31 May 2007
LIEUT.-COL. W.W. HOOPER
Burmah. A Series of One Hundred Photographs, Illustrating Incidents Connected with the British Expeditionary Force to that Country. London: J.A. Lugard, Bangalore: C.G. Brown, and Calcutta: Thacker, Spink and Co., . Oblong folio (235 x 320mm). 102 albumen prints including one three-part panorama of Mandalay (100 x 290mm), other sizes c.100 x 150mm to c.150 x 215mm. (Light scattered spotting, mainly in the mounts.) Original green half roan gilt (joints starting, extremities rubbed).
FIRST EDITION. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORDS OF BURMA, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH TWO EXECUTION PHOTOGRAPHS not found in most copies. Although the western provinces along the sea coast had been annexed to Britain after 1852, it was not until this expedition, during which the King was captured, that the whole country became part of the British Empire. W.W. Hooper nearly lost his life trying to secure views of Burmese executions. A contemporary report in The Times greatly criticised Hooper's treatment of this subject. This engendered a debate on the morality of time-of-death photographs, and caused a tremendous reaction in Britain with Members of Parliament demanding Hooper's prosecution. The drama ended with a full court inquiry, following which Hooper was publicly reprimanded. RARE.
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