The Tiger in the Smoke Art and Culture in Post-War Britain Lynda Nead

Publication date:
24 Oct 2017
Paul Mellon Centre
416 pages: 254 x 190mm
190 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Taking an interdisciplinary approach that looks at film, television, and commercial advertisements as well as more traditional media such as painting, The Tiger in the Smoke provides an unprecedented analysis of the art and culture of post-war Britain. Art historian Lynda Nead presents fascinating insights into how the Great Fogs of the 1950s influenced the newfound fashion for atmospheric cinematic effects. She also discusses how the widespread use of color in advertisements was part of an increased ideological awareness of racial differences.  Tracing the parallel ways that different media developed new methods of creating images that variously harkened back to Victorian ideals, agitated for modern innovations, or redefined domesticity, this book’s broad purview gives a complete picture of how the visual culture of post-war Britain expressed the concerns of a society that was struggling to forge a new identity.       

Lynda Nead is Pevsner Chair of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.  

"This is a luminous book about the greyness that delayed Britain’s search for modernity in the postwar era." — Frances Spalding, The Guardian

"This is an absolutely terrific book." — David Marx, David Marx: Book Reviews

"acute and wide-ranging analysis" — Mark Jones, Albion Magazine Online

“[A] closely argued study of culture and society in post-war Britain” – Ruth Guilding, TLS

“Far from being a dry and dusty tome it fizzes with an energy for anyone who is interested in the environment around them.” —Hampshire Chronicle

“Here, the author prowls around corners, inhabits bombsites and lurks in the fog, uncovering, through her persuasive text and generous illustrations, a new and nuanced vision of a city that reveals its character in the obscured, the elided and the everyday”—Catherine Jolivette, Burlington Magazine