Selections from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection
The Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art. London: The Studio, 1893–1964.
Announcements for The Studio, 1893. London: The Studio, 1893. Charles Lewis Hind, the first editor of The Studio, commissioned a cover design (also used on some prospectuses) from Aubrey Beardsley, who was then introduced to the public by Joseph Pennell in an article, “A New Illustrator,” published in the April 1893 inaugural issue.
Modern Book–Bindings & Their Designers, Winter number of The Studio, 1899–1900. New York and London: International Studio Offices, .
The founder–and long–time editor–of The Studio, Charles Holme, already a successful importer of textiles and Asian art, developed his magazine into a multifaceted, international periodicals empire. A master of marketing who made use of the latest reproductive and printing technologies, he introduced a series of special numbers in 1896, followed by annual Year–Books, The International Studio (published in both New York and London), and a related line of book publications. That even by 1900 The Studio had a worldwide audience can be seen in this volume, which contains articles on trade and artistic bookbinding trends in Britain, America, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Scandinavia.
Literary Note from John Lane Company, Publishers and Importers. New York: John Lane, 1905.
John Lane’s New York branch pioneered the use of the “press release” in a series of Literary Notes, uniform typewritten announcements that took the place of specially printed publisher’s prospectuses. Shown here is the “note” promoting Charles Holme’s Art in Photography: With Selected Examples of European and American Work, an independent book published by The Studio in 1905.
The Yellow Book: An Illustrated Quarterly. London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane [later London: John Lane]; Boston: Copeland and Day, 1894–97.
Letter to Henry Harland,  Apr. 17.
A short but important letter, in which the artist and friend/biographer of James McNeill Whistler introduces the twenty–year–old Aubrey Beardsley to his fellow American expatriate, the novelist Henry Harland. A year later, Beardsley and Harland served as, respectively, art and literary editors of The Yellow Book.
Poster for The Yellow Book, Vol. I, April 1894.
Color lithograph, 1894.
If it was Beardsley’s illustrations and covers that gave The Yellow Book much of its notoriety it was the posters he designed which gave the magazine exposure on the streets of London.
The Fool’s Hour, autograph manuscript, [ca. 1893–94].
An early draft of the authors’ collaborative play, Act I of which of which was published in the inaugural volume of The Yellow Book, April 1894.
Les trophées. Paris: A. Lemerre, 1893.
Although there is no record of the Cuban-born writer ever visiting London, he contributed a poem, “Fleurs de feu,” to the third volume of The Yellow Book, October 1894. This book belonged to the novelist and poet, George Meredith, and in a special binding bearing his initials.
The Torch: A Journal of Anarchist–Communism. London: O. and H. Rossetti [later London: F. Macdonald], 1891–1896.
The Torch, June 15, 1895. In 1891, Helen and Olive Rossetti, the daughters of William Michael Rossetti (and the nieces of Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti) became anarchists after hearing a speech by the Russian exile Sergius Stepniak. Fervent converts, they founded The Torch, “a journal of anarchist–communism,” later retitled The Torch of Anarchy. The sisters, together with their brother, Arthur, produced the first issues by cyclostyle, a precursor of mimeograph that reproduced handwriting. In 1893 they obtained a hand press, printing the issues themselves, but after their father insisted that the enterprise be moved out of the family home–the “office” of The Torch had become a meeting place for European radicals of all kinds–a local jobbing printer was engaged. The contributors to The Torch included the young Ford Madox Ford, the artist Lucien Pissarro, George Bernard Shaw, Louise Michel, and Emma Goldman, whose 1895 visit to Britain was covered extensively in the journal’s pages. (Goldman vividly recalled the Rossettis’ radical views and generous hospitality in her autobiography, Living My Life ). No complete run of The Torch is known; the issue displayed, one of 29 in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, contains a rarity even greater than that of the periodical itself—a printed defense of Oscar Wilde, by the Belgian anarchist Alexander Cohen.
The Chap–Book: Semi–Monthly. Chicago: Stone and Kimball [later Chicago: Herbert S. Stone Co.], 1894–1898.
Letter to Stone and Kimball, 1895 Feb. 1.
Waugh, a journalist who became a publisher (rising to become chairman of Chapman and Hall), was the father of the novelist Evelyn Waugh, In the 1890s he served as the London correspondent for a number of American periodicals. This letter reports on books he is sending for The Chap–Book.
The Chap–Book, December 15,1896.
Although smaller in format, cheaply printed, and lacking the impact of illustrations by Beardsley and other prominent artists, The Chap–Book was the closest American equivalent to The Yellow Book. A number of writers (Henry James most prominently) had their work published in both periodicals. If The Yellow Book was edited by an American, so The Chap–Book was dominated by British content, including the first publication of a story by Robert Louis Stevenson, poems by Katherine Tynan, an interview with George Bernard Shaw, and, in this issue, Max Beerbohm’s famous series of parodies, “A Christmas Garland.”
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York: Harper, 1850–.
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, January–August 1894. George Du Maurier’s hugely successful novel, Trilby, was serialized in eight issues of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, published simultaneously in New York and London. James McNeill Whistler objected to the unflattering portrait presented of him in both text and pictures and took legal action. When the first book edition appeared, even before the Harper’s serialization ended, a number of passages were omitted or altered and there were no illustrations at all, save a vignette of Trilby on the front cover.
Four studies for an illustration to Trilby. Pencil drawings, [ca. 1893].
These sketches, which probably date from 1893, have been preserved in the original mount and frame, signed and inscribed by the artist: “Trilby. Studies for ‘My Sister Dear’ G. du Maurier.”
Letter to Mark Twain,  May 2.
Lang writes that he has read Twain’s article in Harper’s on his house and envies his possession of cats, then discusses at length a reply to Amatole France’s comments on Joan of Arc that he wishes to dedicate to Twain. The appearance, early in 1908, of Anatole France’s biography of the Frenchwoman led Lang to publish, within months, his own The Maid of France. France, in turn, attacked Lang’s book in print, and Lang retaliated with Le Joanne d’Arc, written in French, published in Paris, and indeed dedicated to Twaina–fellow devotee of “St. Joan.” The two authors had been on good terms since 1891 when Lang had called Huckleberry Finn a “masterpiece” in the pages of The Illustrated London News.
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, November 1893.
Arthur Symons’s seminal article, “The Decadent Movement in Literature,” illustrated with portraits of Paul Verlaine, Stéphan Mallarmé, Maurice Maetrlinck, and (surprising to some) W. E. Henley, appeared in this issue.
Essays from the “Guardian.” London: Printed for private circulation at the Chiswick Press, 1896.
Edited anonymously by Edmund Gosse, this privately printed edition was later reproduced in type–facsimile by Thomas Bird Mosher, the Portland, Maine publisher who did so much to introduce American readers to the writings of the British Pre–Raphaelite and aesthetic movement writers through his elegant books and his magazine, The Bibelot. Gosse inscribed this copy to the literary and art critic, Sidney Colvin, “S. C. from E. G.”
Letter to Herbert P. Horne, 1897 Feb. 3.
An architect, poet, typographer, and art historian (known for his pioneering biography of Botticelli, 1908) Horne had been the editor of The Century Guild Hobby Horse, 1884–1894. It was Pater who inspired Horne’s interest in Renaissance art and he must have been disappointed to receive this letter in which Gosse writes that he has no copies of Essays from the “Guardian” available for gift or purchase.
Oxford Characters: Twenty–four Lithographs by Will Rothenstein; With Text by F. York Powell, and Others. London: John Lane; New York: R. H. Russell, 1896.
John Lane commissioned Rothenstein to draw a series of Oxford celebrities in 1893 but the collection was not completed until 1896. In this copy, from the library of Rothenstein’s brother, Charles Rutherston, the original printed wrappers for parts 1–7 (all that were issued in serial form) are bound in, along with a rejected portrait of Sir Henry Acland. Walter Pater was one of the subjects; he also wrote the anonymous biographical notice of F. W. Bussell.
“From a Winter Note–book,” corrected typescript, .
Written probably in late 1899, this depiction of landscape and life in winter Vermont was published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in May 1900 and collected (with an excision) in Letters of Travel (1930). There are several manuscript emendations in Kipling’s hand and, on the first page, a signed note sending the manuscript to his father, John Lockwood Kipling, to be read and forwarded to the literary agent, A. P. Watt.
The Anglo–Saxon Review; A Quarterly Miscellany, Edited by Lady Randolph Spencer Churchill. London: John Lane, 1899-1901.
The Anglo–Saxon Review, July 1899, Edited by the eminently respectable Lady Randolph Churchill (née Jennie Jerome of New York), the mother of the future Prime Minister, The Anglo–Saxon Review was John Lane’s successor to The Yellow Book–with the “decadent” elements removed. Each volume of the quarterly was bound in a rather poorly produced imitation of an elegant Elizabeth or Jacobean binding. The contents were deliberately selected to include both British and American authors and subjects and in this issue include “The Great Condition” by Henry James and contributions by John Oliver Hobbes, Gilbert Parker, Algernon C. Swinburne, and Lord Rosebery. This is a presentation copy from the editor, inscribed “To Cora Brown Potter from Jennie Randolph Churchill.” Cora Urquhart Brown–Potter (1859–1936), like Jerome an American of wealth and social standing, came to England in 1876. One of the first Society women to become an actor, she was a friend (and possibly more) of the Prince of Wales. Her literary friends included Robert Browning and Oscar Wilde, who thought so highly of her talent that he offered her the role of Salome. When Lady Churchill, in support of the Boer War, organized the donation of a hospital ship, The Maine to the British government, she invited Brown-Potter to be the featured singer at the final fund-raiser, held at Claridge’s in November 1899.
Seven Gardens and a Palace: by “E.V.B.” åç, With Illustrations by F. L. B. Griggs and Arthur Gordon. London: John Lane, 1900.
“E. V. B.” achieved fame in the 1860s and 1870s for her illustrated children’s books and translations but by the turn of the century her focus had turned to writing about gardens–her own and those found at the estates of other aristocrats. She gave a copy of this collection of essays (reprinted from The Anglo–Saxon Review, Blackwood’s Magazine, Country Life, The National Review, and The Pall Mall Magazine) to her friend Queen Alexandra. This copy is inscribed to a lesser personage, “Geraldine Hoare from E. V. B.” Lady Geraldine Harvey married Henry Hoare of Ellisfield Manor, Basingstoke, Hampshire, in 1898.
The Critic: An Illustrated Monthly Review of Literature, Art, and Life. New York: The Critic Printing and Publishing Company, 1881–1906.
The Critic, February 1901. Although it began publication earlier, The Critic might be thought of as a home-grown American version of The Bookman, founded in London by W. Robertson Nicoll in 1891. Both journals were primarily devoted to book reviews and illustrated features about the lives and works of living– and recently deceased–authors, adjoined by paragraphs of literary gossip and a plethora of portraits. While The Bookman is believed to have inaugurated the best–seller list, The Critic reported the titles most frequently borrowed from libraries in major cities. This issue is typical, showing the decidedly Anglophile bias of the editors, Joseph Gilder and Jeanette Leonard Gilder (their brother Richard Watson Gilder was the editor of Scribner’s): a story by Anne Thackeray Ritchie is followed by articles about her father, W. M. Thackeray, Leslie Stephen, Lord Rosebery, and Aubrey Beardsley; and “The Lounger” column has news and images of, among others, J. M. Barrie, Richard Le Gallienne, Sarah Bernhardt, and Mark Twain. There is also a report on Max Beerbohm’s play, The Happy Hypocrite, replete with a reproduction of Max’s drawing of Lord George Hell.
The Green Sheaf. London: Sold by Elkin Mathews, 1903–1904.
The Green Sheaf, No. 3, 1903. Imitating to some degree A Broadside produced by the Yeats brothers and also distributed by Elkin Mathews, the thirteen numbers of The Green Sheaf were the brainchild of the artist and writer Pamela Colman Smith (1878–1951). Now best known for a set of illustrated Tarot cards published in 1909, Colman Smith was born in London to American parents. She spent much of her childhood in Jamaica–Caribbean folklore and scenes were a lifelong influence–before moving in the late 1890s to New York to study art and eventually finding a place in Ellen Terry and Henry Irving’s theater company. After 1900 Colman Smith traveled continuously across the Atlantic, making literary and theatrical connections and producing book illustrations, set and costume designs, and paintings and drawings that were successfully exhibited by Stieglitz as 291. For The Green Sheaf she not only provided most of illustrations (virtually all hand–colored) but also wrote a number of the literary contents. Other contributors included Jack and W. B. Yeats, Christopher St John (Christabel Marshall), Cecil French, A. E. (George William Russell), Gordon Craig (Ellen Terry’s son), John Todhunter, J. M. Synge, and that remarkable cosmopolite, Yone Noguchi.
The Century Magazine. New York: Century Company, 1881–1930.
The Century, May 1916.
Max Beerbohm’s “Enoch Soames,” a “memoir of the eighteen–nineties,” was the leading and most prominent item in this issue of The Century. To the author’s dismay, the editor chose to illustrate the story with drawings by George Wright that were not only incompetent but inappropriate–to say the least. When Max collected the story in Seven Men (1919) it was not illustrated, but for the first American edition, published by Knopf in 1920, he provided an imaginary sketch of Enoch Soames, which was reproduced with other drawings in an appendix.
The Owl: A Miscellany. London: Martin Secker, 1919–1923.
Nicholson’s Owl–revised, under flash–light from Edmund Gosse, by Max. Ink and wash drawing, .
Done in the style of William Nicholson’s cover for the first issue of The Owl, this caricature has the owls redrawn with the faces of contributors. The large owl is Thomas Hardy, the others are Eric Kennington, Robert Graves (the editor), John MaseWeld, Logan Pearsall Smith, John Galsworthy, William Nicholson (co–editor with Graves), and Beerbohm himself. Published for only three numbers (the last was called The Winter Owl) the periodical represented Graves’s and Nicholson’s tastes, with the result that it bridged several generations and one ocean–with work by, besides those already mentioned, Pamela Bianco, Edward Burne–Jones, Randolph Caldecott, Walter De La Mare, Rockwell Kent, Vachel Lindsay, John Crowe Ransom, and Siegfried Sassoon.