The Happy Hypocrite by Max Beerbohm
Max Beerbohm’s (1872-1956) adult fairy tale, The Happy Hypocrite, is sometimes described as a more lighthearted version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. It is the story of a thoroughly immoral man who deceives a young woman into marriage by wearing a mask. Through his love for his wife he is then transformed into a good and humble human being.
The short story first appeared in the literary periodical The Yellow Book in 1896 and was later published 1897. In 1900 it was adapted into a stage show starring the formidable Mrs Patrick Campbell and was revived again in 1936 with Vivien Leigh. The edition in the photographs with colour illustrations by George Sheringham was published by John Lane in November, 1918.
George Bernard Shaw gave Beerbohm the lasting epithet “the Incomparable Max” and his other works include Zuleika Dobson which was ranked 59th on the Modern Library list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. He was also a popular caricaturist whose work appeared in all the fashionable periodicals of his time. Major collections of Beerbohm’s caricatures can be found in the Ashmolean Museum, the Tate collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The illustrator George Sheringham is best known for his theatrical designs for D’Oyly Carte Opera Company for which he created sets for productions including H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance.
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The original story of the little mermaid is that she must kill the prince in order to be human, and in the end, she loves him too much and kills herself instead.
The artwork is too great not to reblog.
Ok, ok - important expansion: she only has to kill the Prince because the deal was if he fell in love with her she could be human forever, and he didn’t. By which I mean, he was a good person and genuinely nice to her, but he didn’t fall in love. He fell in love with someone else, also perfectly nice - not the seawitch in disguise, fu Disney. The Mermaid is told she can only return to the sea now if she kills the Prince. She goes into the room where he and his lover lie sleeping and they look so beautiful and happy together that she can’t do it.
That’s why she kills herself. And because it was a noble act she returns to sea as foam.
One moral of the story was that women shouldn’t fundamentally change who they are for love of a man, and in theory Han Christian Anderson wrote it for a ballerina with whom he fell in love. She was marrying someone else who wouldn’t let her dance.
French artist Mademoiselle Maurice created this gorgeous map of the world with rainbow-colored drips of water. This piece, along with other artworks, will be on display at the artist’s solo exhibition Colors are the New Black until mid-July at the Backside Gallery in Marseille, France.