Title: Volpone: or the Foxe
Author: Ben Johnson, Aubrey Beardsley (illus), Robert Ross (Beardsley’s eulogy)
Publisher: Leonard Smithers & Co, 1898. First Beardsley edition, limited to 1000 copies. This copy unnumbered. Scarce.
Condition: Hardcover, decorative cloth. Spine slightly sunned and with some wear, otherwise in very good condition. Interior is clean and firmly bound.
The famous Beardsley edition, published the year of his death, at the age of 25 – this is thus his last book. Beardsley was a hugely controversial Art Nouveau artist.
About the book:
Volpone (Italian for “sly fox”) is a comedy play by English playwright Ben Jonson first produced in 1605-06, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson’s most-performed play, and it is ranked among the finest Jacobean Era comedies.
A lot more at wikipedia.
About the artist (Beardsley):
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898) was an English illustrator and author. His drawings in black ink, influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley’s contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis.