MAX BEERBOHM full name Henry Maximilian Beerbohm was born in London in 1876. He was an essayist, parodist and caricaturist but really first became known in the 1890s as a dandy and humorist.
A younger half brother of the actor-producer Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, he was accustomed to fashionable society from his boyhood. In 1910 Beerbohm married the American-born British actress Florence Kahn, and they settled in Rapallo, Italy, where, except for a return to England for the duration of World Wars I and II, they made their home for the rest of their lives. He attracted to Rapallo a constant stream of distinguished visitors, who were charmed by his conversation and found in him a living archive of amusing anecdotes of the literary, artistic, and social circles of late Victorian and Edwardian England.
Though Beerbohm’s caricatures hit home, they remained civilized criticism and seldom alienated their subjects. In spite of the fun he had caricaturing successive generations of the royal family, he was knighted in 1939. The only two targets he attacked with ferocity were British imperialism—in the persona of a blustering John Bull—and Rudyard Kipling. As a parodist, he is frequently held to be unsurpassed. After his wife’s death in 1951, Beerbohm lived with his secretary-companion, Elizabeth Jungmann, whom he married a few weeks before his death at 84.