Birds of Britain, an acclaimed book of photographs by John d Green, was published almost 50 years ago, in September 1967. The book featured John d Green’s strikingly individual, unconventional and witty portraits of 58 of the girls who made London swing – actresses, models, aristocrats, fashion designers, boutique owners and pop singers.
The cover featured a close-up colour portrait of Pattie Boyd, scrunching her nose to try and shake off a beetle painted with a union jack, while inside the covers, the spectacular portraits were all black and white. A contemporary review called it “one of the most exciting photographic picture-books in a time of picture-books.”
Birds of Britain was a huge mainstream success, selling 60,000 copies (at a time when most coffee table books would have a print run of 3,000 copies), prompting newspaper headlines and serializations, TV appearances, outrage from parents of some of the girls featured in the book, a lavish launch party at Sibylla’s nightclub, a high-profile promotional tour of the USA for John, his friend, art director David Tree, and some of the girls, and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.