The last week has been a revelation. I had no idea how early colour plates started to appear in books and I've discovered some wonderful Victorian natural history titles with stunning illustrations. However, the most impressive find has been the Cecil Beaton Scrapbook:
Published in 1937, the production values are ahead of their time and the quality of the images is extremely good:
Is Katharine Hepburn giving a Nazi salute?
Beaton's scrapbook is full of weird and wonderful photomontages, watercolours and sketches, but equally enjoyable is the text, which is refreshingly indiscreet and occasionally quite bitchy. Compared to most of the books published in the 1930s, Cecil Beaton's Scrapbook is remarkably modern.
It's also interesting to read a book that is largely about celebrities and compare Beaton's witty, intelligent and stylish scrapbook to Heat and Hello magazines.