I bought this book in a market in Harare, Zimbabwe whilst working there in 1986.
It’s a first edition, published in 1932 but I snapped it up because all the pages looked like this:-
When I got back to my hotel and took a closer look I found that the model for some of the techniques was none other than Ginger Rogers who, famously, as Fred Astaire’s partner, did “…everything Fred did but backwards and in high heals.”
Looking at the photographs it seemed likely that they had been taken before she gained international stardom and indeed, I found out later that Fred and Gingers first film was Flying Down to Rio which wasn’t released until two years after this book was published.
I had bought the book because I loved the images. I thought I might use them in work of my own at some time in the future and I might still but this discovery seemed to imbue the document with some historical value.
Most of the pages look like the ones illustrated above but there is a foreword which I had never bothered to read until I thought about posting some pages here.
This is an extract.
I’m reminded that, seemingly, simple pleasures are, often, closely shadowed by under-currents of dark, brutish, stupidity.