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BEATON, Cecil.

Far East.

London: B. T. Batsford Ltd, 1945. Stock Code: 123387
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First edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "To Hugh Francis, who was so helpful to me in my travels abroad - with all good wishes Cecil Beaton"; with Francis's superscript ownership inscription. A fine association copy: Hugh Francis was Controller of Photographs at the Ministry of Information. As Beaton wrote: "When war was declared I knew myself to be incapable of filling any regular service job. Fortunately, Hugh Francis of the M. of I., at the suggestion of Sir Kenneth Clark, saw fit to employ me as a photographer" (The Best of Beaton, 1968). Another version of this story has Francis telling Beaton to "get off the cocktail circuit and back to grass roots" (British Journal of Photography, volume 128, issues 4-52, 1981). Francis also commissioned Bill Brandt to make a full record of life in bomb shelters during the war and he has been described as a "capable and energetic man who had served in the Ministry in the First World War, and who had immediate business experience as a senior executive with EMI" (Charles Craig, The British Documentary Photograph as a Medium of Information and Propaganda during the Second World War, masters degree thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic, 1982). Beaton's Far East includes chapters on India and Burma, aside from several covering his wartime service in China.

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Octavo. Original orange cloth lettered in yellow, top edge red. With dust jacket.


Colour frontispiece after a painting by the author, 44 monochrome photographs on plate paper, 14 illustrations in the text.


Very slightly bowed, spine a little faded at foot. A very good copy in the dust jacket, very lightly foxed, spine lightly sunned, chipped at extremities.


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