Max Beerbohm Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Sir Henry Maximilian Beerbohm (BIHR-bohm) was the youngest child of his father’s second marriage. Julius E. E. Beerbohm’s first wife bore three sons and a daughter; of these children, the most widely known was the celebrated actor Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. With his second wife, who was the sister of his first wife, Beerbohm had four daughters and a son, Max. Max Beerbohm attended Charterhouse School from 1885 to 1890, when he enrolled at Merton College, Oxford; he left there in 1894 without taking a degree.

During his undergraduate days at Oxford, Beerbohm seems to have avoided most lectures and all athletics and to have been interested mainly in his position as a young man about campus. He made his initial appearances as writer and caricaturist during this time. His first published caricatures appeared in three issues of the Strand Magazine in 1892, and in 1894 he contributed to the first volume of The Yellow Book. In 1895, he accompanied Beerbohm Tree to America as a secretary. After he returned to London, his first published book appeared in 1896 under the title The Works of Max Beerbohm, which included a bibliography of his writings supplied by his publisher, John Lane. The same year also saw publication of his first book of drawings, Caricatures of Twenty-five Gentlemen. In 1898, George Bernard Shaw retired as drama critic of the Saturday Review and appointed Beerbohm to succeed him, introducing him...

(The entire section is 556 words.)


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Sir Henry Maximilian Beerbohm was educated at Charterhouse and at Merton College, Oxford, where he made friends with many luminaries such as painters William Rothenstein and Aubrey Beardsley and writers Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. He contributed often to the famous magazine The Yellow Book and frequently sold essays and caricatures to various other magazines. When Shaw resigned as dramatic critic of the Saturday Review, Beerbohm succeeded him and for twelve years was one of the English theater’s most celebrated critics. In 1910 he married Florence Kahn and moved to Rapallo, Italy, where he remained until 1956. He stayed in England during both world wars and periodically returned there to publish his books and exhibit his caricatures. Beerbohm died in Rapallo, Italy, on May 20, 1956.