From The Saturday Review: Review of The Yellow Book
The new Yellow Book (Mathews &
Lane) is as undistinguished
as the first issue, or, if distinguished in any way, is distinguished
precisely as the first volume is distinguished. Mr. Henry James in
“‘The Coxon Fund” is much more diffuse and much less amusing
than in his former contribution. Mr. Frederick Greenwood em-
ploys the form of fiction, or true relation, with good effect from
an artistic point of view, in setting forth a kind of lay sermon on
the “Gospel of Content.” For the rest, the letterpress, or “litera-
ture,” as Mr. Hamerton would have it, comprises rather more than
the magazine average of amateurish short stories, excepting only
the grimly impressive “Cousin Louis,” by Ella D’Arcy. M.
Dauphin Meunier’s article on Mme. Réjane, apart from some
redundancy and indiscretion of epithets, has something of the in-
sight of portraiture and a happy touch of the picturesque. The
verse is of the ordinary “poet’s corner” kind, save Mr. Alfred
Hayes’s stanzas, “My Study,” which are notable for good
workmanship rather than inspiration. Mr. William Watson’s
“Epigram” leaves us marvelling, if it be possible for Mr.
Watson to give a more meagre illustration of his theory of the
epigram. If Harrington’s epigrams are mere “relations,” as Ben
Jonson thought, what are Mr. Watson’s likely to arrive at?
The irreducible flatness and pointlessness of a bare statement.
Mr. Beardsley‘s facile invention and decorative resources are
well displayed, after the mode of the artist’s “Salome” designs,
in the three drawings of Marionettes. The study of three Café
waiters is extremely clever. Excellent also is the so-called “Por-
trait of Madame Réjane,” a drawing in fine outline, every curve of
which has expression. Mr. Wilson Steer’s contributions—especi-
ally the studio interior—are of an aggressive kind of cleverness.
They make a clamorous appeal for your regard, and gain admiration
for their dexterity chiefly. So, too, is it with Mr. Walter
Sickert’s grotesque portrait of Mr. Beardsley and “Ada Lund-
berg.” Mr. Sickert’s “Old Bedford Music Hall,” however, is
admirable for force and atmosphere. Other notable drawings are
Mr. Sargent’s “Portrait of Henry James,” “The Lamplighter,”
by Mr. Hartrick, and Mr. Walter Crane’s “Renaissance of
Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 2, July 1894, The Saturday Review 4 August 1894, p. 139. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/yb2-review-saturday-review-aug-1894/