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Stephen Herbert

Brian Clegg

The Man who Stopped Time

Moving pictures are one of the main things that define the coming of the modern age, but the name of the first person to project a moving image is seldom heard. In The Man Who Stopped Time: The Illuminating Story of Eadweard Muybridge, Brian Clegg looks at the life of this man, and at why he is less well known than he should be.

Muybridge quickly progressed in his photographic career, but when his wife had a baby, he discovered that he wasn't the father - it was in fact a charmer called Harry Larkyns. Muybridge sought out Larkyns and shot him dead - which should have meant the death penalty for Muybridge, but somehow the jury took his side and he was freed.

Muybridge's luck continued - he was commissioned by the weathy Leland Stanford to photographically investigate the movement of horses. Muybridge's inventiveness meant that soon he was displaying this with his zoöpraxiscope - essentially the first movie projector.

I felt that the book was a bit unexciting at first, despite the murder. With Muybridge's career in a rapidly improving technology, not to mention the character of Harry Larkyns, I'm sure that there was opportunity for it to be spiced up a bit. But as I got into the book I found it became much more interesting, not only for those who want to know about the history of moving pictures, but also for the story of a man who never seemed to quite achieve the fame he deserved. info
Hardcover 276 pages  
ISBN: 0309101123
Salesrank: 3445158
Published: 2007 Joseph Henry Press
Marketplace:New from $54.27:Used from $5.00
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Hardcover 272 pages  
ISBN: 0750948620
Salesrank: 1518868
Weight:1.63 lbs
Published: 2007 The History Press
Marketplace:New from £20.77:Used from £0.01
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ISBN: 0309101123
Salesrank: 2980277
Weight:0.55 lbs
Published: 1900 Joseph Henry Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 48.35:Used from CDN$ 3.07
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Product Description

The photographs of Eadweard Muybridge are immediately familiar to us. Less familiar is the dramatic personal story of this seminal and wonderfully eccentric Victorian pioneer, now brought to life for the first time in this engaging and thoroughly entertaining biography.

His work is iconic: the first icons of the modern visual age. Men, women, boxers, wrestlers, racehorses, elephants and camels frozen in time, captured in the act of moving, fighting, galloping, living. Scarcely a day goes by without their derivate use somewhere in today's media. And if most of us have seen Muybridge's distinctive stop-motion photographs, all of us have seen the fruit of his extraordinary technological innovation: today's cinema and television.

But it is his personal life that possesses all the ingredients of a classic non-fiction best-seller: a passionately driven man struggling against the odds; dire treachery and shocking betrayal; a cast of larger-than-life characters set against a backdrop of San Francisco and the Far West in its most turbulent and dangerous era; a profusion of scientific and artistic advances and discoveries, one hotly following on another; the nervous intensity of two spectacular courtroom dramas (one pitting Muybridge against the richest man in the land and staring ruin in the face, the other sees him fighting for his life). And for the opening act, a foul murder on a dark and stormy night.

Skillfully articulating the fascinating history of a now ubiquitous technology, author Brian Clegg combines ingredients from science and biography to create an eminently readable, fast-paced, and surprising story.