books classic film vivien leigh

I Can Read!

I love the library.  More specifically, I love the Newport Beach Public Library, because it’s got the best selection of photography and film books in Orange County.  Combine their books with the ones at Huntington Beach, and you’ve pretty much got every old movie book you can think of.  Okay, that’s not true.  To get every movie book you can think of, best head north to LA and check out the reading room at the Margaret Herrick Library.

Newport did good for me today, though.  I was surprised when I found out a couple years ago that they carried Vivien A Love Affair in Camera by Angus McBean.  I’ve always wanted to own a copy, but I can nver bring myself to spend $100+ on it on ebay or wherever, so the library works fine because, you know, it’s free!  I’m probably the only person who has checked it out in years and years.  This is such a fabulous book,  and the photos are of course gorgeous (you can see them in the gallery at  What I love most is that it’s an intimate portrait of Vivien Leigh’s (primarily theatrical) career, but Angus McBean was also a fairly close personal friend of hers and Laurence Olivier’s, so the text is great, too.

I have so much love for photography books.

Kendra has been the weblady at since 2007. She lives in Yorkshire and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, and co-author of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies (Running Press). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, Instagram at @vivandlarrygram, or at her official website.

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Comments (6)

  1. I wish my library had books like that! Although yesterday I bought a fantastic and cheap book full of photos of movie stars – a few of Viv and Larry too 🙂

  2. It’s a great book isn’t it?…I purchased my copy the day it came out, from the Cinema Book Shop in London and it was pre signed! I can’t believe the prices they are going for on ebay!..In another book about Angus,there is lovely story about how the Oliviers hired him for some production or other,just after he’d been released from prison during the war,as a public show of solidarity.That’s how his career recovered.

  3. It’s a lovely book! I love London’s ephemera shops. I’m glad Larry and Viv were kind to him. He gave them good service for a long time.

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