Treasures of the Rare Books Room: The Yellow Book

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The Milwaukee Public Library is fortunate to own a complete set of the British art and literary journal The Yellow Book. It was published in London from 1894 to 1897.

The first art director of this quarterly publication was Aubrey Beardsley, the British illustrator infamous for his dark, grotesque and often erotic drawings which were influenced by Japanese prints. Beardsley has been credited with the idea of the yellow cover, a reference to books sold in Paris wrapped in yellow paper which became a sign of their lascivious content. However, the journal was respectable and featured the writings of such luminaries as Henry James, H. G. Wells and William Butler Yeats as well as the artwork of others.

It was a famous publication in its day and references to it are found in W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage and Evelyn Waugh's Put Out More Flags.

If you are interested in viewing this set, call the Art, Music and Recreation Department at 414-286-3071 to arrange a visit.

Pat DeFrain, Rare Books Librarian @ MPL Central

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This page contains a single entry by Valerie Stradivarius published on May 6, 2013 12:04 PM.

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