Peter Henry Emerson was born in Cuba but aspired to live the life of an English country gentleman. Inheriting considerable private wealth, he gave up a career in medicine and from the mid-1880s pursued his two passions - photography and writing. He perceived the English countryside as the only cure against the harmful effects of urban industrialisation. His exquisite photographs of the countryside were incorporated in limited edition books or published as portfolios. For Emerson, the only people capable of preserving the countryside were artists and intellectuals like himself.