Women’s History Month: Constance Fox Talbot (Photography)

Photo of Constance Fox Talbot.jpg
Photo of Constance Fox Talbot circa 1840

Constance Talbot (née Mundy, 30 January 1811 – 9 September 1880) married William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the key players in the development of photography in the 1830s and 1840s, in 1832. She briefly experimented with the process, herself, as early as 1839 and has been credited as the first woman ever to take a photograph – a hazy image of a short verse by the Irish poet Thomas Moore.

Per the guardian:

There is also a rather dull image of four hazy lines of verse by the Irish poet Thomas Moore, a family friend. It was made by shining sunlight through the original manuscript, on to a piece of treated paper. Ovenden believes it was made by Fox Talbot’s wife, Constance, the first photograph by a woman.

“The archive shows that she was caught up in the excitement of the discovery as early as 1839, and was virtually elbowing him away from the developing table, making her own experiments,” he said.

Constance, who came from Markeaton in Derbyshire,[was the youngest daughter of Francis Mundy (1771–1837), Member of Parliament for that county from 1822 to 1831.

Source: Find A Grave

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