Friday Book Club: Miss Peregrine and Photography

SWT-Book-ClubsAnd now for an encore presentation!  some of you saw this back in October, when I blearily typed in “October 8” instead of “Nov 8th”.  Late night blogging is a dangerous, dangerous business.  But now it is actually Novemeber, so here (again) is some info on Miss Peregrine!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, is a compelling story.  But if you ask someone, “Hey, have you read Miss Peregrine?” the odds are that the reply won’t be, “You mean the one about the kids in time loop?”  The reply will be, “You mean the one with all those creepy photos?”  The story is built around the photos, and the photos are unforgettably strange.


From Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Some people’s reaction to the photos is to run away screaming.  Others want to see more.  If you have an interest in vintage trick photography, here are a few links to get you started.  First of all, you’ll want to check out this article by the author of Miss Peregrine, Ransom Riggs.  In this article, Riggs explains how he found the photos.  Here’s an excerpt:

You find a lot of junk when you’re searching through lost and tossed photo ephemera, but every so often you’ll find a gem, a wallet-sized masterpiece you’re certain could hang on the wall of a gallery if only someone with a name had taken it. Find one or two of those and you’re hooked for life.

Every snapshot collector has obsessions. Some only collect photos of cars. Others like World War II, or babies, or old-timey girls in old-timey swimsuits. I happen to collect the weird stuff: photos that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up a little. The uncanny. I don’t mean circus freaks and kids in Halloween costumes, either — I mean photos that seem wrong in a way that’s hard to put your finger on, so unusual they make you look at them a second and then a third time, then reward you with uneasy dreams. The kind of photos that seem to stare at you from across a room.

You can find the full article at

As if one clown wasn't creepy enough, we have clown twins.  From:  Miss Peregrine

As if one clown wasn’t creepy enough, we have clown twins. From: Miss Peregrine

If you have an interest in vintage trick photography, you can start at the beginning – the Victorians were quite interested in it.  The website io9 has done several articles on odd Victorian photos.  This article by Cyrique Lamar has some truly bizarre trick photography stuff, including the mummy photo below, showing that trick photography has been around as long as, well, photography.  This article also has links to vintage photos of ventriloquist dummies and early cosplay.

Those Wacky Victorians with their mummy jokes!  From the article on by Cyrique Lamar

Those Wacky Victorians with their mummy jokes!

For a range of trick photos including Victorian and photos from the early and mid-1900s, this flickr group is a treasure trove.  Here’s a cat, proving that even before the Internet, people know what photography was REALLY for – cat pictures.

I can haz photoshop?

I can haz photoshop?

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