy and love they experience. John Drysdale, a well-known photographer living in ... London in the most sophisticated circles, grew up in the remote regions of Africa. His boyhood experiences with animals led him to return to photographing studies of animals and children, peering at life from odd and playful angles. His photographs flare into merriment and gladden us with their unexpected emotional truths. Filmed in black and white, this body of work leads one into exotic adventure, comic and enlivening and fun, but with feelings marked by a gift for friendship. Each photo has a short explanation at the end. The jacket, now in a protective cover, has a small wrinkle near the spine end. Read more Show Less

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Our Peaceable Kingdom: The Photographs of John Drysdale

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Overview

John Drysdale's photographs are exciting, tender, hilarious, often exhilarating- but for more than the obvious reasons. Certainly it's not every day that one sees a lion that's befriended a Boston terrier. Maybe elephants don't usually go fishing, and parrots generally don't tend to lounge around in beach chairs, next to their human companions. But in the "peaceable kingdom" of John Drysdale, surprisingly unique alliances flourish. His photographs are whimsical and charming, but also carry a very important, necessary truth - the essential bonds of friendship transcend appearances, expectations, and traditions. Cats can love mice, bulldogs can rear squirrels, and foxes can protect chicks.

With a refreshingly honest eye, Drysdale has captured the many ways in which the creatures that inhabit the earth bring one another comfort and happiness. Never mind that a burro and a boy are curled up on the sofa, or that a chimpanzee is sunbathing with his human family by the pool. Friendship is where you find it. The familiarity and love expressed in Drysdale's work is heartfelt and very real - as the endnotes explain, the exotic animals that are his subjects were often orphaned as babies, and reared along with the humans and other animals in the photographs.

Since his earliest photographs of children frolicking on the cobblestoned streets of London, Drysdale's wonderfully illustrious career has spanned close to fifty years. And in Our Peaceable Kingdom, for the first time, 100 of his most memorable images are collected in one beautiful volume, destined to become a favorite on the shelves of children, adults, animal lovers, and anyone who appreciates a good friend.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Our Peacable Kingdom presents the photos of John Drysdale in an unusual volume which was destined for the slush pile before an editor rescued it, where it became a hit. Drysdale's black and white images of primarily children and animals provide warm and fun observations of life and ironies. A unique, recommended pick.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312265885
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1900
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Drysdale was born in Uganda, and learned photography at an early age. He spent the majority of his life in England, where he currently resides. His first assignments after studying photography at the Guilford College of Art were with Norman Parkinson at Vogue Studios and with Cecil Beaton, including a stint as royal court photographer for the Queen's coronation. He is best known for his photographs of unusual interspecies bonding and of children, which have received worldwide recognition in the form of postcards and calendars. His publishing credits and exhibitions are extensive. His awards include prizes from the British Press Pictures of the Year and from World Press Photo.

Margaret Regan, who has mingled careers in physical medicine and the arts, is a worldwide advocate of John Drysdale's photographs. She lives in New England.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    John Drysdale's photographic art makes us see the world anew. The interactions captured between animals and animals, such as the llama and the dog in Ear Nibble, and between animals and humans, such as There, There, are authentically artistic and creative. Modern artists too often want to shock or politically manipulate the viewer. Drysdale is an artist with a camera and an intelligent aim. I enjoyed the photographs for their beauty, and I used them to inspire my writing students. The photographs became the starting points for interesting stories that my reluctant writers were eager to work on.

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