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Julia Margaret Cameron’s ‘fancy subjects’

Photographic allegories of Victorian identity and empire

By Jeffrey Rosen

Julia Margaret Cameron’s ‘fancy subjects’

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Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9790-8
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: September 2016
  • BIC Category: History, History & Archaeology, The arts / History of art & design styles: c 1800 to c 1900, The arts / Photography & photographs, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Art History, Photography & photographs, Individual artists, art monographs, PHOTOGRAPHY / History, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, European history, c 1500 onwards to present day, 19th century, c 1800 to c 1899, PHOTOGRAPHY / Subjects & Themes / Historical, PHOTOGRAPHY / Individual Photographers / Monographs, History of art

Description

Reviews

'Much more than a standard history, Rosen's expansive text locates, quite forensically, what is perhaps one of the most important functions of Cameron's fancies for viewers today: to trace outward, from her immediate personal, literary, and visual communities, a nexus of contentious religious, colonial and nationalist debates that helped shape, not just Cameron and her work, but the Victorian psyche itself.'
Katherine Parhar, Independent Scholar, Visual Culture in Britain, 2016

'Rosen's well-illustrated study represents a valuable resource for scholars and critics alike, and I have already recommended it to my own students. In addition to its appeal to those working on Cameron and her contemporaries, the book contains rich material for those intrigued by the visual cultural history of the nineteenth century more generally.' - Lindsay Smith, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, Early Popular Visual Culture

'Rosen has provided an astonishingly interdisciplinary, thoroughly researched study of Cameron's intellectual range and her technical and exhibitionary practices. He coordinates material and philosophical content discursively to raise intriguing ambiguities and to problematize common assumptions about Cameron. In doing so, Rosen reveals Cameron as a deeply intellectually engaged photographer whose works not only embodied but also shaped the philosophical cross-currents of her day.'
Julie Codell, History of Photography (Taylor & Francis) December 2016

'The overworked persona of Cameron-a cartoonish figure of Freshwater fame, eccentric, domineering, least-beautiful of the Pattle sisters, forever chasing down Tennyson and his guests with her camera, forcing her servants to participate in long sessions of posing so that the household had to live off eggs and bacon-is put firmly to the side in Jeff Rosen's painstaking, revelatory, and serious assessment of the allegorical photographs. What matters to Rosen, and, it turns out, to the photographs themselves, is history: the political exigencies of the ten-year span in which these images were made, and in which their maker intended them to make sense.'
Jennifer Green-Lewis of George Washington University

'Jeff Rosen offers a serious, revelatory assessment of Cameron's allegorical works by situating them within their historical and imperial context... the delight of the book lies in its exploration of the differing ways in which Cameron 'embedded photographs with complex narratives about British colonial history'.
Heather Bozant Witcher, Saint Louis University, British Society for Literature and Science

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