An atmospheric and brilliant novel of Paris, love, madness and photography by the best-selling writer of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith. When the vision came, he was in the bathtub. So begins the madness of Louis Daguerre. In 1847, after a decade of using poisonous mercury vapours to cure his daguerreotype images, his mind is plagued by delusions. Believing the world will end in a year, Daguerre creates his 'Doomsday List': 10 items he must photograph before the final day. The list includes a portrait of Isobel Le Fournier, a woman he has always loved but not spoken to in half a century.
In this luminous novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography's founding fathers. In 1839, Louis Daguerre's invention took the world by storm. A decade later, he is sinking deep into delusions brought on by exposure to mercury, the very agent that allowed his daguerreotype process. Believing the world will end within one year, he creates his "Doomsday List", 10 items he must photograph before the final day. It includes a woman he has always loved but has not seen in half a century.