Photograph: 1838 The first human on film

Life in the Long Nineteenth Century

Photograph #2

1838 First human on film. Photograph by Louis Daguerre, of a street in Paris

1838: The first human on film (bottom, left). A street in Paris. Photograph by Louis Daguerre. The street looks empty. Perhaps the long exposure time required meant that anything moving isn’t captured on the photo. Just one person (posing for the camera?) obtains immortality.

For context the following were published in 1838:

Literary events

  • The Times of India is founded as The Bombay Times.
  • Anna Maria Bunn’s Gothic fiction The Guardian: a tale (“by an Australian“) is published in Sydney. It is the first Australian novel printed and published in mainland Australia (although set in the author’s native Ireland) and the first by a woman.
  • Lady Charlotte Guest begins publication of her translation into English of the Welsh traditional tales known as the Mabinogion.


  • Charles Dickens
    • Nicholas Nickleby (serialisation begins)
    • Oliver Twist (in book form)
  • Edgar Allan Poe
    • The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
    • “Ligeia” (short story)
  • George Sand
    • L’Oreo
    • L’Uscoque
  • Ann Sophia Stephens – Mary Derwent


  • Hans Christian Andersen – Fairy Tales Told for Children. New Collection. First Booklet (Eventyr, fortalte for Børn. Ny Samling. Første Hefte) comprising “The Daisy”, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” (Den standhaftige tinsoldat) and “The Wild Swans” (De vilde svaner)


  • Charles Dickens – The Lamplighter: a farce in one act (rejected for performance)
  • Victor Hugo – Ruy Blas


  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning – The Seraphim and Other Poems


  • Giacomo Casanova: Memoirs (final volume).
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson – The Divinity School Address
  • Harriet Martineau – How to Observe Morals and Manners
  • Samuel Smiles – Physical Education
  • Baron Jules Dupotet de Sennevoy – Introduction to the Study of Animal Magnetism


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: