Mr. Aubrey Beardsley, in Caricatures of Twenty-Five Gentlemen, with an Introduction by L. Raven-Hill
Siegfried Sassoon’s copy.
In an 1894 Bon-Mots volume, Beardsley caricatured Max Beerbohm, though without identifying him as the subject of a grotesquely comic drawing. Beerbohm returned the favor in both the April 1896 number of The Savoy and in this book, which was accompanied by an Introduction by Leonard Raven-Hill (1867–1942), a fellow artist. (The copy shown here belonged to the great First World War soldier-poet, Siegfried Sassoon [1886–1967].) Poking fun at Beardsley meant emphasizing his youth, as well as his preoccupation with things French, by portraying him as an overgrown child with a pull-toy—a poodle doll on a string. The row of puffy objects along Beardsley’s name, which resembled flowers or trees, may have been Beerbohm’s naughty allusion to Beardsley’s design for the October 1894 cover of The Yellow Book, with a prostitute doing her make up and using just such a powder puff on a stick.
From the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press