Lee Miller's War

Lee Miller's War

Edited by Antony Penrose

Publication: Published
Illustrations: 200 b&w
Price: £19.95
Extent: 208pp
Format: 279 x 214mm
Binding: Paperback
Territory: World English language (Thames & Hudson), German (Edition Tiamat)
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Twelve of Lee Miller's most important despatches re-assembled from the original manuscripts, interspersed with letters and telegrams which give a glimpse of Lee's personal reactions to the events she reported. Starting with her first report from a field hospital soon after D Day, the despatches and photographs chronicle the Liberation of Paris, fighting in the Loire Valley, Luxembourg, Alsace, the Russian/American link at Torgau and the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps, ending with her now famous picture of Hitler's Berchtesgaden house Alderhorst in flames.

With a foreword by David E. Scherman, the distinguished Time/ Life photo- journalist, who was a close friend and colleague of Lee Miller.

Lee Miller hustled her way into Vogue as a photographer in the early 1940s. Bored with mundane assignments and utterly frustrated that the biggest story of her life was taking place without her, she managed to secure accreditation to the US Armed Forces as a war correspondent. From that point, Vogue's coverage took on a quality more usually associated with the best news magazines. For a woman to have had the determination, guts and courage to achieve this role at that time was extraordinary. For that woman to have been Lee Miller was little short of a miracle. When the war broke out, Lee was enjoying what appeared to be a charmed life in Britain, living at the centre of a unique social and artistic circle. She happily gave all this up to get to the front.

Dressed in olive drab, winning the affection of soldiers of all ranks, armed with a battered Baby Hermes typewriter, basic camera equipment and an iron will, she went straight to the heart of the grim and gripping business of war. She found it agony to commit events to paper but her voracious appetite to be a witness of military action and human reaction led to an enormous output of words. Her writing manages to combine immediacy with acute observation, and deep personal involvement with professional detachment. Complementing this natural talent in writing are two hundred remarkable photographs from the Lee Miller Archives.

With their own quality of surrealist irony, which at times verges on the horrific and at others on the hilarious, they show war-ravaged cities, buildings and landscapes but above all war resilient people - soldiers, leaders, medics, evacuees, prisoners of war, the wounded, the villains and the heroes.