(1872 - 1956)
"The incomparable Max"

Essayist, caricaturist, critic, and short story writer, Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm endures as one of Edwardian England’s leading satirists.  He emerged from Oxford, aged 18, with a reputation as an aesthete and a dandy, and wrote of himself  ‘I was a modest, good-humored boy … It was Oxford that has made me insufferable.’  He was quickly drawn into Oscar Wilde’s literary circle, and in 1894  contributed the satiric essay “A Defense of Cosmetics” to the Yellow Book’s first issue, also writing for Beardsley’s The Savoy in 1896, thus becoming part of the English Decadents movement of the 1890s. 

In 1898 Beerbohm replaced George Bernard Shaw as drama critic for the Saturday Review. ‘The younger generation is knocking at the door,’ Shaw told readers. ‘And as I open it there steps sprightly in the incomparable Max.’ He remained as critic at the Review until he moved to Italy in 1910.

Beerbohm was also famous for his comic sketches of literary figures, politicians, and celebrities. ‘There is wit and barbed insight but no malice in [his] caricatures,’ noted the Spectator. ‘Beerbohm mocked only what he loved.’

He was knighted in 1939 and continued to write essays, reviews and fiction, including his only novel, Zuleika Dobson, until his death in Italy in 1956.

His biographer Lord David Cecil wrote ‘He was England’s supreme parodist and caricaturist, her most exquisite master of satiric fantasy.’

Please scroll down to see our current stock of first editions







Add to favourites

Books by this author

The Happy Hypocrite



The Works of Max Beerbohm