5.0 out of 5 stars
Sara Hannant brings English Rituals into the 21st century, 23 Jan 2012
Sara Hannant brings English Rituals to life through her unique photographer's eye in this informative, surprising book. Every photo is a celebration which manages to capture the sheer enjoyment of the participants in a wide range of rituals from around the country. As a Londoner, I was especially pleased to see how many ceremonies also take place or have been revived in recent years in large cities, such as Jack-in-the-Green in Deptford and Beating the Bounds in Hackney.
Each set of photos is accompanied by a well researched and easy to read potted history of the ritual including details of what takes place, where and why. Each outfit worn, item carried, cast, or kept is explained and photographed in context. Sara shares her lifelong interest of the Sussex Lewes Bonfire Societies with us while including events in Lancashire, Cornwall and Yorkshire, amongst others. Whether photographing fire festivals at night to sunny daytime dances or processions she gets close to the action every time, engaging with the participants and taking us along for the ride.
After reading this book and losing myself in the photographs I felt something of the empowerment that comes from such group gatherings which connect so strongly with England's past, alive in the present.