In 1960, armed with two magazine commissions and a stipend from Netherlands television, Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990) and his wife Gerda set off on a fourteen-month journey around the world, from West Africa, the Malay Peninsula, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan to the United States and Mexico. Six years after their return, he published his travelogue Sweet Life (named after a little tramp steamer in the Philippines): a sprawling, exuberant chronicle of their journey and his encounters with a range of people in the streets, from joyous lovers to destitute down-and-outs. The book itself exhibited a panoply of layout effects: double-page bleeds, crops, printed in deep gravure, and different cover designs for each of the six countries in which it was published. This legendary Dutch photobook is presented here complete, with a contemporary essay by Frits Gierstberg.
Errata Editions' Books on Books series is an ongoing publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints or facsimiles but complete studies of the original books. Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study of the creation and meanings of these great works of art. Each volume in the series contains illustrations of every page in the original photobook, a new essay by an established writer on photography, production notes about the creation of the original edition and biographical and bibliographical information about each artist.