"The English At Home" 1936 BRANDT, Bill


[63] pp.

B.T. Batsford Ltd.


9 3/8" x 7 3/8"


Sixty-Three Photographs by Bill Brandt

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First edition, first impression, of the photographer's first book. "The book is notable for its pointed contrasts of upper- and working-class life, but also for Brandt's sheer relish for the mysteries and rituals of Englishness" (ODNB). Roth 101, Parr & Badger. Quarto. Original glazed photographically illustrated boards, titles to front board and spine in red.

A very good copy of Bill Brandt's first, influential photo book. At the time of publication Brandt was working as a freelance photographer for Weekly Illustrated and Picture Post in London and he applies his skills for social documentary to great effect in The English At Home. With photos of London policemen, busby hats, Harrow garden parties and fox hunting the book lulls the reader into a false sense of patriotic security. Soon images of miners, cramped working class homes, 'A Whitechapel Blind Beggar' and 'A Billingsgate Porter' begin to encroach. Brandt then makes definite statements concerning the disparity of the classes by creating such juxtapositions as 'Workmen's Restaurant' and 'Clubmen's Sanctuary', 'Circus Boyhood' and 'Nursery Girlhood', and 'East End Playground' and 'Kensington Children's Party'. Brandt, who grew up in Germany, has the eyes of a relative outsider. His photographs portray England as a country of contradictions; England has its marvellous traditions, but it also has its intense failings.

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