Riding with the devil (in Victorian France)
The devil was close at hand in Victorian-era France, particularly if you had a stereoscope. A series of double-image cards -- Diableries -- fit into a wooden viewer and leaped into 3-D, with witty, racy, frightening visions of hell. One hundred and eighty images are collected in the new book "Diableries," which comes with a hologram-fronted slipcase and a fold-out stereoscope viewer. The book is written by Brian May -- the Queen guitarist, who has a doctorate in astrophysics, is a collector -- Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming. It contains detailed context for each Diablerie, explaining political references, pointing out jokes and illustrating technical accomplishments. The images were created by photographing hand-sculpted scenes. They look sepia-toned in daylight and fill with color when backlighted, which is particularly frightening when the eyes of the damned glow red as the green devil parades by. The book includes both versions. Take a look inside.