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Bloody Old Britain O.G.S. Crawford and the Archaeology of Modern Life by Kitty Hauser

Bloody Old Britain O.G.S. Crawford and the Archaeology of Modern Life


Bloody Old Britain O.G.S. Crawford and the Archaeology of Modern Life by Kitty Hauser

O.G.S. Crawford (1886-1957) thought history held the answers to everything. A field archaeologist, he later became a photographer flying over the Western Front during WW1 - an experience that made him a pioneer of aerial archaeology. An impassioned Marxist, it seemed to him that contemporary 1930s Britain would soon disappear, conquered by history's inevitable march to world socialism, and he made a photographic study of everyday things - churches and advertising hoardings - as future evidence of how unenlightened British society had once been. Later there came angry disillusionment and a book, too bitter to be published, called Bloody Old Britain . In recounting Crawford's extraordinary story, Kitty Hauser uses many of his photographs and penetrates neglected but fascinating aspects of British life and belief that have themselves become history.


'[A] wonderfully captivating biography - This is a most engrossing piece of work, written in supple prose that now and again approaches the rhapsodic. Kitty Hauser is driven by curiosity rather than idolatry. Through the tetchy figure of Crawford, she broadly illuminates archaeology's progress throughout the first half of the 20th century' - New Statesman 'Hauser has written a truly fascinating and unexpected book - She has told an intriguing story about the way we can look at our landscapes and find in them the life, or lives, we want to believe in when stark reality insists that we are wrong' - Guardian 'A delightfully written, richly imagined account of a remarkable individual of a type rarely celebrated in book form' - Art Newspaper'

About the Author

KITTY HAUSER was born in 1971 and has a doctorate in modern history from Oxford University. She has published two books, Stanley Spencer (Tate Publishing, 2001) and Shadow Sites: Photography, Archaeology and the British Landscape (Oxford University Press, 2007). She is a Research Fellow at the Power Institute in the University of Sydney.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th September 2009


Kitty Hauser

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Granta Books


304 pages


Biography: historical, political & military
Social & cultural history



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