From the Dust Jacket: This study of "the most intensely and electrically erotic artist in the world" is one of Brigid Brophy's most provocative works. Aubrey Beardsley was, above all, a lyrical artist "pounded and buckled" into an ironist, she believes, by the knowledge of his illness and imminent death. An infant prodigy, he retained through the brief years of his adult life the peculiar genius of a precocious child. Beardsley's vision is permanently that of a child lying in bed watching his mother dress for a dinner party. His obsession with the Madonna-and-child image; his fetishist fascination with hair, shoes, and hats, the ambiguous ornamentation with which he decorates his pictures, the languid elongation of the figures denoting inaccessibility-these are characteristic of the perverse quality of infant sexuality. Beardsley's choice of the graphic medium began as an accident of circumstance, the result of lack of time and physical energy, yet black and white became an image for the erosion of his life. His talent is far better understood by interior decorators-who do not blink his eroticism-than by scholars. Among current literature on Aubrey Beardsley, no more succinct and trenchant analysis of his mind and art exists than this brilliant piece by one of today's foremost stylists and critics. The inclusion of illustrations alongside Miss Brophy's textual interpretation aids the appreciation of Beardsley's work. A detailed chronology supplements the essay.