Beerbohm, Sir Max

Beerbohm, Sir Max bērˈbōm [key], 1872–1956, English essayist, caricaturist, and parodist. He contributed to the famous Yellow Book while still an undergraduate at Oxford. In 1898 he succeeded G. B. Shaw as drama critic for the Saturday Review. A charming, witty, and elegant man often called “the incomparable Max,” a sobriquet originally bestowed upon him by Shaw, Beerbohm was a brilliant parodist and the master of a polished prose style. His works include A Christmas Garland (1912), a collection of parodies on such authors as Joseph Conrad and Thomas Hardy; Zuleika Dobson (1911), an amusing satire on Oxford; Seven Men (1919), stories; and And Even Now (1920) and Mainly on the Air (1947), essays. Beerbohm was accomplished at drawing, and he published several volumes of excellent caricatures, which manage to be at once both genial and malicious. These include The Poet's Corner (1904) and Rossetti and His Circle (1922). He was knighted in 1939 on his return from Italy, where he had lived from 1910.

See collections ed. by S. C. Roberts (1962), D. Cecil (1971), and P. Lopate (2015); his selected letters (1989); N. J. Hall's collection of his caricatures (1997); biographies by D. Cecil (1964) and N. J. Hall (2002); studies by B. Lynch (1974), and L. Danson (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 20th cent. to the Present: Biographies