- Hardcover: 544 pages
- Publisher: Knopf (November 2, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400042976
- ISBN-13: 978-1400042975
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.9 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Beaton in the Sixties: The Cecil Beaton Diaries as He Wrote Them, 1965-1969 Hardcover – November 2, 2004
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
This compilation sets Beaton's mesmerizing accounts in a wholly accessible format, illuminating an era still close, yet awesomely different from today. Beaton (1904–1980) was blessed with a breathtaking range of artistic talents (photography, painting, design, etc.), and he rose through English society to become portraitist of royalty, designer of famous theater and film sets (La Traviata; My Fair Lady; etc.) and a true Renaissance personality. In this version of his diaries, Beaton, though in intermittently poor health, is vibrant: smart, witty, labile and still seeking approbation. He presents the changing era through the prism of art, film, music and society. He's charmed by the actor David Warner, surprised by the congeniality of Princess Grace of Monaco, wooed by the petulant and perturbing Greta Garbo (with whom he had a tortured affair), chilled by the cold intellect of Robert Oppenheimer, sniping about Rudolph Nureyev with George Balanchine, competitive with Truman Capote, and adoring of Audrey (and Katharine) Hepburn. This bitchy, gossipy entre nous peep into the upper strata of artistic, intellectual and moneyed circles at one of recent history's most electric and tempestuous times is superb. Beaton sees all with an artist's acuity, a photographer's sharpness and the keen intuition of a writer with something vital to say. Prolific historian/biographer Vickers (Vivien Leigh; Loving Garbo; etc.) has spent 20 years researching Beaton, first in a biography (Cecil Beaton), then in annotating Beaton's diaries. His extensive, often clever or acerbic annotations on Beaton's crowd complete an utterly delightful volume. 41 photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Born in 1904 and living until 1980, Beaton was a famous British photographer, artist, writer, stage and screen designer, and high-society figure who epitomized style and didn't avoid naming it when he saw it or screaming when he didn't. The first volume of his published diaries, The Unexpurgated Beaton [BKL O 15 03], covered the last two decades of his life. Moving back in time, we now get a chance to see what he had to say about the people occupying his life in the last half of the swinging sixties. Gossip is flung, but, as in the first volume, that's the fun of it. Beaton was humorous (in conversation with Chanel, "She did not really show much sign of judging whether I was present or not"), and he was also incisive about character (on Garbo, "One sees that those endless days and evenings doing nothing have resulted in negation"). Juiciness aside, the volumes will come to be considered an important social document of British life in the twentieth century. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
For example, he was visiting with Jackie Kennedy's sister in England when Bobby was assassinated and he pulls no punches in telling us exactly what Lee Radziwill had to say the next day about Jackie (libelous, at a minimum). These pages alone are worth the price of the book.
Beaton writes, in great detail, about his nights with the very young Rolling Stones in Morocco. He describes how nasty Chanel could be as he visits her on the Rue Cambon. Sailing in Greece with Greta Garbo, his former lover (don't ask), on Cecile de Rothschild's yacht, as they decide to go skinny-dipping.
Truman Capote up close and personal; David Bailey, David Hockney, Diana Cooper, Andy Warhol, Barbra Streisand, Diana Vreeland, and so on. If you are of an age that these names don't mean anything to you, this may not be your book. A perfect companion to Vickers' earlier volume of excerpts from Beaton's diaries, The Unexpurgated Beaton. (If that volume is unexpurgated, this one should be titled "The NC-17 Beaton".)
This is a book to be savored. You read a few pages when you have an opportunity and then tear yourself away if you must, knowing that more fascinating reading awaits you in the 544 pages.
Among the celebrities dissed here are Greta Garbo - he and several others spent a two week cruise with her - but the unhappy Garbo was apparently determined to make everyone as miserable as she was. Truman Capote, a good friend of Beatons', enjoying immense success after the publication of "In Cold Blood," which contributes to his downward spiral with drugs. Most surprising is his assessment of Katharine Hepburn. The last pages of the page detail his tormented experiences on the set of the musical "Coco," starring Hepburn, who, in his opinion, wasn't concerned with anyone or anything but herself. Other celebrities getting wide attention is Mick Jagger, Picasso, Princess Grace, David Warner, Laurence Olivier and many many more.
If anything aside from the gossip, the diaries show how demanding and stressful the life of showbiz really is.