Tartarus Press


Beresford Egan is a sewn hardback of 164 pages, printed lithographically, with silk ribbon marker, head and tailbands, and d/w. Illustrated.


Limited to 500 copies.


ISBN: 9781872621937


Sorry: Out of Print

Beresford Egan


Adrian Woodhouse


Hailed as one of the few truly original British exponents of art déco, Beresford Egan was an essential element of bohemian London for over fifty years. He enjoyed a brief but dazzling career as draughtsman of decadence in the late 1920s-early 1930s, bursting upon artistic London, aged twenty-three, with his brilliantly illustrated lampoon on the banning of Radclyffe Hall's notorious novel The Well Of Loneliness (1928). Over the next six years he produced illustrations and book covers of unparalleled beauty and ferocity for works by Aleister Crowley, Pierre Louÿs and Charles Baudelaire. He also illustrated his own novels and the monographs of his first wife, the beautiful Catherine Bower Alcock.


This book celebrates the centenary of Egan's birth, presenting seventy-nine black-and-white and twenty-five colour illustrations-the best of his published art work from 1928 to 1934 - along with many striking drawings, paintings and designs never seen before. These are augmented by Adrian Woodhouse's exhilarating and revealing account of the man and his chief talent, his varied later careers as music-hall performer, film star, dramatist, theatre critic, legendary 'Chelsea artist' and lover of beautiful women. The text is adorned with further images from Egan's long and eventful life, including his earliest work as a cartoonist, photographs of him in British films of the 1940s and his last published drawings before his death in London in 1984.


Adrian Woodhouse is a connoisseur of people and beautiful things. A former editor of Londoner's Diary in the Evening Standard, his previous books include Angus McBean, Eighties In the Shade, Vivien Leigh: A Love Affair In Camera and Susie Cooper. He now writes and lectures on the decorative arts and history and is currently completing an iconoclastic book on the Jacobean architect, John Smithson.



'With its informative text and reproduction of all the major published illustrations it deserves a place on the shelves of anyone with a specific interest in the illustrators of the art-deco period, or the lesser known but jhighly individual artists whose imagination and style provided such variety and richness to twentieth century illustration.' Mike Heseltine, Studies in Illustration, No 37, Winter 2007

'This is quite simply a beautifully illustrated, well-written and lavishly produced biographical account of a great artist.' Book and Magazine Collector, 2005

'[A] handsome limited edition volume.' The London Evening Standard

'Adrian Woodhouse's expansive and richly informative new volume on Egan, magnificently produced by the Tartarus Press in a limited edition of 750 copies, is the definitive work on this unique artist, unlikely ever to be surpassed.' Richard Dalby, Rare Book Review

'An excellent and readable account of Egan's life, work ... and romantic relationships.' George Locke, Bookdealer

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