Sir Henry Maximilian (“Max”) Beerbohm was an English humorist who wrote about and parodied life in the Edwardian era. He first garnered the notice of England’s literary establishment while he was a still student at Oxford, when his essay “A Defence of Cosmetics” was published and caused a stir in polite society (cosmetics were, at the time, rarely worn by anyone who was not an actress or a prostitute). After leaving Oxford (without a degree) he worked as an essayist, and in 1898 took the position of drama critic with the Saturday review; his predecessor and interviewer was no less than George Bernard Shaw, who called him “the Incomparable Max.”
In 1910 he married an American actress and moved with her to Rapallo, Italy, having just finished what would be his only novel, “Zuleika Dobson.” The book was published in 1911 and has since never been out of print; Modern Library ranks it 59th among the 100 best English-language novels published in the 20th century.
He was also an accomplished caricaturist, which may have delayed his knighthood; Edward VII was reportedly not a fan of his affectionately ridiculous drawings of his court. George VI knighted Beerbohm in 1939.
He died in 1956, aged 83, shortly after his second marriage. His ashes are interred in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Mark studied music at Elmhurst College, and was a member of the Theatre Building Chicago's Musical Theatre Workshop. Past projects include "Crossroads", "Downtown" (TBC Monday Night Reading Series), and "Love Affairs and Wedding Bells" (2015 Fullerton Playwright Festival winner). He is also a costume designer; His recent work on North Riverside Players' production of "The Crucible" was awarded top prize in the Illinois Theater Association's Festival competition. He is an ensemble member of the Resident Theatre at Edge of the Wood.