Through The Lens of Janet Stone
March 16th 2018, sees the publication by the Bodleian Library of this book of photographs.
Janet was in many ways the last of the great society hostesses. She took photographs both formal and informal of her wide cultural circle of mid 20th century friends, artists writers etc. These include, among many others; Iris Murdoch and her husband, the critic John Bayley, Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis, his wife the actress Jill Balcon and their son the young Daniel Day Lewis. David and Rachel Cecil, John and Myfanwy Piper, Kenneth Clark and his family, Cyril Connolly, James Lees Milne, John Betjeman, Frances Partridge and other circles including publishers bibliophiles fine printers and collectors and so on.
She recorded most of them in the idyllic surroundings ofthe family home, The Old Rectory in Litton Cheney in remote West Dorset. It was a place where writers painters and others were invited, were entertained and able to work in a tranquil atmosphere. I have written the biographical introduction and captions to the photographs and Alan Bennett has supplied a foreword. It is both an interesting and handsome book, published in hardback with high quality reproduction of the photographs.