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Dreaming in Pictures: The Photography of Lewis Carroll Hardcover – August 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0300091694 ISBN-10: 0300091699

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300091699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300091694
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Published in conjunction with an exhibit that will travel from San Francisco to Houston, New York, and Chicago through January 2004, this volume features the photographic work of the beloved author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Many of Lewis Carroll's photographs are of young girls he knew, often posed in costume with elaborate scenery and props that convey a sense of fantasy similar to that portrayed in his fiction. Curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nickel focuses on the subject matter of Carroll's photographs and how it relates to the Victorian preoccupation with symbolism in art. He also discusses some previous interpretations of Carroll's work, including speculations about Carroll's personal relationships with the girls in his pictures. This volume is most suitable as a supplement to either of two other books recently published on Carroll's photographs: Roger Taylor and Edward Wakeling's Lewis Carroll: Photographer, a highly detailed overview of Carroll's life as a photographer, suitable for academic libraries; and Morton Cohen's Reflections in a Looking Glass, a solid introduction to Carroll's photography for public libraries. With thoughtful essays and high-quality reproductions, Nickel's book is also recommended for academic or larger public libraries.
Eric Linderman, East Cleveland P.L., OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Nickel's introduction to this splendid album of Lewis Carroll's photographs sports one factual howler (he identifies the king, James V, in Scott's Lady of the Lake, as English) and some poor and illogical wordings. But his persuasive explication of Carroll's photography and revisionist assessment of Carroll's character make up for such shortcomings. He says Carroll's Victorian circle saw more than met the eye in his pictures, filling in cultural resonance and even physical detail from their knowledge of philosophy, literature, and history. Performing a kind of visual Platonism, they recognized in a child in a makeshift costume before a backdrop that doesn't cover the wall behind it an emblem of a great person, incident, sentiment, or all three at once. Appreciation today suffers from the modernist assumption that a photograph represents material reality only. Besides reading the pictures incorrectly, modern eyes misconstrue Carroll's personality. Carroll was fond of little girls, Nickel says, but the photos and his diaries demonstrate equal liking, equally nonsexual, for boys and other adults. A breath-of-fresh-air of a book. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bernard M. Patten on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was meant to accompany the exhibit of the photography of Lewis Carroll that visited the San Francisco Museum of Art in 2002, Houston in 2003, and the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. Each photo has an attached discussion. The introduction to the collection by Director Neal Benezna is short and sweet. The discussions of the history and esthetics of Victoria photography (hagiography, prelapsarian freedom, tableaux vivants, historical reconstructions, imaginary themes, etc.) by author Douglas R. Nickel is useful and accurate as it appeared entirely based on the authoritative biography of Carroll by Cohen and on the scholarly work of Karoline Leach in her book "In the Shadow of the Dreamchild." Like Lewis Carroll's photos, this book has the excellent quality of directness, and an aesthetic purity that springs from a delight in the beautiful. Unfortunately, no nudes appeared in the exhibit and only one made its way into the book (Evelyn Hatch, figure 17, page 66.) That's a pity as it reflects badly on the freedom of artistic expression that Lewis Carroll championed. Another negative: The colored-in photos are not represented. They were interesting for many reasons and in a way anticipated the advent of color photography. I have five of them in my collection. They are truly beautiful and were photographed by Carroll and may have been colored by Carroll himself or by Miss Thompson, his woman friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Ranson on March 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Nichols has done a fantastic job of collecting some of Carroll's (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's) most memorable images here in his book. Why the title? Perhaps because so many of Dodgson's images are of various states of somnolence... only Nichols can answer this question, or perhaps that Dodgson was a dreamer, for we know this for he was, after all, the force behind the Alice books, Sylvie and Bruno, The Hunting of the Snark (all under the name Lewis Carroll, whereas his photography was under the name Charles Dodgson, his real name.)

Nichols provides a thorough and interesting history here, although note this is not really a book for anyone who is not seriously interested in Dodgson's work as a photographer - if you really want to get to know Dodgson by all means, buy this book!!! Also buy Edward Wakeling's fine book at the same time, The Princeton Collection, which is self-explanatory and more of Dodgson's work, also with some exposition.

A beautiful book, a rare treasure, and a delight for the scholar as well as perhaps, the lay-reader willing to delve fathoms deeper into Dodgson's work.

Well worth the dive ~

sadi ranson-polizzotti
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By mm on December 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was really hoping for a photography "coffee table" type book when I got this item, but the bulk of it is text, which albeit enlightening, was not at all what I expected. The images themselves are printed quite small, approximately the actual size of a daguerreotype, whereas the book is 10"x11", so I couldn't help but wonder why the pictures were not enlarged more. I also felt there were not enough images; I have no idea how large a body of work Lewis Carroll left for posterity, but it seemed lacking. Overall I was disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This added to my reading "Alice I Have Been" increasing the perspective in the book and also for my book group discussion.
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12 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The whole of the 'biographical' section of this book seems to be taken from Karoline Leach's insane and scurrilous book 'In the Shadow of the Dreamchild', from which it borrows the whole crazy concept of the so called 'Carroll myth'.
But this is still a very fine book and the best analysis of Carroll's art that has been produced to date - a world better than the anxious misinformed and apologetic stance taken by the nervous Roger Taylor.
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