What part would aesthetics or photographic style play in this photography, if any?
The book opens with an annotated comparison between a drawing of a lock from Beddington Manor House, Surrey, and a photograph of the same architectural detail, in order to assert the incomparable superiority of the photographic record, a claim that from our contemporary vantage point reveals much about the perceived relationship between photography and the past and the utility of photography as evidence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hundreds of amateur photographers contributed to the project of surveying the monuments of England’s past, including parish churches, village landmarks, medieval cottages, and folk customs, and preserving them for future generations.
The movement never had an official government mandate, although it did follow charges issued in essays and public papers diffused through many regional and local societies and committees; Edwards cites a statement by W.