Tim — The story of Timothy H. O'Sullivan

As a young apprentice at Mathew Brady's Studio.

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Tim ~ Timothy H. O'Sullivan

Based on the life of Timothy H. O'Sullivan, Tim is a ten-year-old apprentice at Mathew Brady's Studio...

Mathew B. Brady

Tim is sent to work at Brady's Daguerreotype Gallery on Broadway...

Jenny Lind

The Swedish Nightengale is the most sought-after celebrity by all the Broadway photographers...

P.T. Barnum

Barnum, the manager of Jenny Lind, will not grant Brady access to the Sweet Warbler...

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Tim — The Story of Timothy H. O'Sullivan as a Young Apprentice

Tim Book Cover



"This book holds all the ingredients for a visually stunning and emotionally engaging film adaptation. It is a riveting journey that will leave audiences mesmerized and inspired by the enduring power of art and the human spirit."

Brad Christenson - Reviewer
Film Content & Creative Specialist | Kew Media

Tim: The Story of Timothy H. O'Sullivan as a Young Apprentice at Mathew Brady's Studio is an exceptional tale that skillfully transports readers back to a pivotal moment in America's history. The author, Daniel A. Sheridan, weaves a stunning narrative of youthful determination and the revolutionary technology of daguerreotypes that would shape the world.

The protagonist, young Tim, finds himself unexpectedly apprenticed to the legendary Mathew Brady, a renowned daguerreotypist with a studio on Broadway. This turn of events marks a dramatic shift from Tim's expected path as a carpenter, and it sets the stage for a captivating coming-of-age story. Through Sheridan's vivid prose, readers are immersed in historical New York, where the buzz of artistic ambition meets the spectacle of P.T. Barnum's American Museum.

Tim's journey unfolds with enthralling twists and turns, as he becomes an invaluable companion to Brady, proving his worth through cleverness and determination. The book's inclusion of photographic lore and technical details of daguerreotypes adds a layer of authenticity, making the story even more immersive. The encounters with iconic figures like P.T. Barnum and the enchanting Miss Jenny Lind add depth and excitement to Tim's exploration of the city's vibrant past.

Sheridan's descriptive prowess shines brightly, painting the scenes with the same depth and vividness as a photograph itself. His ability to breathe life into forgotten details of old New York creates a rich and immersive reading experience.

While the book is largely authentic in its portrayal of the era, a few editorial imperfections can be polished, but they do not detract from the overall brilliance of the story. The engaging plot may take a bit of time to fully take off, but once Tim finds his place at Brady's studio, the pace becomes gripping, carrying readers along on a fascinating adventure.

A remarkable aspect of "Tim" is the seamless blend of fiction and historical authenticity, inspired by the real-life experiences of the photographer Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Sheridan's masterful storytelling allows readers to lose themselves in a fictional history without feeling like they are reading a dry historical account. The result is a brilliant historical portrait that captivates and resonates with readers long after the final page.

In conclusion, "Tim: The Story of Timothy H. O'Sullivan as a Young Apprentice at Mathew Brady's Studio" is an extraordinary work of historical fiction. With its authentic setting, compelling characters, and seamless blending of real history and captivating storytelling, this book holds all the ingredients for a visually stunning and emotionally engaging film adaptation. It is a riveting journey that will leave audiences mesmerized and inspired by the enduring power of art and the human spirit. ❏

Brad Christenson - Reviewer
Film Content & Creative Specialist | Kew Media

Book Review on Amazon by Grady Harp

Tim Book Cover

Author Daniel A. Sheridan studied photojournalism and the history of photography at New York University and served as a darkroom technician at The Photography Workshop, as editor and photographer at Low-RANGE magazine, and as a drummer in the band The Immigrants.

TIM is his debut novel – and who better to write this book than Daniel?! For those unfamiliar, Timothy H. O’Sullivan (1840 – 1882) was a photographer widely known for his photographs of the US Civil War and the American West.

Bringing to our attention the special gifts of the often-overlooked Timothy H. O’Sullivan, the apprentice to the famous photographer Matthew Brady, this immensely entertaining novel recreates the mid-nineteenth century and an important overview of the history of photography.

The interaction between Tim and Brady is beautifully rendered, offering insights into the development from daguerreotype to photograph – or in Brady’s advice to Tim, ‘The war over photography... The French process versus the English process. We must choose our allies carefully and know our enemy. You see, we’ve been working with the daguerreotype process for these last ten years…’

By inserting his own progress in photography alongside Tim’s progress, Daniel makes this book ring true and even more accessible in honoring the art and history of photography. This is a fascinating and beautifully written book – one that deserves a very wide audience. Highly recommended. ❏

OnlineBookClub.org review of "Tim" by Patty Allread

Set in 1850, Tim by Daniel A. Sheridan is the story of how Timothy O'Sullivan, a ten-year-old immigrant Irish boy living on Staten Island, began working for Mathew Brady in his daguerreotype studio in New York City. The daguerreotype was all the rage and was called "The New Art." Brady takes Tim under his wing and gives him odd jobs while teaching him how a daguerreotype portrait is created. Tim gets to know New York City and meets some colorful and famous people there, including P. T. Barnum, famed writers, poets, and others who come to the studio to have their portraits made.

What I loved the most was reading about Tim's day-to-day experiences in nineteenth-century New York City. Sheridan paints a lively picture of the era and the city and explains many of the things that were going on at that time. What might seem quaint now was written with a gritty reality as seen through the eyes of young Tim. Sheridan did a great deal of research not only about the now-famous Brady and O'Sullivan but also about the New York lifestyle in 1850. I have always subscribed to the saying, "I Love New York," and thoroughly appreciated this part of the book.
Tim Book Cover
Reading Tim was a sublime experience. The undercurrent of an emerging art form, the growing inspiration of Timothy O'Sullivan, Mathew Brady, and Daniel Sheridan, and the feeling that I witnessed the emergence of this new era of art satisfied and inspired me. For these reasons, this book deserves 5 out of 5 stars. I should also mention that the book was excellently edited, with no errors that I could find. A small notation on the book cover indicates this is Sheridan's first book about O'Sullivan. If he writes a second one, I'll be eager to read it!

Readers interested in the daguerreotype method, photography, or the work of Mathew Brady and Timothy O'Sullivan will enjoy this book because it is not a dry history; it is history creatively brought to life by a skilled writer who researched his material well. Readers who love New York City and the period just before the Civil War will also like this book. Younger readers will find it inspirational to see how a young boy from a low-income family found a deep interest early in life that later became his passion. ❏

Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★

A stunning story of youthful determination and a nascent technology that would change the world. Sheridan's descriptive passages capture the same immersive beauty and vivacity of a photograph, and he regularly brings forgotten details of the old smoky metropolis to life. 

Tim rings with authenticity that readers will relish, inspired as it was by the real Tim O'Sullivan's early experiences.

Making readers lose themselves in a fictional history is a masterful skill, which Sheridan demonstrates in spades throughout this brilliant historical portrait. ❏

From The Author ~ The Photographs of Timothy H. O'Sullivan

Tim_Ansel Adams

I first learned about Timothy H. O'Sullivan while studying the history of photography at New York University in the spring of 1989. Professor Silver clicked back and forth in a slide show comparing O’Sullivan’s photograph, Ancient Ruins in the Cañon de Chelle, N.M., taken in 1873 with Ansel Adams’ view taken in 1942.

I became curious about this photographer who inspired Ansel Adams with his large-format, view camera. I then went to the Museum of Modern Art to view the photographs of O’Sullivan. At the time, I worked as a darkroom technician restoring old black and white photographs, while studying photojournalism at college.

New York University is an important place in the history of photography. This is where Brady's mentor, Samuel F.S.B. Morse, experimented with the new discovery he recently brought back from Paris — the Daguerreotype. His colleague, Dr. John William Draper, a chemistry professor, took one of the first known portraits with a camera on the rooftop of the university at Washington Square.

Little is known about O’Sullivan. As James D. Horan states in his biography, Timothy O’Sullivan: America’s Forgotten Photographer, “There were few clues, only his name, a four-line obituary...” Though we don’t know much about Tim. What remains are his photographs.

One day after class, I stood on the corner of Broadway and Tenth, the former location of one of Brady’s Studios. Looking at Grace Church, I thought about O'Sullivan and his photographs. Over to the right, down the street, is The Ritz where I saw The Replacements in 1986 perform songs from their album Tim. I then decided to write a book about O'Sullivan as a young apprentice at Mathew Brady's studio and the title would be Tim...

Daniel A. Sheridan


Amazon Reader Review

If you’re in the mood for something different, expansive, and with a captivating subject matter, this book could be for you. It’s a story of a young boy who becomes an apprentice in the studio and it’s full of passion and vivid descriptions of photography, what that field looked like and what it took to be a part of it. It’s historical fiction, so expect a little creative freedom, but that just makes the writing more immersive. The writing is, in fact, really good; the book is quite long, but the author knows his way with words and every page is there for a reason. The setting is impeccably crafted and it really feels like you’re then and there. I loved it, it’s one of those books that take you by surprise in the best possible way.
Click Here to watch a YouTube Book Promo about Tim.

Amazon Reader Review

This book is an emotional tribute to the great photographer Timothy H. O'Sullivan. The story is set around the mid-nineteenth century and explains how the young Timothy set on the journey to change how photography is viewed today. The writer describes when Timothy becomes a trainee under the veteran Mathew Brady. The author elaborates on how the fusion of photography and art would change how both of these domains will be viewed in the future. The author has also provided the history of the evolution of photography. The writing style is simple and smooth. Overall, “Tim: The Story of Timothy H. O'Sullivan as a Young Apprentice at Mathew Brady's Studio” is an excellent read for photography lovers. Amazon

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