Frontispiece to the Plays
of John Davidson
To the Editor of the Daily Chronicle.
1 March 1894.
114 Cambridge Street.
In your review of Mr. Davidsons plays, I find
myself convicted of an error of taste, for having introduced portraits
into my frontispiece to that book. I cannot help feeling that your
reviewer is unduly severe. One of the gentlemen who form part of
my decoration is surely beautiful enough to stand the test even
of portraiture, the other owes me half a crown.
am, yours truly,
¶ 1894. The Daily Chronicle for 1 March 1894
printed a review of the Bodley Head edition of John Davidsons
Plays, which took Beardsley to task specifically for his inclusion
of identifiable figures in the frontispiece. This letter appeared
on the following day. The likenesses were recognisable caricatures
of Oscar Wilde and Sir Augustus Harris, then Manager of Covent Garden,
where Beardsley had a short time before paid his 2/6d for a seat,
only to be told, much to his indignation, that none was available
and that he would have to stand.