Nudism in a Cold Climate
The Visual Culture of Naturists in Mid-20th Century Britain

Annebella Pollen


Press Contact: Alexandra Fanning Communications / / (347) 468-073

Annebella Pollen’s Nudism in a Cold Climate PUBLISHED by Atelier Éditions FIRST EDITION ISBN 9781733622066 Paperback 272 pages including Over 100 black & white archival photographs 7 x 9.25 inches Printed sustainably in Belgium Retail: US $32.00 / GBP £30.00

(Los Angeles, CA, Oct 2021) – Atelier Éditions is immensely pleased to announce the release of Nudism in a Cold Climate: The Visual Culture of Naturists in Mid-20th Century Britain by Annebella Pollen, arriving in the UK/Europe on December 3, 2021 and the USA/Rest of World on January 11, 2022.

Annebella Pollen’s richly illustrated study examines the idiosyncratic phenomenon of social nudism, or 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.

From the 1930s, thousands of people appeared nude in books and magazines associated with the nudist movement, drawing 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, including national beliefs about sex and gender, ethnicity and class, pleasure and power.

Nudism in a Cold Climate offers readers a fascinating glimpse behind British veils of propriety and a unique view inside an enduring experimental culture that sought to radically challenge, liberate and ultimately transform conventional attitudes to bodies and their representations.

About the author

Annebella Pollen is Reader in History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton, UK. 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. 


AUTHOR Annebella Pollen

PUBLISHED by Atelier Éditions


ISBN 9781733622066


272 pages including

Over 100 black & white archival photographs

7 x 9.25 inches

Printed sustainably in Belgium

Retail: US $32.00 / GBP £30.00

About Atelier Éditions

Atelier Éditions is an independent publishing house and creative consultancy established in Los Angeles in 2015. Authoring archival monographs, contemporary art books, and exploratory printed matter, the atelier regularly curates exhibitions, envisages cultural programming, initiates seminars, workshops, and enacts memorable collaborations.

High resolution and web sized images below. For questions / interviews please contact Alexandra Fanning: / (347) 468-0735

Book Spreads

Praise for Nudism in a Cold Climate

“Annebella Pollen is a brilliant archivist of a hidden Britain. This is a startling history of a British counterculture way before the Beatles’ first LP. Nudism in a Cold Climate is clever, surprising and huge fun. Absolutely fascinating.”

Lee Hall, dramatist (Billy Elliot; The Pitmen Painters; Rocketman)


“I am absolutely charmed by Nudism in a Cold Climate. Between text and image it resoundingly conveys the curious ambivalences of British naturism, trapped between the desire to expose and reveal for reasons of health and ideology, the compromises required by the need to remain on the right side of the laws concerning public decency and obscenity, and the urge to preserve a veneer of good old British respectability. A significant contribution to the histories of gender, sexuality and the body, of photography and photographers, as well as of changing social mores.”

– Lesley Hall, author of Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880

“Scrupulously researched and judiciously argued, Annebella Pollen’s treasure trove of a book valiantly rescues British nudism and its photographic culture from the “condescension of posterity”. This is popular history pursued with wit and insight.”

Ben Highmore, Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Sussex, UK

“A fascinating insight into the changing cultural climate in Britain over half a century. Following the nudist movement’s paper trail of books and magazines published between the 1920s and 1970s, Annebella Pollen tells the story of the gradually shifting tide of public and legal opinion that was influenced by the nudist movement’s campaigning, and by the activities of photographers such as Roye and Jean Straker, who openly challenged the law. Through her choice of images and her engaging narrative, the author shines a light on a minority movement that in its own way reflected the broader prejudices in British culture, while also contributing to challenging outdated mores.”

Philip Carr-Gomm, author of A Brief History of Nakedness

This wonderful book is revealing – in all senses! Beautifully written, meticulously researched, and generously and beguilingly illustrated, it tells the story of British nudism from the 1920s to the 1970s through the lens of visual culture. Nudism in a Cold Climate tells a fascinating story about evolving and conflicting body ideals and practices with insight, elegance and wit.

– Ruth Barcan, author of Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy

Interior Images