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The Prince of Minor Writers


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This original collection of humor writer and critic Max Beerbohm's essays will bring to the fore this largely-forgotten writer's unequaled mastery of parody, whim, and irony. Author Phillip Lopate has selected the best, most delightful of Beerbohm's essays for this edition.

About the Author

Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) was an English caricaturist and writer known for his sophisticated drawings and parodies capturing the famous and fashionable of his day. While working for his brother's theatrical company as a young man, Beerbohm penned and published witty essays for which he gained widespread recognition and eventually succeeded George Bernard Shaw as the drama critic for the Saturday Review. In 1910, Beerbohm settled in Rapallo, Italy, and lived there for the rest of his life. His 1911 novel, 'Zuleika Dobson,' is included in Modern Library's list of the 100 Best Novels. Phillip Lopate is the author of the essay collections Against Joie de Vivre, Bachelorhood, Being with Children, Portrait of My Body, and Totally, Tenderly, Tragically, and of the novels The Rug Merchant and Confessions of a Summer. He lives in New York City.


"As curmudgeons go, Beerbohm was a gentle and self-effacing one. There are very funny broadsides here against walking, against the cult of children, against writing boring letters and against literary intimate kind of warmth does blossom beneath the surface of many of these pieces; he is a man with a full and rippling heart." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"The great Max Beerbohm may be the paradigm of the minor writer and the happy man. In other words: Max Beerbohm was a good and gracious soul." --Roberto Bola o, Between Parentheses "The essayist and caricaturist Max Beerbohm was one of the great figures of the late Victorian and Edwardian era in London...People who love reading will always love reading Max, because he mocked so wisely, and read so well." --Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker "Beerbohm's prose style--clever, fast-paced, and sometimes on the verge of anarchy--balances humor with style, and provides a master class in using irony--the greatest weapon in Beerbohm's arsenal--to look at high culture." --Jason Diamond, Flavorwire "[Beerbohm's] works provide a glimpse of daily life in the 19th and early 20th centuries, revealing that while manners and dress have evolved, human nature certainly has not...Beerbohm's essays deserve to be revisited today...his writing is humorous and self-deprecating." --Publishers Weekly "Beerbohm never ceases to entertain with the eloquence of his prose and his dry humor. In a trite, yet appropriate, phrase, he is a master of his craft. His words are beautiful and his thoughts are oftentimes quite profound and universal, relevant not just to late nineteenth/early twentieth century Britain, but to all times...His writing always feels fresh and its essence true...Beerbohm holds an insatiable imagination... Rescue it, read it, and treasure it." --Kenyon Ellefson, Portland Book Review

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