A complete annotated collection of the original 1850s stereoscopic photograph series Scenes in Our Village by T. R. Williams brought together for the first time in living memory.
For the young Brian May, a fascination with 3-D picture cards given away in Weetabix packets led to a lifelong passion for stereoscopic images. It was in this way that May discovered the work of Thomas Richard Williams (1824-1871) who, in the 1850s, had created a series of 59 stereo cards depicting life in a small English village “Scenes in Our Village”.
In A Village Lost And Found, the product of more than 30 years research, May and his co-author, photographic historian Elena Vidal, present an exhaustive study of Scenes in Our Village. The village, whose identity was lost for 150 years, was only recently rediscovered by May, in 2003, still in existence in Oxfordshire. Their research is amazingly in-depth, but the book is utterly readable, and the pictures leap into glorious 3-D, viewed in the new focusing stereoscope which May has designed and produced, to bring the stereos to life, and then fold neatly into the slip-case of the book.
A Village Lost and Found is a significant contribution to our understanding of photographic history and the Victorian period. To quote the 1850s London Stereoscopic Company’s maxim, “No home should be without one!” A Village Lost and Found provides an extraordinary insight into English society in the mid-Victorian era, explains historic photographic techniques and explores the life of the enigmatic T. R. Williams, who appears, from time to time, Hitchcock-like, in his own photographs.
The authors are currently on a book tour and will be bringing their presentation to two venues in Los Angeles this month – on Tuesday, July 27th at the Downtown Independent Theater, and Thursday, July 29th at the Griffith Observatory’s Nimoy Theater. They will discuss their 30 years of exhaustive research and the challenging process of presenting the images in 3-D. A book signing will follow each presentation.
Visit the website www.londonstereo.com for more information on these events, the book and the authors.
“This is a picture book: an annotated book of photographs which tells a unique story – a story that has fascinated me for more than half a lifetime.” – Brian May