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The Devil's Bridge

The Devil's Bridge

Photographer: Frith, Francis (1822 - 1898)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1865

Shelfmark: Cup.410.g.107

Item number: 0

Length: 12.2

Width: 16.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

British travelling photographer and publisher of continental views Francis Frith spent 6 weeks following the course of the Rhine and stopping at tourist sites in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. His photographs illustrate scenes from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's novel Hyperion. The photographer also includes an Artist's Preface in the book which reflects on the 'graphic power of the Author's descriptions' and 'the curious appropriateness of some of the views, not only for the illustration, but even for the confirmation of the text.' Longfellow's fictional hero Paul Flemming "lay in utter solitude and silence on the rounded summit of one of the mountains of the Furca Pass, and gazed...at the glaciers and snowy mountain-peaks around him...A sudden turn in the road brings you in sight of a lofty bridge, stepping from cliff to cliff with a single stride. A mighty cataract howls beneath it, like an evil spirit, and fills the air with mist; and the mountain wind claps its hands, and shrieks through the narrow pass, Ha! Ha! This is the Devil's Bridge. It leads the traveller across the fearful chasm, and through a mountain gallery into the broad, green, silent meadow of Andernach."

Text by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from the novel 'Hyperion'

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