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Literature and the Politics of Post-Victorian Decadence


  • Date Published: June 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107109742

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About the Authors
  • In Literature and the Politics of Post-Victorian Decadence, Kristin Mahoney argues that the early twentieth century was a period in which the specters of the fin de siècle exercised a remarkable draw on the modern cultural imagination and troubled emergent avant-gardistes. These authors and artists refused to assimilate to the aesthetic and political ethos of the era, representing themselves instead as time travellers from the previous century for whom twentieth-century modernity was both baffling and disappointing. However, they did not turn entirely from the modern moment, but rather relied on decadent strategies to participate in conversations concerning the most highly vexed issues of the period including war, the rise of the Labour Party, the question of women's sexual freedom, and changing conceptions of sexual and gender identities.

    • Offers the most recent scholarship on the subject
    • Written in a clear style accessible to academics and lay readers alike
    • Clarifies the relationship between late Victorian and early Modernist writers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Mahoney's recovery of less[er]-known figures constitute[s] important and complementary contributions to our understanding of the continuities and affiliations and the ruptures and reinventions between Modernism and the fin de siècle.' Forum for Modern Language Studies

    '… Mahoney force[s] us to rethink the claims Modernism made for itself and how far those claims have determined literary values since.' Kate Hext, The Times Literary Supplement

    '… a thoroughly engaging book, written with admirable clarity and nicely produced into the bargain.' Nick Freeman, Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107109742
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 150 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Queer indifference': Max Beerbohm, post-Victorian decadence, and camp nostalgia
    2. Pacifism and post-Victorian decadence: Vernon Lee at the margins of the twentieth century
    3. Towards aristocracy: Baron Corvo and the Corvine society
    4. Irish decadence, occultism, and sacrificial myth: the martyrdom of Althea Gyles
    5. Crusading decadent: Beresford Egan, global dandyism, and post-Victorian decadent feminism.

  • Author

    Kristin Mahoney, Western Washington University
    Kristin Mahoney is Associate Professor of English at Western Washington University. She is the editor of a scholarly edition of Baron Corvo's Hubert's Arthur, and her articles have appeared in such journals as Victorian Studies, Criticism, English Literature in Transition, and the Victorian Periodicals Review. Mahoney has been the recipient of fellowships from Yale University's Paul Mellon Centre, the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Center, UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, and the University of Delaware/Delaware Art Museum. She is also the vice president of the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States and a member of the executive board of the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada.

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