Pandaemonium 1660–1886: The Coming of the Machine as Seen by Contemporary Observers

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9781848315853: Pandaemonium 1660–1886: The Coming of the Machine as Seen by Contemporary Observers
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Collecting texts taken from letters, diaries, literature, scientific journals and reports, Pandæmonium gathers a beguiling narrative as it traces the development of the machine age in Britain. Covering the years between 1660 and 1886, it offers a rich tapestry of human experience, from eyewitness reports of the Luddite Riots and the Peterloo Massacre to more intimate accounts of child labour, Utopian communities, the desecration of the natural world, ground-breaking scientific experiments, and the coming of the railways. Humphrey Jennings, co-founder of the Mass Observation movement of the 1930s and acclaimed documentary film-maker, assembled an enthralling narrative of this key period in Britain’s national consciousness. The result is a highly original artistic achievement in its own right. Thanks to the efforts of his daughter, Marie-Louise Jennings, Pandæmonium was originally published in 1985, and in 2012 it was the inspiration behind Danny Boyle’s electrifying Opening Ceremony for the London Olympic Games. Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the scenario for the ceremony, contributes a revealing new foreword for this edition.

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Review:

‘Pandæmonium was the biggest single inspiration for the Olympics Opening Ceremony ... the book is the equivalent of Pepys giving you a guided tour of the birth of electricity and the mechanical age – it’s brilliant, exciting and essential.’ Author: Danny Boyle

‘Stimulating to mind and imagination ... a monument to one of the unique artists of our time, a visionary poet ... you will be illuminated and enriched.’ Author: Spectator

‘A continuous narrative on the Industrial Revolution, woven from contemporary observations and opinions ... a treasure-chest of quirky, unusual pieces’ Author: Observer

‘A masterpiece of collage that reads like a novel’ Author: The Times

‘What [Jennings] reflects so intelligently here is not merely England (and, by implication, Europe) getting uglier and viler by the decade, but also the spiritual inexorability of this process.’ Author: AN Wilson, Daily Telegraph

‘Pandaemonium is a fascinating and disturbing anthology ... the extracts are brilliantly chosen ... a very fine book' Author: Matthew Reisz, Times Educational Supplement

'In short, this is nothing less than a one-volume history of modern Britain. It is extraordinary how Jennings managed to turn a concatenation of accounts ... into something that has such power.' Author: Nick Lezard, Guardian

'With its fabulous montage of sources, this is a unique window into a national past, and a global present.' Author: Boyd Tonkin, Independent

‘Jennings was an inspired maker of documentary films ... his book startles and delights' Author: Dilys Powell Source: Times

‘Pandaemonium is an extraordinary and wonderful book’ Author: Alan Ryan Source: Sunday Times

From the Author:

Humphrey Jennings was educated in Cambridge at school and at Pembroke College, where he read English. He joined the GPO Film Unit in 1934. In 1936 he, Tom Harrisson and Charles Madge founded Mass Observation, and in the same year he exhibited at the International Surrealist Exhibition. He is best known for the documentary films he made during the war. He died in 1950.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780029164709: Pandemonium: The Coming of the Machine as Seen by Contemporary Observers, 1660-1885

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0029164702 ISBN 13:  9780029164709
Publisher: The Free Press, 1986
Hardcover

9780233978086: Pandaemonium, 1660-1886: Coming of the Machine as Seen by Contemporary Observers

Andre ..., 1985
Hardcover

9780333638378: Pandaemonium: Coming of the Machine as Seen by Contemporary Observers

Papermac, 1995
Softcover

9780330295086: Pandaemonium, 1660-1886: Coming of the Machine as Seen by Contemporary Observers (Picador Books)

Picador, 1987
Softcover

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