Born Gaspard-Félix Tournachon in 1820, Nadar became the preeminent French photographer of the 19th century, while also working as a writer, actor, inventor, and balloonist. In 1900, Nadar published this witty, intelligent look back, recounting his experiments with artificial light in Paris's sewers, taking the first aerial photographs of the city, and even—during the 1870 siege of Paris—using pigeons to establish a clandestine air mail service.
"A fresh opportunity to consider a bizarre and compelling character…. In the age of the selfie, Nadar reminds us of the brave beginnings of a medium that changed the world."—Guardian (London)