The Yellow Book

11 Sep

I’m currently reading A.S. Byatt’s wonderful The Children’s Book which sparked my interest in The Yellow Book, a literary journal published between 1894 and 1897.

The Yellow Book was edited by Henry Harland with Aubrey Beardsley as art editor. According to Harland:

In one of the densest and soupiest and yellowest of all London’s infernalest fogs, Aubrey Beardsley and I sat together the whole afternoon … We declared to each other that we thought it quite a pity and a shame that London publishers should feel themselves longer under any obligation to refuse any of our good manuscripts … And then and there we decided to have a magazine of our own.

The journal included poetry, short stories, essays, illustrations, reproductions of paintings, etc. Some of the writers whose work appeared in the pages of The Yellow Book were Henry James, William Butler Yeats, H.G. Wells and Max Beerbohm.

Beardsley provided cover illustrations for the first four issues until he was given the sack in 1895 after the arrest of Oscar Wilde. Even though Wilde had no connections whatsoever with The Yellow Book, Beardsley had illustrated Wilde’s Salomé. That was apparently enough reason for the publishers to remove all of Beardsley’s artwork from the fifth issue of the journal.

You can download .pdfs of all 13 issues of The Yellow Book here at www.archive.com, which is a great resource in itself.

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One Response to “The Yellow Book”

  1. aubrey September 22, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    There were protests held on Vigo St., in London, where the Yellow Book was published – demanding the removal of Aubrey or even the shutting down of the Yellow Book. I remember when I (used to) visit there, I would walk along that street, where all that foolishness started.

    Thanks for the link!

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