Happy Hypocrite

Max BEERBOHM

Item#: 126429 We're sorry, this item has been sold

Happy Hypocrite
Happy Hypocrite

"NONE, IT IS SAID… WAS HALF SO WICKED AS LORD GEORGE HELL": BEERBOHM'S HAPPY HYPOCRITE, 1897 FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL PAPER WRAPPERS

BEERBOHM, Max. The Happy Hypocrite. A Fairy Tale For Tired Men. Bodley Booklets No. 1. New York and London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1897. Small square octavo, original printed olive green paper wrappers, uncut; pp. 53. Housed in custom cloth chemise and half calf slipcase.

First separate edition of Beerbohm's first work of fiction, a "charming fable" (Encyclopedia of Literature), the first of the series of Bodley Booklets, printed by Will Bradley.

"Beerbohm's fantastic story may be looked upon as a parody of the 'decadent' contents of Dorian Gray… some of the mockery… is directed against the person of Oscar Wilde" (Riewald). "The Happy Hypocrite imitates the sophisticated fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, with a sideswipe at The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wicked Lord George Hell conceals his debauched features behind a saintly wax mask, ultimately to find that virtuous living has changed his real face to match the false one. This seems a conventionally moral fable, but Beerbohm's tongue-in-cheek narration undermines the sentimentality" (Clute & Grant, 101). First published in The Yellow Book, Volume XI, October 1896 (pp. 11-44). Variant wrapper design, with floral design taking up the entire front wrapper and portrait in the center. Gallatin 3. Owner ink signature, old dealer description tipped to front flyleaf.

Interior clean. Split to paper along spine, cords holding, slight edge-wear to wrappers. Some rubbing to slipcase. A very good copy, scarce and desirable in the original wrappers.

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