Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell (book review)

Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell centers on a beautiful, reprinted collection of diabolical 1860s French stereoscopic cards. On each card is an image of a detailed, intricate clay diorama depicting life in hell. Each card tells a story, but the story of the collection itself is far more interesting.

Brian May, Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming worked for years to locate each card and tell its story. In the video above, Brian May does a wonderful job showing off both the book and his enthusiasm for it. He also demonstrates the included stereoscope for 3D viewing. May himself is also quite a fascinating guy with a PhD in Astrophysics, and a long career as the lead guitarist of rock band Queen. May, Pellerin, and Fleming also share a wonderful website that features many of the cards and allows you to view them both normally and backlit. The backlit images are haunting. However, this is all in 2D.

Half of Card A0, not backlit.

Half of Card A0, backlit

I am thrilled with the included OWL Stereoscope. This foldable viewer, which was easy to include with the book, really allows the magic to take place. The 2D images above are lovely, but seeing them in 3D is pretty amazing!

The cards and this edition are works of art. This is a special book and will be prized in my collection.

Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell

Previously on Boing Boing:

Collector of 19th century 3D "devil tissues"