The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to
the British neo-Romantic tradition,
from 1880 to the present day.
While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of
publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions
remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden
tradition to light.
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WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?
Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration
from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.
Characteristic themes in their work include a
mystical approach to the British landscape...
ENTRY: Godwin, Fay
Fay Godwin (born 17 February 1931 Berlin, died 27 May 2005 Hastings) was a famous British photographer.
Godwin was the daughter of a British diplomat and an American artist, and was born in Berlin, Germany.
She married Penguin Editor-in-Chief Tony Godwin. In 1966 she became interested in photography,
through photographing her two young sons. She was self-taught in photography, and became a
professional in 1969 when her marriage ended.
After the publication of her first books - Rebecca the Lurcher (1973) and The Oldest Road: An
Exploration of the Ridgeway (1975), co-authored with J.R.L. Anderson - she was a prolific publisher,
working mainly in the landscape tradition to great acclaim and becoming the nation's most well-known
landscape photographer. Her early and mature work was informed by the sense of ecological
crisis present in late 1970s and 1980s England, as well as the landscape photography of Chambre Hardman.
Her early books were in the documentary tradition,
but from the late 1970s onwards she moved more towards art photography.
In 1986 the South Bank Show TV arts programme made her the subject of a full-length documentary. The first
such on a photographer, it was broadcast on 9th November.
In the 1990s she was offered a Fellowship at the National Museum of Photography in Bradford, which
pushed her work in the direction of colour and urban documentary.
Godwin had exhibitions which have toured Britain, her last major retrospective was at the Barbican
Centre, London in 2001. One major show at the Warwick Arts Centre failed to get any reviews,
and this caused her to self-publish her final books; Glassworks and Secret Lives. A good
retrospective book, Landmarks, was published by Dewi Lewis in 2002.
Godwin served as the President of the Ramblers' Association from 1987 to 1990, after
which she became Life Vice-President.
The slipcase Rainbow Press 1979 first edition of Remains of Elmet: A Pennine
Sequence, her book collaboration with poet Ted Hughes, has become highly collectible
and fetches several thousand pounds. The book was also published in popular
form by Faber (with poor reproduction of the images), and then re-published
by them in 1994 simply as Elmet with a third of the book being new additional
poems and photographs. Hughes called the 1994 Elmet the "definitive" edition. Godwin
also said, in a 2001 interview, that this was the book she would like to be most remembered for.
"Moonlight, Avebury, 1974 (by Fay Godwin)
... This photograph, in particular, demolishes at a blow the
urbanite's notion that the works produced by William Blake,
Samuel Palmer, Edward Calvert and the rest of the Brotherhood
of Ancients were, even in their own day, an exaggerated form
of special pleading in the face of early industrialization;
idealized and romanticized beyond relevance to the issues of
the real world. For here it all is, not far off two centuries
later, the moon and the stone; the flock and the trees; the
dwellings tucked down, inconspicuous yet through their occupants
vital to the organization, organization in the sense of
organic patterning, of everything else present in the picture." - Phillip Stokes.