The Yellow Book was a fashionable magazine which ran from 1894–97, taking its name from the notorious covering into which controversial French novels were placed at the time. It is, in fact, a ‘yellow book’ which corrupts Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray; this generally thought to be Joris-Karl Huysmans’s À rebours (1884).
The founding principles were that literature and art should be treated independently and given equal status, and Aubrey Beardsley, illustrator of Wilde’s Salomé was appointed art editor.
Indeed, when Wilde was arrested in 1895, there were rumours he had been carrying a yellow-bound book. Though this was actually Pierre Louÿs’s French novel Aphrodite, a confused crowd thought it was a copy of this magazine, and gathered to throw stones at the publishers’s offices.