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From St. James’s Gazette: “The Yellow Book”

OF the second number of the Yellow Book it may at once be acknow-
ledged that it is a distinct improvement on the first. Mr. Aubrey
Beardsley tries to frighten us with an ugly frontispiece; but inside there
will be found some altogether charming and pleasing specimens of Art.
The girl’s figure in the foreground of Mr. Wilson Steer’s portrait of
himself is exquisitely drawn, and the portrait of Madame Réjane shows
Mr. Aubrey Beardsley at his best. The pose is characteristic and the
expression has been caught to a miracle. The three Garçons de Cafe are
also good; but the Slippers of Cinderella are not.

We need not speak of the writing of such old hands as Mr. Henry
James, Mr. Austin Dobson, and Mr. Frederick Greenwood; each contri-
butes a good specimen of a good style. Miss Ella D’Arcy continues to
show great promise in “Poor Cousin Louis”— a very repulsive sketch, but
well done. “The Roman Road,” by Mr. Kenneth Grahame, is another
piece that stands out from its surroundings. The analysis of the thoughts
and emotions of the boy is effected simply and pleasantly. One new
departure we note with sincere apprehension. “The editor and pub-
lishers,” we are informed, “have conceived the entirely novel idea
of publishing in the current number· a review in two parts of
the number immediately preceding it— one part to deal with the
literature, and another to criticise the illustrations.” Certain pub-
lishers have the bad habit or sending round with their productions a
nicely printed slip containing a ready-made review of the book for the use
of lazy critics; but we hope the enterprising publishers of the Yellow Book
are not going to ‘allow’ their young lions to glorify each other or themselves
in this fashion. No fault can be found with the first attempt, in which Mr.
Hamerton balances his praise and blame with admirable discretion, but the
possibilities opened up are distressing. Indeed, there is in another part of
the volume a specimen of what the “entirely novel idea” may lead to—a dis-
appointed essayist, who does not agree with his critics, being allowed to
devote three or four pages to telling us with portentous gravity that he is
an important person. The argument runs thus: Critics in the past have
attacked men who afterwards became great ; they have attacked me; there-
fore I am great. As the young gentleman writes from Oxford, there are
hopes that he is still in that stage in which a judicious tutor may impart
instruction on the construction of the syllogism.

MLA citation:

“The Yellow Book.” Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 2, August 1894, St. James’s Gazette 20 July 1894, p. 6. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.