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Victorian London Street Life in Historic Photographs (Anglais) Broché – octobre 1994

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Classic document of social realism contains 37 photographs by famed Victorian photographer John Thomson, accompanied by individual essays -- by Thomson himself or social activist Adolphe Smith -- that offer sharply drawn vignettes of lower-class laborers, dustmen, street musicians, shoe blacks, and other street people. A treasure trove of astonishing historical detail.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 12 commentaires
60 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Pictures that DO say a thousand words 14 juin 2000
Par Don Gerstein - Publié sur
Format: Broché
John Thomson's photographs come alive in this reprint of his book Street Life in London, originally published in 1877. While the pictures present a striking view of the city's inhabitants, it is the commentary by Thomson and Adolphe Smith that draws you inside the lives of those Londoners who made their living on the streets. From cabmen to shoe-blacks, from ginger-beer makers to chimney sweeps, the reader is swept along from one fascinating career to another. However, while the past may be fascinating to you and I, to the people forever captured by the camera it was a daily battle just to get by. Thomson and Smith have eloquently combined words and photographs to create a stark and haunting view of the day-to-day existence of those Londoners trapped by birth at the bottom of the Victorian social ladder. The book is a stunning achievement, a piece of the past exposed. It fills a void and is a welcome complement to other books on the Victorian era.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Mesmerizing 11 janvier 2009
Par J. Perkins - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Yes, everything the others said is true, but what they didn't mention in detail are the narratives that go along with the pictures. Here you've got actual interviews, often times with the subject of the photo, so you learn their history and opinions, quoted, no less.

This, to me, is what fascinates me about this book. The pictures alone are so transporting, but you can look at a great book of historical pictures and if the text is boring, dry, dusty, educational - all you've got is what you've learned from looking at the pictures.

And even if the text were well written by a contemporary author, the pictures would still supercede the text. But not in this case. I took the book out of the library to look at the pictures and skim the text, but I'm reading every word.

In LONDON NOMADES (sic), he interviews a guy who knows the people in the photograph, and who says, "Bless ye!that's old Mary Pradd, sitting on the steps of the wan (sic), wot was murdered in the Borough, middle of last month." and both the guy and the author proceed to tell the story of Mary Pradd, who is - yes - sitting on the steps of the van, looking rather worse for the wear for her lifestyle.

STREET DOCTORS, the examination of the men who roamed the streets selling medicines out of their suitcases to the local neighborhoods, gives us a long and riveting narrative by the guy in the picture, a man who has his case open for two housewives, and looks like he has clubfoot, as one shoe has a sole 4" higher than the other. The author quotes the street doctor's story in his own words.

He speaks of how he was a cabdriver but had to give it up because of losing his eyesight. "At that time, my wife worked with her needle and her hands to keep things a going. She used to do charing during the day and sewing at night, shirtmaking. She got twopence-halfpenny for making a shirt.....I fell in with a gentleman selling ointment, he gave me a box which I used for my eyes....." and on the narrative goes.

Profiles cover the Covent Garden Flower Women (Eliza, anyone?), Public Disinfectors, Flying Dustmen (her father!), Shoe Blacks, Half Penny Ices, the London Boardmen (sandwich board advertising), and so much more.

I can't put it down. In fact, I'm buying it for my bookshelf.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fabulous resource for the amateur historian, historian, or writer 11 mars 2007
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The photographs are an incomparable resource--the first of their kind--and the articles rival Henry Mayhew's in depth, clarity, and coverage. These pictures will lead you into the intricate and fascinating lives of the lower classes of London, with information that simply isn't available elsewhere. From independent boot blacks to chair-menders, the lives of those who left few to no records are recorded with simplicity and sympathy appropriate to the subjects.
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Amazingly depressing... 3 septembre 2005
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur
Format: Broché
It was amazing to look at the real people of the late 19th century. They looked just like we do today, though fashion was very different. It was odd how healthy many of them looked and how heavy many of the women were. When one reads about the poor in 19th century London, thin, wasting away skeletons come to mind, in tattered rags. Instead I saw people with good builds and decent clothing. Their outfits might not have been the height of fashion and thrown together, but they looked like they kept out the cold. I wonder if the author specifically chose the better looking people to contradict how the poor really lived. The photographed people may also have had diseases not visible.

The section on "Crawlers" was very depressing though. The old woman with the small child huddled on the steps shows just how harsh the times were. Even still, it was odd that her clothes didn't look that bad.

The text for each section was filled with personal accounts and a good look at the life of different people. Overall this book was very interesting, though very small, so limited.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
inspiring images from the dawn of photography 4 février 2009
Par Mr. M. Usiskin - Publié sur
Format: Broché
One of the earliest collections of what was to become called Social documentary, these images and text are remarkable both for their subject matter and their scope. The images show a part of London rarely seen and that they survive today tells of their value to us. The city of London grew so fast during this time that the people shown in these images were even then being marginalised. This remarkable collection of photographs show who, what and how London was peopled in the early part of this century.
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