Revealing photographs by Dafydd Jones show a secret party world of the upper classes

Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1983 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

After winning a prize in a photography competition run by The Sunday Times magazine in 1981 with a set of pictures of the ‘Bright Young Things’, British photographer Dafydd Jones was hired by, bible of the upper crust, Tatler magazine to photograph the Hunt Balls, society weddings and debutante dances of the British upper class season, and would continue to do so until 1989.

"I had access to what felt like a secret world," he explains. "It was a subject that had been written about and dramatised but I don’t think any photographers had ever tackled before. There was a change going on. Someone described it as a ‘last hurrah’ of the upper classes."

The series is now available in a new book, Dafydd Jones, The Last Hurrah, published by STANLEY/BARKER, which has been released to coincide with an exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery Print Room in London from today, 3 August, until 8 September 2018.

Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1984 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1984 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

Burning Boat, Oriel Oxford, 1984 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

Burning Boat, Oriel Oxford, 1984 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

Halloween Ball, 1987 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

Halloween Ball, 1987 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

New College May Ball, Oxford, 1986 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

New College May Ball, Oxford, 1986 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

Henrietta Thompson's hand, Falklands Ball, Grosvenor House,1982 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER

Henrietta Thompson's hand, Falklands Ball, Grosvenor House,1982 © Dafydd Jones, from the book The Last Hurrah published by STANLEY/BARKER