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Nudism in a Cold Climate by Annebella Pollen

The phenomenon of social nudism, or naturism, in 20th-century Britain is explored in Nudism in a Cold Climate, a new book by Annebella Pollen.

Nudism in a Cold Climate cover image featuring a black and white photograph of a woman.
Nudism in a Cold Climate cover

Annebella Pollen explores social nudism in her new book Nudism in a Cold Climate: The Visual Culture of Naturists in Mid-20th Century Britain.

Pollen’s study examines the idiosyncratic phenomenon of naturism in 20th-century Britain, a place known for its lack of sunshine and conservative attitudes to sex.

By bringing naturists’ own words and images to light, Nudism in a Cold Climate tells this little-known but fascinating history for the first time.

A group of men and women sitting nude in a café. Featured in Nudism in a Cold Climate.
Uncredited photographer, A Corner of the Restaurant, A Confidential Chat About Spielplatz, 1948 edition. Courtesy of the Spielplatz Estate Archive

Nudism in a Cold Climate

From the 1930s thousands of people appeared nude in books and magazines associated with the nudist movement.

The images drew attention to the cause, attracting public curiosity and inciting moral panics.

Naturist nude photography offers a fascinating lens on moral, legal and aesthetic shifts over a century of dramatic social change.

The 20th century saw shifting national beliefs about sex and gender, ethnicity and class, pleasure and power.

Nudism in a Cold Climate offers readers a glimpse behind British veils of propriety.

It is a unique view inside an enduring experimental culture.

A culture that sought to radically challenge, liberate and ultimately transform conventional attitudes to bodies and their representations.

Published by Atelier Éditions, the book is out now in the UK and Europe.

It will be released worldwide on January 11, 2022.

Click here to order your copy.

Roye photographing Diana Dors covered only with a leopard teddy as featured in Nudism in a Cold Climate
Attributed to Roye, untitled, Roye photographing Diana Dors in his studio, c. 1954. Vintage print. Courtesy of Vanessa Gibson of the Colin Narbeth Collection

Annebella Pollen

Annebella Pollen is reader in history of art and design at the University of Brighton.

Her first book, Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life, explored 55,000 amateur snapshots taken on one day in 1987.

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians examined the modernist craft and occult spirituality of left-field former scoutmasters in 1920s England.