Sunday, September 30, 2007

Beardsley: New to Me

In amongst this huge lot of books I have bought recently, there are very few which interest me personally, but there are just the odd one or two which are forcing me to be all stern and dealer-ish with myself in order that they don't end up on my shelf. Beardsely is not one of my primary interests but I am, of course, very aware of him as one of the great contributors to the 1890s.

So it was a very plesant surprise to come across this book in the current rummaging, which I had not heard of before. Bon-Mots by R. B. Sheridan and Sydney Smith (J. M. Dent, London, 1894, limited to 100 copies. It is illustrated many many 'grotesques' by Beardsley: tiny little line drawings inserted into the text and, in many ways, quite different to what we are used to seeing reproduced from The Savoy, The Yellow Book and the productions of Leonard Smithers. I love these little drawings, and it is a testament to Beardsley's enduring influence just how modern they continue to look in many ways.

Sorry about the slightly dodgy pictures but I daren't flatten the book on the scanner as I am being strong and putting it up for sale this weekend so I had to use the camera.


John C said...

Aargh...! You certainly know how to plunge a fellow into viridescent deeps of jealousy!

I've got all of the drawings annoyingly scattered throughout several collections. Being a minor work, most Beardsley books usually only feature a couple of examples. He once said "I am grotesque or I am nothing" and the Bon Mots are the proof really.

Anne Baker said...

Hello, Is this book worth money? Was there really only 100 made? The date on the one I own is 1893, not 1894, just wondering if you know any more about it. The drawings are so incredible. Thank you, Anne Baker

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