Leafing through this old A-to-Z of celebrities is like finding a Mad Magazine from the nineteenth century. The book's lyrics and images wondrously lampoon the– mostly– old men of European civilization. Instead of being revered as timeless sages, they are brought low, returned to us as fallen flesh-and-blood creatures. Their everyday lives get the tabloid treatment. And, just like today, lust is the common sin that most often brings these high and mighty men crashing down to earth.
S is for Swinburne, who, seeking the true, the good, and the beautiful, visits the zoo, Where he chances on Sappho and Mr. Sardou, And Socrates, all with the same end in view.