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The way we were: the rise of photography

Extracts from memoirs and diaries, chosen by Ian Irvine

By Ian Irvine   February 2014

DH Lawrence, who complained that his beard looked black in photos, 1920s

In 1843, Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes to Mary Russell Mitford:

“Do you know anything about that wonderful invention of the day, called the daguerreotype? Have you seen any portraits produced by means of it? Think of a man sitting down in the sun and leaving his facsimile in all its full completion of outline and shadow, steadfast on a plate, at the end of a minute and a half! The Mesmeric disembodiment of spirits strikes one as a degree…

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