Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was a photographer of considerable distinction, who photographed most of the interesting figures of the twentieth century, from the Queen and Queen Mother, the Windsors, stars such as Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, to figures of the 1960s such as Rudolph Nureyev, the Rolling Stones and Twiggy. He was also a noted war photographer and took many fashion photographs for Condé Nast.
He was also a man of considerable style, an arbiter of taste, designer of sets and costume for opera, ballet and theatre, an inveterate traveller, and throughout this long career, he was a diarist from 1922 until 1974 (and even a little later). During his lifetime he published six volumes –
The Wandering Years – 1961
The Years Between – 1965
The Happy Years – 1972
The Strenuous Years – 1973
The Restless Years – 1976
The Parting Years – 1978
A composite volume, Self Portrait with Friends, edited by Richard Buckle, was published in 1979. Later there were two further volumes, The Unexpurgated Beaton (2002), and Beaton in the Sixties (2003), both edited by Hugo Vickers.
Cecil Beaton won three Oscars for his work on the films, Gigi and My Fair Lady. He was awarded a CBE in 1957, and knighted for his service to the arts in 1972.
The Parting Years: 1963-74 (Cecil Beaton’s Diaries #6)
Beaton’s sixth and final volume covers 1963-74. It follows Beaton's encounters with the youth of the swinging sixties but also the parting of many of his lifelong friends.More info →
The Restless Years: 1955-63 (Cecil Beaton’s Diaries #5)
Beaton’s fifth volume covers 1955-63. He travels the world, visiting exotic locales and also Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. Friends like Diana Vreeland, Truman Cooper, and Greta Garbo make repeat appearances. He also recounts a grand ball given by Barbara Hutton in Tangier and an argument with Alfred Hitchcock at a movie screening hosted by Edie Goetz.More info →
The Strenuous Years: 1948-55 (Cecil Beaton’s Diaries #4)
Beaton’s fourth volume covers 1948-55. The carefree days are over and as Beaton moves into middle age with doubts and anxiety his first venture into playwriting brings unexpected difficulty.More info →
The Happy Years: 1944-48 (Cecil Beaton’s Diaries #3)
Beaton’s third volume covers 1944-48. In 1944 Beaton, as official photographer for the Ministry of Information, was sent to Paris to arrange an exhibition of war photographs. While there he renewed his acquaintance with Picasso and encountered many other famous faces, including Gide, Cocteau and Gertrude Stein.More info →
The Years Between: 1939-44 (Cecil Beaton’s Diaries #2)
Sir Cecil Beaton (1904 –1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer, painter, diarist and Academy Award–winning stage and costume designer.More info →
The Wandering Years: 1922-39 (Cecil Beaton’s Diaries #1)
A classic memoir of the twentieth century, spanning through the Second World War, the Golden Age of Hollywood and the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.More info →