The second volume of the YELLOW BOOK
(Matthews and Lane) will not have the same
succès du scandal that fell to the first, but it
will be better liked by the people who still think
that in literature and art it is well to draw the
line somewhere. Writers like Mr. Henry James,
Mr. Frederick Greenwood, and Mr. Austin Dobson
have not been afraid to appear once more within
these yellow covers, and this time they find
themselves in the company of no very terrible
associates. Mr. Aubrey Beardsley, indeed still
disports himself after his fashion, and
Mr. Walter Sickert in the illustration that he calls
“Ada Lundberg,” goes perhaps further on the
road to ugliness than even a New English Art
Clubman has ever gone before; but these things
are but the vagaries of the moment and do not
do much harm. As to the stories, Mr. Henry James
(of whom, by the way, there is an excellent
sketch-portrait by Mr. Sargent) gives us one of
no less than 70 pages which is as clever
and characteristic, as epigrammatic and as
irritating, as he himself in his most critical
mood could desire. His wish seems always to be to
leave his reader with a sense of the futility
of things and with a persuasion that the only
certainty is a certainty of disillusion. In “The
Coxon Fund” he realizes this wish to the full, and
shows us genius, philanthropy, marriage and
practical ambition coming out one and
all as wretched failures. Never was insuccess
more finely painted. On the other hand,
Mr. Greenwood’s optimistic fancy, though
interesting as a discourse on the prospects of
the world, is more of an essay than a story. Of
the other stories Miss Ella D'Arcy's “Poor
Cousin Louis” has some promise of power; and
the short sketch by “O.,” “A Purple Patch” con-
tains two quite excellent scenes, though re-
garded as a whole, the little story has no con-
sistency. It is hard to say whether the author
is a practised writer who has consented to pub-
lish a fragment inartistically joined, or a young
writer drawing from some very vivid personal
experience, but not knowing how to finish her
work. There are various short poems in the
volume, good and bad; a charming epistle in
verse by Mr. Austin Dobson; an epigram by
Mr. William Watson; a vigorous, ugly bit of
realism sketching the life of a city clerk, by
Mr. John Davidson; and a really delightful fancy,
inspired by George Herbert and Herrick—the
“My Study” of Mr. Alfred Hayes.


 MLA citation:
 Rev. of The Yellow Book 2. Times 20 July 1894: 4. The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University, 2010. Web. [Date of access].