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Faces of the Living Dead: The Belief in Spirit Photography


Faces of the Living Dead: The Belief in Spirit Photography Cover

ISBN13: 9780977282739
ISBN10: 0977282732
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the advent of photography, admirers of the medium considered the prints as accurate representations of a moment in time. How subjects looked, where they posed and other such seemingly concrete details were taken for granted. The nature of photography was to capture a moment in time and memorialize it. As 21st century viewers of the images in


Links the popularity of spirit photography to historical eras of war and destruction.

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Grady, February 8, 2007 (view all comments by Grady)
An Erudite and Fascinating Examination of Spiritualism and Photography

Though the subject of spirit photography is not a novel one, few writers have offer the degree of academic investigation, research, and fascinating illustrated documentation of the subject as has Martyn Jolly in FACES OF THE LIVING DEAD: THE BELIEF IN SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY. This beautifully produced book, published on fine paper and designed with the topic in mind, surveys the advent of Spiritualism in the mid-nineteenth century to its gradual dissolution into the New Age Realm in the twentieth century.

Jolly writes with infectious enthusiasm for his subject, never stooping to denigrate his topic but rather electing to explain the times and incidents which contributed to the need for Spiritualism and the accompanying wide use of the camera to provide desperately needed evidence that the departed can communicate with us. The book is rich in examples of some very startling photographs that mark the appearance of faces, bodies, and gauzy hoverings in the old photographic portraits that became so popular as the camera gained a foothold in artistic and documentary use.

Even if this well-designed book were only of images, the volume would be a fascinating collection of otherworldly strangeness. But it is to Jolly's credit that the reverse is true: his writing is so excellent that the accompanying photographs are almost superfluous, so meticulous is his descriptive commentary. Yet marry the two - the visual and the written - and the result is a book of endless fascination. This book is a fine addition to the libraries focusing on photography, on the history of Spiritualism, and on the needy imaginations of those who shared these treasures with the world. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
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Product Details

Mark Batty Publisher
Jolly, Martyn
Unexplained Phenomena
Subjects & Themes - General
Photoessays & Documentaries
General Photography
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.6 x 9 x 0.7 in 2.0625 lb

Related Subjects

» Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Theory and Criticism

Faces of the Living Dead: The Belief in Spirit Photography
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Product details 160 pages Mark Batty Publisher - English 9780977282739 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Links the popularity of spirit photography to historical eras of war and destruction.
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