Abbé Aubrey

Brigid Brophy

  • Aubrey Beardsley: An Account of his Life by Miriam Benkovitz
    Hamish Hamilton, 226 pp, £8.95, February 1981, ISBN 0 241 10382 7

‘Although he was only 17, his interests were iridescent.’ I wonder what Miriam J. Benkovitz, sometime Professor of English, thinks ‘iridescent’ means. The next stage after ‘adolescent’, perhaps. Something, certainly, to do with growing. A hundred or so pages further on, she suggests that Beardsley’s ‘iridescent interests’ may have ‘enlarged his stature’. What’s more, she describes A Book of Fifty Drawings (1897) as a monument to the 24-year-old Beardsley’s ‘iridescence and growth’.

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