The Yellow Book

Description

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.

Full title:
The Yellow Book
Published:
1894-97, London
Format:
Periodical / Illustration / Image
Creator:
Aubrey Beardsley
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
C.121.b.17.

Full catalogue details

Related articles

The Picture of Dorian Gray: art, ethics and the artist

Article by:
Greg Buzwell
Themes:
Fin de siècle, The Gothic, London

Dark desires and forbidden pleasure are at the centre of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Greg Buzwell examines the interplay between art and morality in Oscar Wilde’s novel, and considers its use of traditional Gothic motifs as well as the theories of the new aesthetic movement.

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Theme:
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Salomé: symbolism, decadence and censorship

Article by:
John Stokes
Theme:
Fin de siècle

Professor John Stokes considers Salomé as a play within both the French Symbolist and the decadent traditions, exploring its influences, reception and Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations of the work.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Created by: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s (1854-1900) Gothic tale first appeared in Lippincott’s Magazine in 1890. It was revised ...