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You have made these Secrets sound fascinating, and I have an Amazon gift token, so here I come ...

Dark Puss

Excellent writing, thank you for re-publishing it. The first Daguerreotype with a person in it dates from 1838 I think. It and the calotype process were certainly in use in Britain from 1841 onwards so I'm not so sure about your statement "This was a time before the census as we know it, before photographs as such" when referring to the 1840's.


While the processes you mention may well have been in existence in the period, I think Sara was referring to the fact they would not have been common, i.e. a writer may well not have any photographic records on which to base a person or an event, whereas later the likelihood of discovering such a resource increases.


I hope you'll enjoy them, Sandy. I'm looking forward to reading "Brighton Belle" when it comes!

Dark Puss

Don't underestimate how rapidly the daguerrotype took off, certainly by the early 1850's they were being offered at very affordable prices in newspaper advertisements. There was a huge demand for portraiture from the newly wealthy emerging middle classes during this period I think and compared to a painting these early photographic techniques were very cheap. I'm not sure how well a daguerrotype might have lasted, they are extremely fragile outside of their protective glass-fronted case.

Now of course I'm speculating and I don't have time to check my hypothesis more fully and Ms Sheridan has both the expertise and has had the time to do the research so I'm sure her view is correct. If I can find out more about the take-up of photography in the 1840's I'll come back and post it.

Sandra Gulland

These novels look so interesting ... exactly what I like in literary historical fiction.

It's frustrating that they are not available on Kindle so that those of us not in the UK can read them. (I'm in Mexico.)



Sandra, I see that several of Sara's novels (including her most recent ones, e.g. are available on Kindle.

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