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Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War (Imperial War Museum, London: Exhibition Catalogues) [Hardcover]

Cecil Beaton
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: £35.00
Price: £28.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Sep 2012 Imperial War Museum, London: Exhibition Catalogues

At the beginning of the Second World War the Ministry of Information, through the advice of Kenneth Clark, commissioned Cecil Beaton to photograph the Home Front. Beaton set to work recording the destruction of the Wren churches in the City and the heroism of Londoners under attack. He conducted a survey of Bomber and Fighter Commands for the RAF, which was published with Beaton's own astute commentary. Beaton was an effective propagandist, but his voice, like his photographs, was touchingly elegant. Whatever his subject, Beaton was always a stylist.

Beaton's wartime work for the Ministry amounted to seven thousand photographs, which are now housed with their negatives at the Imperial War Museums. They form a great document both of the landscape of war and of the passing of the Empire. He travelled through the Western Desert and on to Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan and Syria. In 1943 he left for India where he photographed the final days of the Raj in New Delhi and Calcutta before joining the Burma campaign. He ended the war deep in Chinese territory where he witnessed the Nationalist resistance to the Japanese.

Beaton's inherent sense of theatre extended from palatial drawing rooms to the jungle and the desert. Whatever the circumstances he never departed from his radical aesthetic. Theatre of War is published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museums on the occasion of a major exhibition.

Frequently Bought Together

Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War (Imperial War Museum, London: Exhibition Catalogues) + Memories of Britain Past: the Illustrated Story of How We Lived, Worked and Played
Price For Both: £36.00

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (6 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224096303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224096300
  • Product Dimensions: 31 x 29.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"One of the most beautiful books of the year." (Richard Dorment Telegraph)

"Showcases Beaton's grittier side as he captured countries and cultures affected by the Second World War." (Esquire)

"This plush Coffee table book contains the old rogue's finest work.an eye-catching record of Britain at war." (Shortlist)

"Touching and often harrowing." (Huffington Post)

"Beaton had a supreme understanding of life as theatre, and set out to document the conflict with the same dramatic intensity he had used to capture society girls in the late 1920s and 1930s." (World of Interiors)

Book Description

Cecil Beaton's war photography, drawing on a wealth of material and accompanied by his own diary entries.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 6 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A good value big book with an informative and involving text well researched. A comprehensive review of the wartime work of one of the greats. It would have been worth five stars but I felt that the printing of the images should have been better done on better paper. Still a good buy though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heard this being reviewed on the radio 10 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
and wasn`t disappointed when it arrived. Sumptuous book, you can spend hours losing yourself in the photos. Would recommend to anyone interested in photographs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 July 2014
great item - fast service and great price - many thanks!
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