READERS: Vintage People on Photo Postcards


READERS: Vintage People on Photo Postcards

TOM PHILLIPS    Book Number: 90552    Product format: Hardback

Bibliophiles galore! The activity of reading was confined to a very small proportion of the human race for most of its history, but by the time these photographs were taken between 1900 and 1940, the practice was ubiquitous and taken for granted. Many early studio portraits are in artificial settings and what strikes you looking through the collection is the limited repertoire of body language and facial expressions associated with reading. Most of the subjects are seated and holding a book; there is the young woman curled up in an armchair (102) or the man reading Film Fun with his feet up on the window ledge (109) who both stand out. Perception of the world has been displaced by the world of the book each is reading. The woman with the cat on her lap (155) is a rare case where we know what the subject is reading - a novel by Ruby M. Ayres. Some images are un-posed and a wonderful distillation of suburban middle class life between the wars in every detail of the décor - the dogs around the hearth, the husband wearing a suit, smoking a pipe, reading a newspaper, the wife possibly sewing but probably reading a book and the clock tick-tocking on the mantlepiece. There are two young ladies in a garden reading a picture book, elderly couples snoozing, their books in their lap, reading outdoors or under tents, by lamplight, on deckchairs on the beach, park benches or at grand desks. Where possible the studio, date and location are noted. Sepia postcards, one or two to the page. 112pp, fully illus, a glamorous Bodleian Library University of Oxford publication.
Published price: £15
Bibliophile price: £5.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781851243594
Browse these categories as well: History, Art & Architecture

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