Drawn from the National Portrait Gallery in London, one of the great collections of photographs in the world, this exquisitely reproduced album features 150 prominent figures from Britain's past and present. This stunning collection of historic portraits--some famous, others rarely seen--marks the 150th anniversary of the invention of photography, providing not only an engaging survey of its development from the earliest daguerreotypes onward, but also a fascinating pictorial Who's Who of British culture from Queen Victoria to Princess Di. Featuring a preface by Alan Fern, Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., this volume presents an unprecedented gathering of great portraits. There are major figures from literature, ranging from Charles Dickens and Thomas Carlyle, to D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, to Graham Greene and T.S. Eliot; scientists such as Michael Faraday and Charles Darwin; influential thinkers Bertrand Russell and John Ruskin; political figures including Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan; artists such as James Whistler, Aubrey Beardsley, and David Hockney; and entertainment figures from Lillie Langtry and John Gielgud to the Beatles and Sting. And the photographers themselves assemble their own Who's Who of masters, including Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, Edward Steichen, Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and Cornell Capa. Not the least of this book's charm is the delightfully informative commentary Rogers provides for each sitter and photographer, capsule biographies filled with amusing asides (Florence Nightingale, for instance, thought her portrait looked like "Medea after killing her children"). But the true appeal of the book, the attraction, is simply turning page after page and coming face to face with another figure of Britain's past, staring out at us in defiance of time, captured forever in the thinnest layer of chemicals.