Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fortnightly Book, November 23

Sir Henry Maximilian Beerbohm, best known simply as Max Beerbohm, gives us the next fortnightly book, Zuleika Dobson. He was known as a humorist and a dandy, and also as the Incomparable Max, a nickname he got from George Bernard Shaw.

Zuleika Dobson is his most famous work and only full novel; it has had its fans since it was published in 1911. It is subtitled, An Oxford Love Story, and is the story of Zuleika Dobson, a beautiful woman who manages to get admitted to an all-male college. She has a very unusual problem: all men fall in love with her at first sight. The result is, inevitably, bedlam. Humorous works that I've done for the Fortnightly Book have not generally thrilled me, but we'll see how this one goes.

I'll be reading the Heritage Press edition (from the New York era), with a preface by Douglas Cleverdon and illustrations by George Him, a pioneer of graphic design. The full-page illustrations are quite gorgeous. It is unusual in shape -- the cover is 6 1/4 by 11 1/8inches. The typeface is Bulmer and the paper is an unusual gray-toned vellum-finish laid -- at least, that's what The Sandglass calls it.


  1. MrsDarwin10:57 AM

    Oh, huzzah! Zuleika Dobson! "I don't know much about art, but i know what I like."

    I have this exact edition, which Brendan gave me a present many years ago. And now it strikes me that this might be a dandy readaloud for the older girls, at least, and maybe Isabel, who has a keen sense of the absurd and a love of zaniness, not to mention a photographic memory which allows her to grasp the details of plots that the older ones are still trying to parse.

  2. branemrys11:35 AM

    I'm only just starting it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were a good read-aloud.

    Just remember that it's 'Zuleika' as in streaker and not as in hiker!


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