London. Duckworth. 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. 285 x 230mm (11¼ x 9"). 0.8kg. . English. Fair, priced accordingly; boards rubbed on covers, edges and forecorners, with scratching and soiling to white covers, spine browned; pages lightly browned, small dampstain affecting the edges of the first few leaves and the margin of the frontispiece; no inscriptions.
'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)
Cecil Beaton's scarce first book. 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.