P is for The Pencil of Nature… a wonderful illustration of necromancy

Here is a wonderful post by The National Media Museum on Fox Talbot’s “The Pencil of Nature,” the first commercially published book to be illustrated with photographs. It relates strongly to comments I made earlier in my 3/11/2014 post on e-books available on the history of photography. Enjoy this interesting post.

National Media Museum blog

The Pencil of Nature , published between June 1844 and April 1846, was the first commercially published book to be illustrated with photographs. As such, it is a landmark not only in the history of photography but in the way that we view our world.

Cover of fascicle 1 of The Pencil of Nature, 1844, William Henry Fox Talbot © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA Cover of fascicle 1 of The Pencil of Nature, 1844, William Henry Fox Talbot © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Its significance to the history of photography has been compared to that of the Gutenberg Bible in printing. Indeed, until recently, surviving complete copies were thought to be rarer than Gutenberg Bibles.

Plate XVIII from The Pencil of Nature, Gate of Christchurch, William Henry Fox Talbot © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA Plate XVIII from The Pencil of Nature, Gate of Christchurch, William Henry Fox Talbot © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Fortunately, that has been shown not to be the case. However, whilst the exact number of copies produced isn’t known with certainty, surviving…

View original post 1,182 more words

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