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5.5.4 Confirmation

Image 53 Photographer/Painter: Henry Knight, St Leonards on Sea. Subject: F.E. and Amynora Field, 1877.

You may find it difficult to read the ver
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5.5.3 Birthdays

Image 49 Photographer/Painter: Warwick Brookes, Manchester. Subject: Portrait of Max Witte.
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5.5.2 Skirts and breeching

Look carefully at Images 46, 47 and 48.

Image 46 Photographer/Painter: Hills & Saunders, Eton. Subject: Michael Cahne Seymour, 1871.

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5.3 Prized possessions

Image 42 Photographer/Painter: Hawkins, York. Subject: Details unknown.

Prized possessions also feature in the family album. Family pets, cats and
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4.9.2 Idealisation

Early photographers were adept at using natural lighting to idealise the sitter. Manuals of good practice were full of advice on adapting the lighting to soften wrinkles and wreathe blemishes in shadow.

For ladies of a certain age, who often give the photographer a deal of trouble, it is advisable to employ a very soft light falling in front, which softens the wrinkles and protuberances of the face, and obliterates
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3.4 Characterisation and sexual stereotyping

In attempting to characterise their sitters, 19th-century commercial photographers did not intend or attempt any serious psychoanalytical exploration of individual character such as we perceive it today in our post-Freudian world. They sought instead to stereotype by age and sex within a narrow range of positive virtues, which had previously been approved, within the conventions of painting: modesty, simplicity and chastity for women; dignity, strength and nobility for men.


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Activity 2

Click on 'View document' below to open and read the remainder of Audrey Linkman's article on 'Photography and art theory', then answer the questions.

3.3 Limited positive characterization

The painted portrait was, however, perceived to be more than a mere ‘map of the face’. It was also meant to reveal aspects of the inner as well as the outer being.

Figure 10
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Activity 1

Click on 'View document' below to open and read part of Audrey Linkman's article on 'Photography and art theory', then answer the questions.

3.2 Idealisation

There were fundamental principles of painted portraiture that affected every element of the portrait, from expression and pose to background and lighting. The first imperative was the need to idealize the sitter.


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2.2 Photographs as primary sources

As a primary source of historical evidence the still photograph remains largely unexamined and unexplored. Many academic historians remain wedded to the written word and are often mistrustful or dismissive of the still image. Photographs continue to be used merely to prettify or to provide necessary breathing space in dense texts. In fact, the task of finding ‘illustrations’ is often only considered after a book is written. What could indicate more clearly that the photograph has n
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2.1.1 Card mounted photographs 1860–c.1914

Figure 3
Image 3 Photographer/Painter: Anon.
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1 How to avoid damage when handling photographs

Remember to treat your photographs with the consideration demanded by their age and fragility. Careless handling and storage will cause damage.

  • Handle photographs at the edges: the skin carries chemicals which cause deterioration (professional archivists wear cotton gloves).

  • Hold a photograph in both hands or support an unmounted print with a piece of cardboard to avoid unnecessary handling.

  • Never write on a photograp
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should:

  • be aware that photographs are shaped by a set of conventions based on ideas and practices which are not immediately apparent;

  • be aware that photographs, like other documentary records, are partial and biased;

  • be aware that photographs, like other documentary records, require critical analysis and careful interpretation;

  • be aware of the importance of contextualisation in analysing photographs.


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References

Amis, Martin (1989) London Fields, Penguin.
Austen, Jane (1818) Northanger Abbey, Penguin.
Austen, Jane (1813) Pride and Prejudice, Oxford World's Classics.
Baldick, Chris (1990) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, Oxford University Press.
Beckson, K
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3 Conclusion

In this unit you have been introduced to the main components of prose fiction and have been given the opportunity to develop and practise your critical and analytical skills. These are essential skills you will need to continue your stufdies in this area.


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2.7 Style and language

What do we mean when we talk of a particular writer's style? It might help us to think of style as a way of organising and expressing narrative unique to the writer, as distinctive and personal a characteristic as the writer's handwriting or the prints on the fingers holding the pen. Just as no two sets of fingerprints are alike, so no two writers are alike. Writers write in a style that reflects their individual view of the world.

The word ‘style’ can generally be used to encompass
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2.5 Characterisation

How do writers of prose fiction make us respond to the imaginary people they create? In order to encourage us to continue reading writers must force us to react in some way to their characters, whether it is to identify, empathise or sympathise with them, to dislike or disapprove of them, or to pass judgement on their actions, behaviour and values. As we have already seen, the fundamental question we repeatedly ask when we read a story is what happened next. Equally importantly we want to kno
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2.3 Narrative perspectives

Two of the most fundamental choices that face the author of a fictional narrative is to decide who is to be the narrator and how the story is to be narrated.

Activity 2

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2.1 The act of reading

The act of reading has been characterised by Robert DiYanni as involving three interrelated processes: experience, interpretation, and evaluation. The first thing we do when we read a novel is to experience it, that is to say, we respond to the development of the narrative and the characters presented to us. The story we read if it does its job effectively affects us on certain levels. We become involved in the events and incidents that befall the characters. The language of the narrative for
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