Chinese Diary & Album

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1945 - China - 169 pages
1 Review
In 1944, in one of its more inspired moments, the British Ministry of Information dispatched Cecil Beaton-- self-dramatizing exquisite, darling of London society, chosen photographer to royalty, and later the world-famous designer of My Fair Lady and Gigi--to the Far East to take pictures of the British Empire and its allies at war. The result was not only a superb collection of photographs but a breathtakingly vivid written portrait of India, Burma, and China at a historic turning-point in their histories. These volumes integrate both elements fully for the first time, offering the complete text of Beaton's narrative and a truly comprehensive selection of over 200 photographs.
Beaton was a great observer and, perhaps unexpectedly, a great describer. In remarkably few words, he can make you see, hear, smell, almost touch the dusty Burmese countryside, the shimmering, casual magnificence of a Bombay virtually untouched by war, or the rain-sodden, flea-bitten front lines in a China nearly destroyed by it. He was an acute observer of people, too, and these books offer revealing glimpses of representative wartime figures from Madame Sun Yat-sen and General Claire Chennault to anonymous British soldiers and Chinese peasants. There is mayhem, including an electrifying description of what it's like to live through a plane crash, and mordant social comedy that rivals (and explains much of) The Jewel in the Crown. Perhaps best of all are Beaton's accounts of the two great invariants of modern war--waiting for transport and enduring it--in all their exquisite variety.
A magnificent record of some of Beaton's most austere and disciplined photography and a welcome reminder of his almost forgotten literary gifts, these books offer a uniquely real picture of one of the most heroic episodes of recent history.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tnilsson - LibraryThing

Wonderful photographs (and commentary) of life during WWII. Highly recommended. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION by Jane Carmichael
3
CHAPTER THREE Return to Chungking
61
CHAPTER FOUR The Journey Back
81
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1945)

Hugo Vickers is the author of Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough; Cecil Beaton; Vivien Leigh; Loving Garbo; and Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece,"" among other books. He lives in London and Hampshire with his wife and his three children.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information