THE. Henry Harland YELLOW BOOK: AN ILLUSTRATED QUARTERLY, Literary, Art Aubrey Beardsley.

London: Elkin Mathews & John Lane. Boston: Copeland & Day. [Later]: London & New York: John Lane, The Bodley Head, April 1894-April 1897 (volumes I-XIII). Octavo, 13 volumes, illustrations, publisher's pictorial yellow cloth stamped in black. THE YELLOW BOOK, the most memorable of the literary and artistic magazines of the 1890s, was conceived during a conversation in early 1894 between Henry Harland, an American-born literary man in his early thirties, and Aubrey Beardsley, an artist in his early twenties who had already attracted attention with his disturbing illustrations for the English edition of Oscar Wilde's exotic SALOMÉ (1894). Harland would be the literary editor, Bearsley the art editor, and new journal would be published by John Lane whose firm had become a leading publisher of the emerging writers of the 1890s. The magazine was not an avant garde publication, but an expensive (five shillings an issue) literary and artistic quarterly for the carriage trade. During its life span, THE YELLOW BOOK published the work of of 106 artists and 138 writers. The amount of fiction in the magazine and the importance of its authors is often overlooked. Contributors of fiction included Henry James, H. G. Wells, John Buchan, Baron Corvo, Arnold Bennett, and others. Its contents include a high percentage of work by women writers and illustrators, among them Ella D'Arcy and Ethel Colburn Mayne (both also served as Harland's sub-editors), George Egerton, Charlotte Mew, Rosamund Marriott Watson, Ada Leverson, Netta and Nellie Syrett, and Ethel Reed. Of the periodicals written exclusively for those interested in the arts, THE YELLOW BOOK was among the first to attempt to reach a comparatively large audience. The magazine was a success initially, but folded following the scandal of the Oscar Wilde trial (which lead to the dismissal Beardsley -- a suspicious figure in the public mind -- as art editor and the suppression of his illustrations in the journal's fifth issue, then in press). The bindings are a bit dusty and there is a closed 15 mm tear in the spine of volume VIII, but overall this is a remarkably attractive set with fine interiors. (#154894).

Price: $2,500.00

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