The Complete Edition
In France, around 1860, from the loins of a traditional national fascination with all things diabolical, was born a new sensation – a series of visionary dioramas depicting life in a strange parallel universe called ENFER – Hell – communicated to an eager audience by means of stereoscopic cards, to be viewed in the stereoscopes which had already become popular in the 1850s. This 3-D phenomenon, which fascinated a nation for 40 years, is yours to share.
This book, the fruit of half a lifetime’s study by three impassioned authors, brings every single one of the published Diableries into the 21st Century for the very first time. Some of them are so rare that at the time of writing there is no known full collection of the originals of these masterpieces.
In the first edition of this book, published in 2013, there were two stereo cards missing from the Diableries series! In 2018, after a worldwide search, finally the last card was found, and is published for the very first time in this new edition of Diableries, along with the story of its discovery.
The final dimension in this unique study is the original research, which unearths the hidden meanings in these tableaux. Never before have these secrets been revealed – clues to the conflicts in France in a period of great unrest, suffering, shame and suppression – a period which, even in French schools is seldom part of the curriculum. The Diableries are impudent, funny, sad, riotously inventive, satirical and dangerously seditious. Their wickedness awaits you.
Mail on Sunday's "Fantasy" book of the year.
"The monster hardback tome collects together a series of diableries (‘devilments’) – photographs of ghoulish ‘stereo’ cards featuring devils, skeletons and satyrs, originally printed in France in the 1860s. These stereo cards are best viewed in 3D. As a consequence, May, who has held a lifelong passion for stereoscopic imagery, has set about designing his own 3D viewer – a pair of plastic spectacles known as the OWL – a pair are given away with the book" – Esquire
"Colourful and infernally detailed three-dimensional images that provide fascinating insight into the imagination of the past...The black-clad volume is alive with tableaux that range from the grotesque to the ghoulish, from the cruelly satirical to the plainly insane. Every picture tells several stories."– Daily Telegraph
"Gothic Victorian underworld of temptation, seduction, retribu- tion and devilish fun brought alive in colour and 3D" – Amateur Photographer
"Full of stunning pictures of 19th century studies in devilment." – Huffington Post