|Richard Beard: Illustrations for Henry Mayhew - London Labour and the London Poor |
Contents Fragments Photographer Theme PhV Checklist
In 1851 Henry Mayhew's book London Labour and London Poor was published in three volumes collecting together his well researched articles published in the Morning Chronicle. The book was an attempt at educating the middle and upper classes in Victorian England to the appalling social conditions of London. The illustrations for the book were based on daguerreotypes that were taken under the supervision of Richard Beard that were converted to wood engravings for publication because of the inability to print photographs within books at the time. As Naomi Rosenblaum pointed out in her A World History of Photography the result of using wood engraving is that the characters are removed from their original surroundings by the use of 'sketchily indicated' backgrounds and this separates the viewer from the subject.
Illustrations based on Beard daguerreotypes included:
- Λ The book London Labour and London Poor was evidently rare quite soon after it was published in 1851 as in The Atheneum, no. 1407, Oct. 14, 1854, p. 1223 there was the following advert:
RARE WORK. A few Copies just ready of HENRY MATHEWS Celebrated and very Extraordinary Work, 'LONDON LABOUR AND THE LONDON POOR : a CycIopedia of Those that Work, Those that cannot Work, and Those that will not Work,' with Engravings of the Scenes and People described, copied from Daguerreotypes taken expressly for this Book by Beard. Prices [unclear on scan]. Each bound copy has at end the whole of the valuable "Answers to Correspondents arranged to be read uninterruptedly." EITHER DIVISION OF THE WORK SOLD SEPARATELY.
A quantity of Odd Numbers for completion of sets to 63rd number -(pages 432 of vol. II. and 199 of vol. III.). The Answers to Correspondents prepared for binding, all Advertisements, &c. attached on publication being excluded. Copies bound in manner rendering them more complete than any ever supplied, except by
G. Newbold, 8, Regent-street. Westminster.
N.B. Numbers bought - full price given - lists requested by post.
- Λ Naomi Rosenblum, 1984, A World History of Photography, (New York: Abbeville Press); Naomi Rosenblum, 2007, A World History of Photography, (New York: Abbeville Press) [4th edition]
Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International