Photographs by Bill Brandt. Introduced by Raymond Mortimer.
London. B.T. Batsford Ltd. 1936. First edition. Hardback, with illustrated laminated boards, photographic endpapers. 8 pages. 63 b&w gravure plates. 240 x 290mm (9½ x 11½"). 0.45kg. . English, with French captions. Very good; light shelf wear to boards, some rubbing to edges and forecorners, a small 1cm area of loss at base of spine, a couple of small abrasions to front board; internally very clean.
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 it's marvellous traditions but it also has it's intense failings.
[Hasselblad Center. The Open Book. p.122-123; Roth. The Book of 101 Books. p.90-91; Auer. 802 Photo Books. p.230; Parr & Badger. The Photobook: A History Volume I. p.77, 80]