This study tells the parallel stories of the evolution of Brighton, and neighbouring Hove, and the development of the practice of photography, from its invention through to the 1990s. It is also the story of the author's search for the photographs that illustrate the book so eloquently, and his investigation, through these images, of his own social, cultural and geographical roots. The majority of the 145 photographs are previously unpublished and provide a vivid evocation of the varied artistic aspirations and vernacular applications of the photographic medium. The book includes images by such internationally renowned masters as William Henry Fox Talbot, Bill Brandt, Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Philippe Garner's publications include Cecil Beaton (1994 with David Alan Mellor), Sixties Design (1996), and John Cowan Through the Light Barrier (1999). He has acted as curator for exhibitions of photographs in museums in London, Paris and Tokyo.