Duckworth. London. 1930. First edition. 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 hors-texte b&w collotype plates and numerous line-drawing illustrations in the text. English. 285 x 230mm. 0.8kg. . Very good; light shelf wear to boards with some rubbing to edges and surface, browning to spine, yellowing to rear board; slight offsetting to endpapers, some occasional light spotting, heavier foxing to final ten pages. Contemporary ink gift inscription to front pastedown - 'Ursula from Ces / Christmas 1930'.
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, Introduction ) The Book of Beauty is 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.