Right, first up is a delightful book with one of the funniest titles I've heard for ages. I bring you Stand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron...
I didn't know very much about this book when I requested a review copy apart from the fact that I was intrigued by the front illustration. This is an illustrated biography of Julia Margaret Cameron's life, from her childhood in India and France, through her life at Freshwater, her career as a photographer and her final years in Ceylon.
Yes, I know, it's only a matter of time before Social Services pay us a visit for over-Victorianising our child. The shame. Anyway, back to the book. Looking at the front cover of the book, you will see an illustration of Cameron taking this photograph...
|Paul and Virginia (1864)|
|Annie, My First Success (1864)|
How lovely. And useful.
Don't be put off by the fact that it's a children's book. You could spend a month reading an adult biography of Cameron and not come away with as many facts as this little gem imparted to me in an afternoon. It is a charming companion piece to grown-up books because I got a real sense of the woman and her life. I loved the illustration of her walking down a street with her bangles jingling and a cup of tea, and the story of how children would run away from her and had to be bribed with sweets to pose.
Despite being aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, it has endnotes for the quotes, a decent bibliography and an index. Bravo to the publishers, Candlewick Press, for realising that children deserve scholarly books and that adults may want somewhere to start in their studies. Neither is the book a fluffy piece of loved-up biography; you really get the impression that Cameron was as maddening as she was brilliant. Her strangeness in dress and manners are amply displayed here, as is the fact that she never doubted her own opinion on things. She is a great role model for girls who need to know it is alright to be different and determined in their art and life.
|Julia Margaret Cameron Henry Herschel Hay Cameron|
You can pre-order this book direct from the publishers here, from Amazon US here, and from Amazon UK here. It will be released in September this year.
See you tomorrow...