In this biography, Matthew Sturgis has uncovered a great amount of new material and used many previously untapped sources to produce the most compelling and definitive account of Beardsley's life to date. Starting with Beardsley's shabby-genteel childhood in Brighton and London, Sturgis gives readers the full account of Beardsley's brief and brilliant life, from the artist's close relationship with his sister Mabel, his inspiring schooldays, his miserable year in a London insurance office, and his first discovery of Edward Burne-Jones, to his sudden rise to fame as co-editor of both The Yellow Book and The Savoy, his spectacular fall from grace in the wake of the Oscar Wilde scandal, and his anguished period of declining health. Willfully perverse, Beardsley achieved a fame that polarized late Victorian England while forging for himself a unique position among the Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionists, Symbolists, and literary Decadents that defined the fin de siecle temper. Yet, as Sturgis clearly demonstrates, perhaps Beardsley's greatest creation was himself. His deliberate manipulation of the press and public, his awareness of both art and market-place, made him one the of the first truly modern artists.