New Vivien Leigh biography

Hi, everyone! Boy, have I got big news for you!

As most of you may know, I’ve been working on a book about our own Vivien Leigh off and on for the past four years (all-inclusive). I’ve traversed nations, crossed an ocean multiple times, spent hours upon hours digging through archives, and have met many interesting people who either knew Vivien personally or have paved the way for a newcomer like me by publishing their own research. Today, I’m extremely proud to announce that I’ve got a publisher!!  The road up to this point has been long and bumpy. But I never gave up, and to be able to say that I’ve reached this very important step is almost surreal.

Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait will be published by Running Press (US) and Perseus (UK) in October 2013, just in time for Vivien’s centenary! It will be a hard cover coffee table book featuring a treasure trove of new and rare photographs, and my own take on Vivien’s incredible, multi-faceted life and career. I’m also really excited because my editor is someone that I had contacted when I first set out on this project four years ago. Her sage advice about how to go about becoming a published author is something I’ve kept with me on this journey, and to be working with her now to bring this book to fruition, well, it’s kind of like things have come full circle. And that’s awesome.

I’m not permitted to give too many details right now, but I did want to extend a huge “thanks” to all of you who have shown your support here and elsewhere over the past few years. Your encouragement and active engagement as fans have enabled me to prove that although she isn’t Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn in that her face isn’t plastered around every corner, Vivien Leigh is, indeed, still a cultural icon.

As many people have reiterated to me, hard work and determination really do pay off. I’ve got much to do in a very short amount of time, but I couldn’t be more excited that things are on the move in a big way. I hope you’ll stay tuned for updates, and I’ll let you know when pre-ordering becomes available!




PS, I know some of you out there have mentioned that you have some rare photos of Vivien in your own collections. If you’re still willing to assist with this project by sharing those, please get in touch at vivandlarry{at}gmail.

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About The Author


Kendra is the designer and webmistress of She lives in London and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait (Running Press, October 2013). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, on Facebook at Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, or at her official website.

36 Responses to This just in!

  1. Katy says:

    Congratulations! It’s kind of crazy to think it has been four years since you started this journey. I still remember the LJ days of mayfairdays. Can’t wait to buy the book!

    • Aurora says:

      I remember that as well! Congratulations, Kendra! Very exciting news and definitely looking forward to seeing this book!

  2. Congratulations, that’s fantastic news! Can’t think of a better person to be the one behind a book on this star!

  3. Linda says:

    Once again, I just wanted to express how happy I am for you and how proud I am that you have come so far. You deserve this wonderful success! Best Wishes, Linda.

  4. John Greco says:

    Kendra, congratulations over and over again! Your hard work is paying. Looking forward continuing to follow you on this journey.

  5. Tatiana says:

    Holy crap, Kendra! I am SO FRIGGIN PROUD OF YOU! <3 <3 Congrats times a million!

    • Kendra says:

      Thanks, Tati! I was just thinking how I’m pretty sure I came up with this crazy idea when we lived together in Huntington Beach. I’m glad that after years of talking about it, it’s actually happening! Holler! :D

  6. erikebec says:

    That’s wonderful news !!!! I can’t wait to have the book on my coffee table, and reunited with my many other books about Vivien (and GWTW). I think it is not too early to congratulate you. Your determination and hard work paid off already: you have a publisher ! As you say, you still have a lot to do so I send you my encouragements for that.
    It is very agreeable to think that Vivien will be celebrated on her 100th birthday, at least with your wonderful work.

  7. Casee Marie says:

    So many, many congratulations again, Kendra! I can only imagine the triumph of getting to this stage after the YEARS of dedication you’ve put into this project – you should be extremely proud of your diligence. I can’t wait to have a copy of this magical book, and I’m sure I’ll learn even more about Viv from you in print format. ;)

  8. Rita says:

    I am so happy for you Kendra! And I cannot wait until I am able to purchase your book, because it is that much more important and personal to buy a Vivien Leigh biography by someone who is truly and indeed an admirer of her work.
    My love goes out to you,

    Rita Santos

  9. Kendra! You star! Congratulations on the sensational news!

  10. Perrie says:

    I’ve said it already on tumblr but I am so excited for this. It’s about time a new book was published on Vivien – and a hard cover, coffee table book too – with new/rare pictures! How lucky we are. Many congratulations again Kendra.

  11. Vanessa says:

    YES! This is such a fitting thing to happen on Thanksgiving weekend!

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to buy my own copy XD

  12. Rita says:

    Bravo! another applause for Viv and a big start for you

  13. Maureen Nolan says:

    I am so happy for you and Vivien fans around the world!

  14. David says:

    A seriously researched biography in the style of a gorgeous, glossy coffee-table photography book is the perfect concept for a book about Vivien, Next October, just before Vivien’s 100th birthday, is the perfect time for it to be released. And you, Kendra, are the absolutely perfect author for it. PERFECT, PERFECT, PERFECT!!! Thank heaven that Running Press and Perseus were smart enough to see this and make the most of your particular combination of talents. And I’d like to add that, as excited as I am to see the rare photos of Vivien that you intend to include, I’m also thrilled that a serious biography of Vivien will be published that makes full use of the Olivier archive at the British Library. FINALLY!! Your exciting announcement came as such happy news … if I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me up!

  15. Jo-Dee says:

    Congrats once again. Really excited and I can’t wait to buy the book. She would be extremely proud of you. Good job! I know you are really going to be celebrating tonight, haha!

  16. KC says:

    Congratulations! It sounds like you have worked so hard. It’s wonderful that something great has come of it.

  17. lovevivleigh says:

    So happy for you, cannot wait to read your book !

  18. Marissa says:

    Congratulations!!! This is such exciting news!!! I am so happy for you and cannot wait for this book! :)

  19. Le says:

    Congratulations, Kendra!
    I’m also a writer and I know how the struggle to get published can be. I’ve self-published two books, but girl, it is a great emotion when they come to your hands!
    Congratulations again!

  20. Dawn Sample says:

    Congratulations! How wonderful that something great has come of all your hard work. I can not wait to read it..

  21. Peter says:

    This is fantastic news, Kendra. Congratulations! I hope you have great success with this project. It might be worth checking about any film festivals devoted to Vivien’s centenary as the time draws near. I know that Film Forum in NYC often has authors present, with books on hand ready for purchase and signing, when screenings/book releases more or less coincide. (And, yes, a theatrical screening of The Deep Blue Sea in its original CinemaScope proportions would be a lovely rare treat for Vivien’s fans.) I would hold out for my personally autographed copy in that case.

    Cheers and best wishes!

  22. renata corduan says:

    Well, that IS GREAT NEWS!I think , I know how you must feel–proud and gratified .Coffee-table books are sometimes really my favourites for a nice and relaxing passtime and so beautiful as your subject and your loving comments will be certainly very entertaining. Regards, Renata

  23. Sylvia Kodis says:

    This is the first time I’m aware of your fantastic news! My husband and I are starting our long journey home after a wonderful vacation in Oslo, Norway. We had a great Thanksgiving with my son and his housemates! I can’t tell you how proud and happy I am for you, you’ve worked so hard to accomplish this project. I know this is going to be a great book about Vivien because it’s being written by someone who cares-YOU!
    Best wishes,

  24. Mikaila says:

    Congratulations! That’s amazing… Can’t wait to read and enjoy it :) I’m a young writer and I hope that I can find a publisher for my book but congrats again… That truly is a great feat for any writer!

  25. Page says:

    That’s wonderful news! I’m sure your book on Viv will be quite successful. So happy for you that your hard work and research has paid off.

    I’ll be looking forward to it.
    All the best!

  26. Hannah says:

    I absolutely love your website. And I cannot wait for your book next year! I’m a fan on FB & follow you on Twitter, please consider creating a “Viv & Larry” Instagram!!! again, I’m highly anticipating the book! keep up the amazing work, your drive, determination & love for Vivien certainly show!

  27. R.A. Kerr says:

    Wow! That is fantastic news! Congratulations!!

  28. Mariana says:

    Congratulations, Kendra!
    (Just now reading this official post!) I honestly think you were meant to write this book. And travel to London. And I know greater things will come of this. :)
    I can’t wait to hear more news and get my hands on the hard copy when it is published!

  29. Laura says:

    Coming in late to the party, of course, but whoooooo! Congratulations! What an impressive amount of work for what I know will be a massively impressive book! Can’t wait!

  30. [...] past couple of months have been very busy. With my Vivien Leigh book deadline looming, I’ve had little time to blog or, indeed, do much of anything outside of [...]

  31. Bex says:

    Very happy about your book coming out later this year! I will endeavor to obtain a copy for myself via amazon maybe? Congratulations on a fine result of all your hard work and dedication, Kendra.

  32. Daniele says:

    Oh, I found you! People told me about you because the book on Vivien you’re writing. The first illustrated bio on Vivien, that’s right?
    I’m hoping to see the book ready!
    By the way, years, many years ago you used to send me videos about Viv and Larry by email, but I don’t think you remember.
    Nice to hear this wonderful work on Vivien!!
    Daniele Moura.

  33. [...] the past six months or so. I blame the whirlwind that has been writing and assembling my upcoming Vivien Leigh book by the deadlines specified by my editor. Now that this is winding down and the publication date [...]

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