Victorian Art & Design
 Beardsley and The Yellow Book

On a foggy New Year's Day in 1894, Beardsley and an American writer, Henry Harland, discussed their ideas for a new magazine. Beardsley chose the name, The Yellow Book. Harland was to be the Literary Editor and Beardsley would be the Art Editor. They asked John Lane of the Bodley Head to publish it. He had already agreed to publish Oscar Wilde's play, Salome with Beardsley's illustrations. He soon agreed to publish The Yellow Book. Beardsley was to design a new cover  picture for each volume. This is his cover design for Volume 2.

The first issue went on sale in April 1894. It became the talking point of London. The critics attacked Beardsley's portrait of the actress, Mrs. Patrick Campbell for making her excessively thin. They also were shocked by the title page because it showed a woman playing a piano outdoors.

On April 5th, 1895 the police arrested Oscar Wilde. Some of the authors published by Lane demanded that he remove Wilde's books from his list. One author, William Watson, telegraphed Lane demanding that he remove all of Beardsley's drawings from Volume Five of The Yellow Book. It was already at the printers and Lane said that this was unfair but he agreed and  Beardsley lost his job as Art Editor.


Beardsley and Smithers