The Book of Beauty

The Book of Beauty
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Cecil Beaton.

London. Duckworth. 1930. First edition. Copy belonging to Frederick Carlisle Baker, a staff photographer at Conde Nast during the 1930s and 40s, with his ex libris name label to front pastedown. White paper-covered boards with gilt dot pattern, backed with pink cloth, with gilt title to spine, top-edge pink. xii, 67 pages. Colour frontispiece, 27 b&w photographic plates and numerous line-drawing illustrations in the text. 285 x 230mm (11 x 9"). .8kg. . English. Near fine; some fading to spine, slight surface wear to boards, rubbing to forecorners, lightly rubbed along edges; an excellent, well-preserved, tight copy.

An excellent copy of Cecil Beaton's scarce first book.

'I have tried...to make my book an analysis of modern beauty, a collection of the loveliest ladies I have ever seen, and, in time, it may become a sentimental document for our granchildren, to marvel at all the types of beauty to-day; the latest varieties of Venus as well as the counterparts of former belles.' (Beaton in his Introduction)

The Book of Beautyis Beaton's unashamed paean to the beauty of the women who inhabit his world. The book is inspired by books of beauty published in the Victorian period and by his childhood fascination with the theatricality and glamour of the opposite sex. Photographs of women are accompanied by flowery descriptions. Sitters include Baba and Nancy Beaton, Edith Sitwell, Tallulah Bankhead, Tilly Losch, Nancy Cunard and Lady Diana Cooper. The whole captures the wit, intelligence and spirit of the modern women.