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From The Academy: “Magazines and Reviews”

The second number of the Yellow Book
(Matthews & Lane), though too bulky to be
convenient, and far too full of “short” stories
which are too diffuse to be short, is in some
respects an improvement on the first number;
but the improvement, we are bound to say, is
far more marked on the pictorial than on the
literary side. Even Mr. Hamerton, in his most
genial hour, could hardly say that all this
“easy writing” is easy reading—that it is
“literature” rather than “letterpress.” The
amateur element—young ladies with pet names,
like actresses at the Gaiety—is far too con-
spicuous than it should be if the Yellow Book
is to be continued and is to command respect;
while of those literary performers who con-
descend to be brief, more than one reminds us
of a description given in the old days of Miss
Kate Vaughan’s dancing: “You think she is
going to begin, or she does begin it may be;
but just as you settle down seriously to witness,
behold she stops.” Of his “betrothed,” for
instance, has Mr. Gale nothing more to tell us
than the not very original or valuable informa-
tion that

    “. . . Whatever my grief
        There is healing and rest,
    On the pear-blossom slope
        Of her beautiful breast.”

From Mr. Max Beerbohm there comes an ex-
planation that his essay in the last number in
praise of cosmetics was satirical. He thinks he
“has” the critics because none of them thought
it so; but, if he wished them to, he should
have told them his intentions earlier; but
perhaps he did not recognize how heavy was
his hand in satire, and how deplorably the ex-
planation was needed. In the department of
art, though Mr. Beardsley‘s type of woman-
kind—whether he calls it Réjane or leaves it a
nameless horror–is as offensive as ever, and as
thoroughly morbid, his cleverness in other work
is not hidden under a bushel. Those three
“garçons de café,” for instance, are full of
the entertainingness of rather chargé portraiture.
Mr. Sickert is, as usual, striking and interest-
ing; and Mr. Wilson Steer’s portrait of himself
—espied behind the slender legs and flying
skirts of a model putting on her shoe—is,
though scarcely sufficient as a likeness, a
charming production. Mr. Aymer Vallance’s
four drawings for the backs of playing-cards
would be extremely suitable if the cards were
there. Mr. Alfred Thornton’s landscape has real

MLA citation:

“Magazines and Reviews.” Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 2, July 1894,The Academy 28 July 1894, p.67. Yellow Nineties 2.0. Edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.