Tim has asked "who was Clarissa Frances Miles"? An elusive character, that's who... I'm actually delving further into her life at this very moment for something (so watch this space, but not right now). Clarissa had connections with several of the families in big houses (1/9) https://twitter.com/TimothyDaw/status/1362665694656102400
in and around the Salisbury Plain/Stonehenge area. Tim has discovered her penchant for dowsing, but she was also interested in thought-transference, especially at a distance - several of her experiments were published by the Society for Psychical Research (the SPR, seances (2/9)
and spiritualism is another thread connecting these families). As a photographer, Clarissa had won numerous prizes for her work in the 1880s and 1890s. I would say that she was best-known for the photos she took at Stonehenge in 1901, but there's a problem here - although (3/9)
some of the photos she took that year during the restoration & excavation work around Stone 56 have been republished many many times over the years, hardly anyone ever bothers to credit her. Why? She is clearly credited by name in the two published reports on the 1901 work (4/9)
(yes, two - the one by William Gowland published in 'Archaeologia' in 1902, and the one by Detmar Blow published in the RIBA's journal the same year. The latter was, curiously, never cited in an archaeological publication until 2015. Again, why?), and her name is attached (5/9)
to archive copies, so there really is no excuse. She seems to have been ever-present before and during the 1901 work. Here are a few of my favourites. This one shows the architect Detmar Blow, with a lady sat between the trilithons beyond him, her back to camera. Blow was (6/9)
the man in charge of the work at Stonehenge in 1901, by the way, not Gowland.
Here's Blow again, this time with a slightly uncomfortable-looking Lady Florence Antrobus, wife of the then-owner of Stonehenge SIr Edmund Antrobus (4th Baronet). The big leaning stone is the (7/9)
one straightened in 1901. The bluestone under it was left as it was. Finally, it wasn't all sarsens in 1901 - here's a shepherd, sheep and barrow, and the copyright declaration form that all Clarissa's photos in the National Archives are attached to. As I said, more to (8/9)
come on Clarissa. In the meantime, if anyone knows anything about her, including the whearabouts of any of her photos, do get in touch... (9/9).
@MartynBarber2 Sounds fascinating!
@amalexathorn It's complicated. One of the key problems, which you'll be familiar with, is that a lot of the people connected with Clarissa have had big biographies written about them, but spiritualism, psychical research, archaeology & Clarissa were clearly not of interest to the biographer.
@MartynBarber2 Sigh, it's so annoying when you 'see' people floating just under the surface (or between the lines) of biographies. I suppose that's the fault of the genre, and perhaps the way to get round it is collective biographies which I think are becoming more popular.
@MartynBarber2 Or interlinking biography-led histories like "The Five" or "Square Hauntings".
@amalexathorn Absolutely - look specifially at late 19th/early 20th century photographers at *That Place* at the moment, so using photography as a thread to connect some wildly disparate characters.
@MartynBarber2 The spiritualism/SPR angle is super interesting as well - I wonder if she's listed as a member in SPR journals?
@amalexathorn I can't actually remember if she's listed as a member (notes on other laptop), but reports on her experiments appear over several issues. There are also articles, including one in 'Country Life', about her dowsing.
@MartynBarber2 @WiltshireMuseum seems to have 46 photos - DZSWS:1986.7412/58 (search Stonehenge 1901 http://www.wiltshireheritagecollections.org.uk/ )
@TimothyDaw @WiltshireMuseum Yes - tracking down how the various copies got to different museums and archives is a job in itself...
@MartynBarber2 @WiltshireMuseum has three (at least) of those shepherd pictures - uncredited as to who took them. DZSWS:1986.7418/19/20 Always loved them.
@MartynBarber2 This is a brilliant photograph!
@DawnCansfield It is, isn't it. This is why Clarissa is so high up on my "need to know more" list...
@MartynBarber2 Superb - so evocative.
@MartynBarber2 Martyn - Wow what a great mine of information, looks like my random question was at the right time. And she needs to be properly acknowledged. Thanks
@TimothyDaw Indeed - we're onto it...
@MartynBarber2 @threadreaderapp Unroll
@TimothyDaw Sorry we only unroll consecutive tweets from the same author, but if you want to grab the whole convo try @pdfmakerapp! https://twitter.com/pdfmakerapp/status/1290759123944894465 🤖
@MartynBarber2 Really interesting set of interests. I've read about connections between prehistory and spiritualism, is there anything on similar connections with photography
@Sarah_May1 There is indeed - quite a lot, and not just with spirit photography. Kitty Hauser touched on it in her book 'Shadow Sites', and I wrote (a little speculatively) about Crawford's problems with ghosts and cropmarks here:
@MartynBarber2 Lovely! Thanks
@Sarah_May1 It's definitely in my "about time I did something with this" list.
@MartynBarber2 You've done it again
@MartynBarber2 Great thread!!! Any evidence for her dowsing on what is now the training area martyn? Bizarrely I’m writing on this at the moment!!
@richardhosgood Still trying to pin this aspect of her work down - at present, all I can offer is a firm "don't know".