cover of book

Through the Lens of Janet Stone: Portraits, 1953-1979
by Ian Archie Beck
foreword by Alan Bennett
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2018
Cloth: 978-1-85124-259-7
Library of Congress Classification TR680.B39 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 779

The wife of the distinguished engraver Reynolds Stone, Janet Stone established a kind of literary salon in the idyllic setting of the old Rectory at Litton Cheney in West Dorset, where their wide circle of friends could visit, work, and flourish. Janet’s photographs of these occasions feature informal portraits from the mid-twentieth century of many of the leading cultural figures and personalities of the day.
            Included between these pages are portraits of the composers, actors, novelists, poets, and philosophers in the Stones’ milieu—from Benjamin Britten to Siegfried Sassoon and Frances Partridge—as well as members of the Stone family. Although not a trained photographer, Janet instinctively knew to click the shutter when her subjects were off-guard and at their most informal, capturing an array of candid shots—like one of John Bayley trying on a headscarf and a young Daniel Day-Lewis dressed up as a knight.
            These unique portraits offer beguiling insight into a special set of circumstances: an idyllic place and time and a group of people drawn together by two contrasting but complimentary personalities, the shy genius of Reynolds met by the outgoing style and glamour of Janet Stone.
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