Scenes in a Library: Reading the Photograph in the Book, 1843-1875

Scenes in a Library: Reading the Photograph in the Book, 1843-1875

by Carol Armstrong
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262011697

ISBN-13: 9780262011693

Pub. Date: 11/06/1998

Publisher: MIT Press

Today we are so accustomed to seeing photographs wedded to text—whether in the family album or daily newspaper—that the verbal framing of the photograph has become invisible. The text is internalized within the image, and the meaning of the photograph becomes clear and self-evident, as if by the evidence of the photograph itself. In Scenes in a Library<

Overview

Today we are so accustomed to seeing photographs wedded to text—whether in the family album or daily newspaper—that the verbal framing of the photograph has become invisible. The text is internalized within the image, and the meaning of the photograph becomes clear and self-evident, as if by the evidence of the photograph itself. In Scenes in a Library, Carol Armstrong explores the experimental moment, at the inception of the new medium, when the word came to haunt the photographic image, and the forty or so years—roughly from the 1840s to the 1880s—during which the photographic image alternately resisted and became assimilated to the printed page.

Armstrong's emphasis is on British books. Not only was it in an English book that the paper photograph was first described and published, but the range of subject matter of nineteenth-century British photographically illustrated books prior to the 1880s was as rich as it was peculiar and sometimes recalcitrant. Armstrong focuses on one book about photography (Talbot's The Pencil of Nature); one "scientific" book (Anna Atkins's Photographs of British Algae); two travel narratives, one factual and one fictional (Francis Frith's Egypt and Palestine Photographed and Observed and his illustrated edition of Longfellow's novel Hyperion: A Romance); and one book of poetry (Julia Margaret Cameron's Illustrations to Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King); as well as some miscellaneous books from the 1870s. According to Armstrong, art history has tended to remove the historic photograph from its printed and published context. Moving back and forth between close looking and equally close reading, she reinserts the photograph into the book from which it was taken.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262011693
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
11/06/1998
Series:
October Books Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
535
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
xi
Acknowledgments xxi
Introduction 1(22)
Looking Forward to the 1870s: The Natural Method of Photographic Illustration
23(84)
The Book of Nature, the Book of Man
26(17)
"In The Conduct of This Verification": Succession and Resemblance, or Induction and the Organon of Proof
43(13)
From Microbes to the Moon: Experiments, Instruments, and Photographs, I
56(24)
From the Moon to Man: Experiments, Instruments, and Photographs, II
80(27)
A Scene in a Library: The First Photographically Illustrated Book
107(72)
"Introductory Remarks" and "Brief Historical Sketch of the Invention of the Art"
112(14)
Plates: A Scene in a Library
126(5)
Plates, I: Two Views Through the Camera Obscura
131(9)
Plates, II: Two Inventories
140(5)
Plates, III: Facsimiles
145(8)
Plates, IV: Cameraless Photographs
153(7)
Plates, V: Photographs Like Paintings
160(7)
Plates, VI: Lacock Abbey and Other Places
167(7)
Plates, The End: Variable Prints
174(5)
Blueprints for (and Against) Scientific Illustration: Anna Atkins's Botanical Albums
179(98)
Biotaxic Negatives: A Photographic Botany
184(23)
Between the Certificate and the Code: From the Natural Illustration to the Nature Print
207(26)
The Remains of a Ruined Alliance: The Rest of the Cyanotypes
233(37)
Postscript
270(7)
Photographed and Described: Traveling in the Footsteps of Francis Frith
277(84)
Egypt and Palestine Photographed and Described
284(48)
"In the Footsteps of Paul Flemming"
332(29)
Photographing Literature: Julia Margaret Cameron's Excerpts from Tennyson
361(62)
The Album's Frontispiece: The Photographer Takes the Poet, "From Life"
366(3)
Cameron's Women: Lynette, Enid, Vivien, and Elaine
369(33)
The Pale Nun and the Dark Queen
402(10)
The End: A Filmic Postscript
412(11)
Afterword 423(10)
Notes 433(66)
Photograph Sources 499(6)
Index 505

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