A significant figure in the publishing and literary history of the British fin-de-siècle, Leonard Smithers (1861-1907) is perhaps best known as the publisher of the decadent periodical The Savoy (1896) and of other writers and artists associated with the decadent movement in the 1890s, such as Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Symons, and Ernest Dowson. In addition to his career as a legitimate publisher, Smithers, also an antiquarian book dealer, was a prolific clandestine publisher of late-Victorian pornography. Through the final decade of his career in the early twentieth century, he was also a literary pirate of some considerable output, particularly of the works of Wilde and Beardsley.
Leonard Charles Smithers was born in Sheffield on 19 December 1861 to middle-class parents.
Citation: Mackie, Gregory. "Leonard Smithers". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 May 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12100, accessed 09 December 2023.]