Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) is one of Britain's greatest and best-loved comic artists. He had a lifelong habit of altering the books in his library, for his own pleasure and the amusement of family and friends. This literary entertainment has received little critical attention. The only previous study of books altered by Beerbohm, N. John Hall's "A Genre of his Own: Max Beerbohm's Title-Page Caricatures" (1984) simply praises Beerbohm's talent for nuanced caricature and stops short of exploring the historical pedigree of his practice or its wider textual or critical significance. Investigating books from Beerbohm's private library, several of which are now held at the Beerbohm Collection at Merton College Library, University of Oxford, and the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library, this article examines the ways in which Beerbohm used his gifts for caricature and parody to exploit the book as a material object which incarnates the text and also the author.


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pp. 48-75
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