Queen legend Brian May writes second book with DMU PhD student



Queen guitarist Brian May and a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) doctoral student are writing a second book on fascinating type of Victorian photography. Dr May and Denis Pellerin met due to their shared fascination and passion for stereoscopic pictures – 3D images first developed in the 1800s.

Their first book, Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell, written along with archivist Paula Fleming, was a best seller and their second will be accompanied by a major exhibition at London’ Tate Gallery.

Mr Pellerin studies at DMU’s acclaimed Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC), which is home to some of the most highly-regarded academics in the field. He met the Queen legend while at a viewing of Dr May’s celebrated stereo card collection, amassed over some 40 years.

Denis said: “When I met him, I found he was much more than a star and that I was facing an amazingly kind, brilliant, talented nd humble person, a true gentleman, one with a real passion for stereo photographs who had managed to keep intact the wonder he felt each time he was looking at a good picture.”

Dr May said: “I think it’s fair to say Denis has significantly changed my life – opened doors, made some dreams come true.

It’s rare enough for me to find anyone who is as passionate about stereoscopic images as I am, but Denis also has a complete dedication to the subject.”

Stereoscopic images were a craze in Victorian times, were made by overlaying two images, one slightly shifted, creating a 3D effect. Expensive and ornate card viewers were built so fans could see them.

Their second book, called The Poor Man’s Picture Gallery, comes with Dr May’s specially-designed viewer and explores the link between stereoscopic photography and Victorian paintings. The pair have been working on the project for several years, finding and restoring the images.

The six-month exhibition at the Tate begins in October and runs until June 2015. An exclusive lecture, on behalf of the Royal Photographic Society, takes place on 9 October.

In November last year, Dr May presented his research to a packed audience at DMU in an event which was a showcase for the work of the PHRC. Established in 2011, it is a centre for international scholarship and world-renowned research and is already the largest concentration of photographic historians in Europe.

The PHRC has a growing number of strategic alliances and its current partners include the British Library; Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington; National Media Museum, Bradford; The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford and the Société Française de Photographie, Paris.

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