by Max Beerbohm, introduction by John Updike
In Seven Men the brilliant English caricaturist and critic Max Beerbohm turns his comic searchlight upon the fantastic fin-de-siècle world of the 1890s—the age of Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, and the young Yeats, as well of Beerbohm’s own first success. In a series of luminous sketches, Beerbohm captures the likes of Enoch Soames, only begetter of the neglected poetic masterwork Fungoids; Maltby and Braxton, two fashionable novelists caught in a bitter rivalry; and “Savonarola” Brown, author of a truly incredible tragedy encompassing the entire Italian Renaissance. One of the masterpieces of modern humorous writing, Seven Men is also a shrewdly perceptive, heartfelt homage to the wonderfully eccentric character of a bygone age.
As a parodist, he is probably the finest in English.
— W.H. Auden
The most faultless of my contemporaries...I prefer Seven Men to all his other books.
— Bertrand Russell
Not even a good comedy is so rare as genuine satire, and when an example of the latter is produced some indulgence in superlatives may be excused. In the case of [Seven Men] it is difficult to restrain praise within the bounds of judgment, for its beneficent, limpid ridicule is an undiluted joy.
— The Spectator