Aubrey Beardsley had begun his career as a child-prodigy, as a pianist, and the versatility of his gifts was a disservice when it came to his proper recognition as a writer. Beardsley, however, would have wished to be known instead as a writer; he had long tried his hand at several genres, had insisted once on describing himself as Beardsley, 'man of letters' on a library admission form. He understood that to become a Christian the man of letters must sacrifice his gifts, just as Magdalen must sacrifice her beauty. Raffalovich was in many ways ideally suited to the role of Beardsley's mentor. The aspect of religion to which Beardsley was introduced was, broadly the humanistic tradition associated with the Jesuits. Beardsley with a characteristic sense of insecurity as man of letters, begged Smithers to publish the ballad under a pseudonym.