Lot 154 of 361:
With twenty-four albumen photos by Frith  

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Lot closed - unsold
$300 - $500

Hyperion: A Romance by Henry W. Longfellow. Illustrated with Twenty-Four Photographs of the Rhine, Switzerland, and the Tyrol, by Francis Frith

Longfellow, Henry W.


Alfred William Bennett



x, [2], 270, [1] pp. Preface by Francis Frith. With 24 mounted albumen photographs by Frith. (Small 4to) 22.7x18 cm (9x7"), original cloth with gilt-stamped decoration, all edges gilt.

The book is a landmark in the intersection of photography and literature. Francis Frith, a renowned British photographer, was one of the most outspoken on the aesthetics of photography. He was among the first photographers to use glass-negative and the albumen print process.

 "The book is notable for its direct association of landscape photographs as non-literal visual equivalents of literary ideas" - Truthful Lens. "...Hyperion was a touristic narrative. Set in the early nineteenth century, the story's trajectory follows the course of the Rhine, with stops at tourist sites. The year before this edition was published, Frith had traveled the Rhine, and from those travels had produced The Gossiping Photographer on the Rhine. It is possible to imagine him picking up a copy of Hyperion on those travels, much like the clientele of Tauchnitz, or simply bringing it along to guide his perambulations and then deciding that it was a good idea to illustrate it himself. In any case, the photographs that resulted from this trip found their way into Hyperion...Thus Frith was not only the consumer but also the producer of the illustrated novel, and performed both the functions of the reader tracing the protagonist's journey and of the photographer confirming the fact of the journey through photographs" - Armstrong. See Carol Armstrong's book for an exhaustive scholarly treatment of the relationship between Frith's photography and Longfellow's text. - Truthful Lens, 106. Armstrong, Scenes in a Library (1998), pp.284, 332-42, and passim.

Lot Amendments

Spine perished, some rubbing to edges and corners; hinges cracked, first signature starting, some sprung leaves, mild foxing and soil; photographs very good; good or better overall.

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