Venus Appeareth to Aeneas, in Nineteen Early Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley from the Collection of Mr. Harold Hartley, with an Introduction by Georges Derry
As a student at the Brighton Grammar School, Beardsley doodled obsessively and caricatured peers and teachers alike, while creating ridiculous images to accompany whatever he was reading. Assigned Virgil’s Aeneid, he tried translating it from the Latin, but also drew hilariously inappropriate versions of Aeneas’s adventures—including this encounter with an outsized Victorian Venus—in a style influenced by comic works such as William Makepeace Thackeray’s (1811–1863) illustrations for The Rose and the Ring (1855). In their 1970 edition of Beardsley’s letters, Henry Maas, J. L. Duncan, and W. G. Good credit R. A. (Rainforth Armitage) Walker (1886–1960) with being “more than any other man . . . the custodian of Beardsley’s fame.” Under the pseudonym of “Georges Derry,” Walker wrote the Introduction to this 1919 edition of Beardsley’s early work, from the collection of Harold Hartley (1851–1943), a British printer and publisher.
From the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press