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From The Westminster Gazette: “The Yellow Book”

It is not too late, we hope to notice the last Yellow
, though it has been for some weeks before the public.
A rumour had been current that Mr. Lane proposed to abandon
the illustrations, but this proves unfounded. One would not wish
to lose them, for they have sometimes been so much worse,
and occasionally so much better, than those of other magazines
that they have helped to give the publication a character of its own, a
character that without them it would perhaps lose altogether. The
front cover design, by Miss Nellie Syrett, representing three female gobe-
mouches passant, is rather amusing; her title-page is not so good. Mr.
Patten Wilson‘s horses’ heads are well drawn, and his two other drawings
show much invention and draughtsmanship of a rather hard,
mechanical kind. Mr. Conder semms ill-advised in allowing his work
to be reproduced in black and white; its real merits are all lost, and
hardly anything but its faults are left manifest. Mr. Francis Howard’s
portrait of Mr. G. S. Street does not compare favourably with the
portrait heads of Mr. Rothstein. Mr. C. Robinson, an artist of real
talent, has a pretty fancy (“Child-World”), rather injured, to our
mind, by irrelevant freehand flourishes and by ugly, corrupt
lettering. There is such an irresistible charm in really good
lettering (such as we see, for instance, in Augustan Roman
or early Renaissance Italian work), that one wonders no modern
artists ever really catch the spirit of it—no, not even Mr. Rickett’s,
or Mr. Morris himself, who was, however, perhaps too thorough a
Northman and mediaevalist to feel for the Latin as he did for the
Gothic forms. Mr. Max Beerbohm has a caricature which may have a
hidden meaning of some sort, but which to the unenlightened seems
hardly worth reproducing. He has also an amusing impish kind of
fairy story (with an excellent moral), which is the liveliest thing
in the book. Mr. H. S. Salt wants to impose a new poet on us, but
his extracts from Mr. Barlas’s works are anything but convincing. The
best thing he gives is a sonnet, which has won praise in a high quarter.
“Unmatched for nobility of sentiment,” says Mr. George Meredith,
and undoubtedly the sentiment is noble; but “the workmanship
is adequate”—there we cannot quite accept even Mr. Meredith’s judg-
ment. The verse contributions in the Yellow Book show, none of
them, much inspiration. Two of the stories, oddly enough, have much
the same plot: the career of a man who, through some malignity of
chance or weakness of nature, comes to marry (in every sense) beneath
him, and the miserable condequences of his mistake: the same
depressing theme as that of “Manette Saloman.” The story is best
told by Miss D’Arcy. The other version is by Mr. Robert Shrews, who
seems to be a disciple of Mr. Harland, who is a discipt of Mr. Henry
James. Mr. Harland’s “Friend of Man,” which is clever in its way,
would have gained a good deal by boiling down and having half its
adjectives skimmed off.

MLA citation:

“The ‘Yellow Book.’—Vol. XI.” Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 11, October 1896, Westminster Gazette, 21 January 1897, p. 3. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.