Zuleika Dobson: Or, an Oxford Love Story

Author(s): Max Beerbohm


Nobody could predict the consequences when ravishing Zuleika Dobson arrives at Oxford to visit her grandfather, the college warden. Formerly a governess, she has landed on the occupation of illusionist, and thanks to her overwhelming beauty - and to a lesser extent her professional talents - she takes the town by storm. However the epidemic of heartache that follows and proceeds to overcome the academic town makes for some of the best comic writing in the history of English literature.


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Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm (1872-1956) was the youngest of nine children born in London to well-to-do Lithuanian immigrants. As a boy he showed no propensity for writing or artwork, but despite the lack of formal training, upon entering Merton College, Oxford, he quickly became known for his essays and caricatures (and for being a dandy). When "The Strand Magazine" published thirty-six of his drawings in 1892, his career took off, and he left school without a degree. (Oxford would later give him an honorary degree.) He went to America briefly, to write press releases for his brother's theatrical company, then returned to England and wrote essays and drew caricatures for his friend Aubrey Beardsley's "The Yellow Book" magazine, among other publications. Some of his work around this time concerned the trial of Oscar Wilde, whom he'd befriended while a student. The trial, particularly Wilde's defense of "the love that dare not speak its name," moved him greatly. In 1896, he published his first book, a collection of his essays called" The Works of Max Beerbohm," and the first of many collections of his caricatures, "Caricatures of Twenty-five Gentlemen." Two years later he succeeded George Bernard Shaw as drama critic for the " Saturday Review," a position he retained until 1910, when he married American actress Florence Kahn (Evelyn Waugh speculated it was a mariage blanc), and moved to a house overlooking the Mediterranean in Rapallo, Italy. Despite Florence's death, in 1951, and despite becoming popular in England as a BBC commentator, Beerbohm would remain in Italy until his own death, decades later at age eighty-three, just after marrying his former secretary and companion, Elisabeth Jungmann. Sara Lodge, a senior lecturer in English at the University of St. Andrews, is the author of T"homas Hood and Nineteenth-Century Poetry: Work, Play, and Politics" and J"ane Eyre: A Reader's Guide â¨to Criticism."

General Fields

  • : 9781612192925
  • : Melville House Publishing
  • : Melville House Publishing
  • : 0.252
  • : January 2014
  • : 203mm X 127mm X 23mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 278