Robert E. Lee in War and Peace - The Photographic History of a Confederate and American Icon, Donald A. Hopkins

Robert E. Lee in War and Peace - The Photographic History of a Confederate and American Icon, Donald A. Hopkins

The main focus of the book is on the sixty-one known 'from life' photographs of Robert E. Lee (pictures printed from the original negative). The aim is to look at each picture, describe when and where it was taken, and by whom, and at the same time provide a brief history of the development of photography during this period, and potted biographies of the photographers.

Lee was photographs on a surprisingly small number of occasions. Only two pre-war pictures are known, followed by a handful of wartime photos and a larger number of post-war photos, when images of the defeated general were highly in demand.

I was fascinated by the number of 'altered images' of Lee. This started early in the Civil War, when the head of Lee from the second pre-war photograph was altered to replace his civilian cloths with a military uniform, but quickly became the main source of 'new' photographs of Lee, with an astounding number of doctored versions of most of the original photos produced.

This is a fascinating book. It covers the period of the birth of photography, and the author has produced some interesting material on that topic. The limited number of original photos of Lee have been modified and altered countless times, so there is a detective story attached to many pictures. Although this is quite a narrowly focused book, I found it a very interesting read.

Chapters
1 - Antebellum Photographs of Robert E. Lee
2 - Civil War Period Photography
3 - Robert E. Lee's Wartime Photographers
4 - General Lee as He Never Was
5 - A General Steps Forward
6 - In All His Martial Splendor
7 - Wartime Original 'From Life' Images of R. E. Lee
8 - Robert E Lee's Postwar Photographers
9 - A Warrior Transformed
10 - The General Mounts Up
11 - Lee the Academician
12 - A Champion for Unity, Both North and South
13 - The Final Years
14 - Mysteries of Time and Place
15 - The Legend Lives On

Appendices
A - Evolution of the Daguerreotype Portrait
B - A Family Resemblance
C - The Bazaar at Liverpool
D - Lee in Profile
E - Prints from Photographs
F - An Interview with Author Donald A. Hopkins

Author: Donald A. Hopkins
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Publisher: Savas Beatie
Year: 2013


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