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Empire Hardcover – 1 Dec 2013
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Selected by Martin Parr as one of his '10 Best Books of 2013' --British Journal of Photography
About the Author
Born in the West Midlands in 1981, Jon Tonks studied product design before becoming a staff photographer on a local newspaper. He moved to London to take a master's degree in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography at London College of Communication, and it was during his studies that he undertook a trip to Ascension Island which was to launch the 'Empire' project. Winner of an AOP award, Tonks has been published widely in the UK national press and his work is in a number of private collections. 'Empire' is his first book.
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Now the book itself gives an interesting insight to the other parts of the British Isles we do not normally see and a reminder of the Napoleonic wars as well, see the book for the connection, took me back to my school boy history days!
A careful flick through the pages from start to finish takes about 30 - 45 mins depending on how quick you turn the pages. I think the RRP around £30 is about right, cheaper from Amazon and other suppliers, but would not pay £100 for one.
There's a strong narrative throughout and I love the attention to detail and the way he's ordered and captioned the images. He's tackled an interesting subject (Britain's forgotten outposts) with sensitivity, poise and just the right amount of quirkiness. You feel like you're walking around these strange lands alongside him. As other reviewers have rightly pointed out, there's a wonderful sense of nostalgia. You really get the sense that you're entering a world that time forgot.
Design/production-wise this is without doubt one of the most beautifully crafted books I own.
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