Sir Henry Maximilian Beerbohm


Powys Evans’s cartoon of the Incomparable Max
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Name:Sir Henry Maximilian Beerbohm

Dates:1872 - 1956


Address: 57 Palace Gardens Terrace, W8

Dates at address:1872 - 1893


“The Incomparable Max” was schooled at Charterhouse and Oxford and had mixed views of the effects of education. He claims that at Charterhouse, “I was a modest, good-humoured boy. It is Oxford that made me insufferable.” Charterhouse was where he began caricaturing, with victims including schoolmates, teachers and public figures, especially George VII. At Oxford his large circle of friends included Oscar Wilde, Turner and William Rothenstein. In 1910 he married American actress Florence Kahn, leaving England for Italy.

Starting as a caricaturist he was first published in The Strand in 1892. This was followed by essays for The Yellow Book, which he also drew for, and his The Works of Max Beerbohm in 1896. In 1898 he replaced George Bernard Shaw as music critic for the Saturday Review, quitting after leaving England in 1910. In Italy he concentrated on his writing, producing essays, short stories and a novel. He stopped caricaturing in 1930 having produced two albums and exhibited regularly.

Born in Palace Garden Terrace, Max was the youngest of four children. The oldest was his half-brother Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, the great theatre manager. Max was baptised in All Saints Church and attended Mr Wilkinson’s day school where he took art classes, the only art lessons he ever had.

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