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From The Academy: “From Crowded Shelves”

The Yellow Book. April, 1897. (John Lane.)

THE contents of the new number of
the Yellow Book oare more diversified
than distinguished. Mr. Sidney Benson
Thorpe’s story, “An Immortal,” is sad and
squalid enough, but very well done; Miss
Evelyn Sharp’s variant of Mr. Aldrich’s
Marjorie Daw is clever, although lacking
in lightness; Mr. Harland has another
bright comedy in porcelain, as his very
unreal studies in raillery migh tbe called;
and Mrs. Cunningham Grahame’s treatment
of an old legend is interesting. Among the
essayists we like best Mr. Le Gallienne on
Beauty. Mr. Francis Watt offers two ex-
amples of turpitude, or, as Mr. Charles
Whibley would call it, scoundrelism. Mr.
J. M. Robertson criticises Mr. Meredith with
more outspokenness than that great writer
is accustomed to, and Mr. R. V. Risley
meditates somewhat jerkily upon Forgetful-
ness. The poets include Mr. W. B. Yeats,
who migh tbe more simple – the word
“Rose,” for instance, has for Mr. Yeats
many meanings that are strange to the non-
political mind, Mr. H. W. Nevinson, Mrs.
Marriott-Watson, Mr. Douglas Ainslie, and
Mr. J. A. Blackie, who offer scholarly, but what
we migh tcall cul-de-sac, verse. Indeed, the
Yellow Book literatuer generally is cul-de-sac –
it leads nowhere. Dr. Garnett’s translations
from Anthero de QUental have dignity; but
it was unwise of the editor to remind us of
Mrs. Browning by calling them “Sonnets
from the Portuguese.” The poem by Mr.
Stephen Phillips is cheifly remarkable for
its thoroughlty Ibsenian subject. Altogether,
we cannot but feel relief to think that the
contributors to the Yellow Book have no
hand in the control of this planet, so much
in love with freyness are they, and so
lacking in humour. If it were not for Mr.
Le Gallienne and Mr. Harland there would
not be a gay note among them. The “art”
of the Yellow Book grows steadily worse.
Once, whatever might be said of its subject-
matter, it had distinction and it had merit;
but the good things now are so rate that
they astonish before they please. In the
current number we find a drawing by Mr.
E. J. Sullivan, called “The Mirror”; one by
Mr. Patten Wilson, called “An Eastern
Town”; one by Katherine Cameron, called
“The Black Cockade” – and these alone
seem to us worthy of their reproduction.
Mr. Charles Conder is unintelligible in
black and white, and the drawings by
A. Bayerle and Ethle Reed are of the
poorest. In the design for the cover Miss
Mabel Syrett has manipulated two fighting
cocks very deftly.

MLA citation:

Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 13, April 1897, Academy, 5 June 1897, p. 590. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Edited Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Humanities, 2018.