Beardsley was born in Brighton, England in 1872, and moved with his family to London in 1883. In 1891, with the encouragement of Sir Edward Burne-Jones he took up art as a profession. In 1892 he attended the classes at the Westminster School Of Art, and then traveled to Paris and was influenced by the work of Toulouse-Lautrec and the then-prevailing passion for oriental prints. He received his first commission from J. M. Dent & Co. in 1893, producing illustrations for Malory's Morte d'Arthur. Beardsley was co-founder of The Yellow Book, designing several of its covers and many illustrations. His distinctive style, primarily rendered in pen and ink, is celebrated for its decadent aspect, eroticism, and emotional darkness. Beardsley succumbed to tuberculosis.