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Old 23 May 2013, 11:40 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,436

Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
Here's a gallery of smiling Victorians if anybody's as interested as I am (scroll down to see all of them). My favourite is the little boy in the top hat!
OMG - some of them are dead and smiling! Look at the women on the beach - they're lying down and they have their eyes shut and everything! In the strip of four "photo booth" style pictures at the bottom, the woman is alive for the first two, then she dies abruptly and the man poses her differently in each of the last two, to make it appear that she's still alive!

I agree, though - there seems very little reason to think that any of the people in the original links are dead. Did the photos have an original caption claiming that the person in them was dead? If so, then perhaps - but if it's based on the extremely tenuous notion that the pose is a bit awkward or the eyes look funny, then no.

In the "ken_ashford" link, in the last picture, claimed to be "particularly disturbing", I couldn't even work out which of the three people was meant to be dead. All of them? Then I realised the clue was that the writer claimed that the pupils had been painted on the closed eyelids (what? Victorians weren't stupid or incapable of seeing things - as an idea for making somebody look like their eyes were open, that would have made no more sense then than it does now) and the girl's pupils appear to have been retouched on the plate itself, not by painting them on her closed eyelids. Seriously, do these people have any evidence for their claims? Some of them even put "post mortem?" with a question mark - obviously just to make them more interesting. I've never read of this practice elsewhere, although I've heard of it on-line a few times.
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