The Englishman and the Eel

Book design by Stuart Smith
Introduction by Michael Collins
Essay by Stuart Freedman
Publisher Dewi Lewis
Printed in Verona, Italy by EBS

First Edition 2017, Hardcover 224 pages, 16.4 x 1.6 x 22.5 cm
ISBN: 978-1-911306-20-7

‘The Englishman and the Eel’ is a journey into that most London of institutions, the Eel, Pie and Mash shop.
Today, these simple spaces hold within them the memories of a rich, largely undocumented cultural heritage of generations of working-class Londoners in a city whose only constant is change.
Stuart Freedman grew up in East London in the 1970s, then a byword for poverty now a metaphor for gentrification. The streets were navigated by pubs, rough, cheap cafés and Eel, Pie and Mash shops. Often elaborately decorated with ornate Victorian tiling, many sold live eels in metal trays that faced out onto the street to the fascination (and sometimes horror) of passersby. Inside, warmth and comfort. Steam. Tea. Laughter. Families.
Now few in number, the shops are havens for what the East End once was – but this is no rosy description of the Cockney – that music hall, heart-of-gold caricature but an affectionate and serious look at what that culture and its people have evolved into. The Englishman and the Eel is not an encyclopaedic record of every shop. Rather, a document of the most interesting and significant ones to make a book that is a tribute to a timeless institution. For Stuart Freedman the eel and its decline is a metaphor of the cultural change that has enveloped the East End. What remains is a tenacious and rare creature – endangered – but still surviving.

Publishes November 2017

Order from: Stuart Freedman or Dewi Lewis


The Englishman and the Eel

 

The Palaces of Memory

Book design by Stuart Smith
Introduction by Amit Chaudhuri
Essay by Stuart Freedman
Publisher Dewi Lewis
Printed in Verona, Italy by EBS

First Edition 2015, Hardcover 224 pages, 16.4 x 1.6 x 22.5 cm
ISBN-10: 1907893784
ISBN-13: 978-1907893780


‘The Palaces of Memory’ is a journey into India through the Indian Coffee Houses, a national network of worker-owned cafés which can be found in cities throughout the sub-continent. The Coffee Houses simultaneously speak of a Post-Independence optimism and a now-faded grandeur. Buried deep within the country's collective memory they have for decades acted simultaneously as political and artistic salons as well as simple eating places. Stuart Freedman has visited more than thirty of the most significant and beautiful Coffee Houses throughout India. Away from the stereotypes of poverty and exotica they have allowed him to enter an ordinary India, a familiar but distant echo of the long disappeared greasy-spoon cafés of the London of his own youth. In that sense, the Coffee Houses have become a familiar sanctuary for him during his time in India.

Finalist for Best Photography Book 2015 at POYi

Purchase from: Stuart Freedman or Dewi Lewis


The Palaces of Memory