The Happy Hypocrite by Max Beerbohm


The spirit of the 1890s persists in this 1915 edition of a story the splendid Max wrote originally for The Yellow Book in 1896. Originally subtitled “A Fairy Tale for Tired Men”, The Happy Hypocrite is a typically light-hearted affair concerning the misadventures of one Lord George Hell. The setting is the Regency era so beloved of many of the London Decadents, Aubrey Beardsley included, and the rather fine illustrations are by George Sheringham whose style was distinctive enough to avoid any Beardsley pastiche. The copy preserved at the Internet Archive includes a number of full-colour plates but time and the vicissitudes of reproduction haven’t done them any favours, hence the concentration here on the monochrome drawings.



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