Max Beerbohm’s “Observations”

BEERBOHM, Max. Observations. London: William Heinemann, [1925].

First edition. Quarto (11 x 8 1/4 inches; 278 x 210 mm.). viii pp. Color frontispiece and fifty-one monochrome plates, with descriptive tissue guards.

Original yellow cloth. Spine lettered in gilt. Back cover stamped in blind with publisher’s windmill device. In the original dust jacket (jacketwith neat split at upper joint and light soiling). A fine copy in very good dust jacket.

“The next book of caricatures, Observations, came out in 1925. It was dedicated to Max’s old friend Edmund Gosse, and contained thirty-four cartoons representing Various Persons and Ideas [including “Mr. Osbert and Mr. Sacheverell Sitwell;” “Mr. Walter De La Mare gaining inspiration;” “Civilisation and the Industrial System;” “Logic and Mathematics Reconciled [Bertrand Russell];” “Some Persons of ‘The Nineties’ [Beardsley; Max Beerbohm; Conder; Harland; Le Gallienne; Moore; Rothenstein; Sickert; Symons; Wilde; Yeats];” and “Mr. Lytton Strachey”)], and eighteen others entitled The Old and the Young Self [including “Sir Edmund Gosse;” “Mr. H.G. Wells;” “Lord Chestefield;” “Mr. Rudyard Kipling;” “Joseph Conrad;” and “Mr. Bernard Shaw”]. They were the record of an exhibition of fifty-six drawings held at the Leicester Galleries in April and May 1925” (Riewald, p. 26).

English essayist and caricaturist Sir Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) “was a brilliant figure among the so-called decadents of turn-of-the-century London. He contributed to The Yellow Book, an influential literature journal, while he was still at Oxford, writing irreverent parodies (as in A Christmas Garland, 1896) and drawing brilliant caricatures under the signature ‘Max.’ Some of his caricatures were published in The Poet’s Corner (1904) and Rossetti and His Circle (1922). His later works include a satire of Oxford in the novel Zuleika Dobson (1911) and essays, such as those collected in A Defense of cosmetics (1922) and Around Theatres (1930). He remained legendary for his wit, brilliance, and powers of satire even after he went to Italy to live out his middle and old age in quiet retirement” (Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia).

Cutler & Styles, p. 13. Gallatin & Oliver 24. Riewald 24. Item #00586

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