“Victoria had long fair hair and a body of Amazonian magnificence – just the kind of looks that I imagined drove men mad in the gambling saloons of the American west. So that was how I photographed her.” John d Green

One of the most controversial photographs at the time featured the 18 year old Victoria Mills, daughter of Lord Hillingdon who ran Glyn, Mills and Co, a long established private bank founded in 1753. Blood didn’t come much bluer.

His Lordship was reportedly spitting feathers to find a photograph of his comely and curvaceous daughter sitting at the card table, wearing a poker dealer’s visor and apparently, not very much else. Hillingdon, a former Life Guards officer, went over the top. He instructed his solicitors to investigate. A spokesman at the time declared, in a suitably understated tone “It is an unfortunate book – and the fact that her picture is in it is undesireable.”

John recalled the session in a contemporary newspaper article: “She really entered into the spirit of the shoot. She sat down, a green eye-shade keeping her hair from her face, holding a full poker hand. Having set the scene up, I decided to experiment with a single precarious overhead lamp.  She was being really co-operative, and I could feel we were producing exciting pictures, when – CRASH – the whole studio plunged into darkness and my camera plunged to the floor. It took a few minutes of groping around to find the light switch, but when the lights came back on Victoria was still sitting there holding the cards in her hands. She hadn’t moved an inch. It just goes to show that if you are a lady you can take anything in your stride.”

View the complete collection of limited edition photographs
Photographs
Read about the upcoming Big Book of Birds of Britain
The Big Book