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The Albert Monument, With Views Up Bohemia And Havelock Roads

The Albert Monument, With Views Up Bohemia And Havelock Roads

Photographer: Frith, Francis (1822-1898)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1864

Shelfmark: Cup.410.g.108

Item number: 3

Length: 11

Width: 16.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

“Look there, now! That is really a pretty town view – a convergence of three or four streets, handsome monument in the centre, and a bold hill, topped by a ruined castle, crowning the whole. The monument is the thousand-and-first tribute that English towns have raised to the memory of ‘Albert the Good.’ Half the credit of my picture I give to the noble-hearted proprietor of No.2, George Street. ‘Would you kindly permit an exceedingly humble individual, blackened below suspicion by his degrading profession, and an utter stranger to you, to carry his vile machinery into your drawing-room, and work from the window?’ – ‘Certainly sir. Here is the key of my house – go where you like!’ ”

Descriptive letterpress by Francis Frith from his book 'The Gossiping Photographer at Hastings'

This view by Francis Frith (1822-1898) of the Albert Memorial in Hastings, East Sussex, is one of sixteen photographs illustrating his book ‘The Gossiping Photographer at Hastings’ published in 1864. Frith was a pioneer in the field of travel photography, beginning his career with three trips to Egypt and the Holy Land between 1856 and 1860. In 1859 he founded his own publishing firm in Reigate, Surrey, which issued albums and postcards of views throughout Britain. These sold to an eager tourist market and the firm became the largest of its kind in the 19th century, continuing to be run as a family business until 1971. In his first album, ‘Egypt and Palestine Photographed and Described’, Frith also wrote the letterpress commentaries which accompanied his photographs and ‘The Gossiping Photographer at Hastings’ continues this dual authorship. Its text is notable for the gently satirical attitude which he adopts towards the 19th-century English seaside resort and its sister towns.

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