Catalogue of Rare Books Offered for Sale by Leonard Smithers, No. 3–September 1895
Beardsley’s delight in the idea of pansexuality was literal: he delighted in drawing a sexual Pan. Which book sold by Leonard Smithers was this grinning Greek nature god so improbably reading aloud, in a sylvan setting, to a Victorian woman? There were many choices: perhaps one of the respectable antiquarian volumes listed in this catalogue; a work of poetry or prose, written by a member of the contemporary decadent movement and published by Smithers; or an example of the pornography in which Smithers had been doing a clandestine trade for years. The same daring spirit that led him to traffic in the forbidden also encouraged him to recruit the poet Arthur Symons (1865–1945) as editor of a new magazine, The Savoy, and to put Beardsley in charge of its art contents, while also employing him to produce book designs and illustrations for other publications.
From the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press