An annotated anthology

Edited by Jane Desmarais



  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7551-3
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: December 2011
  • BIC Category: Anthologies: general, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century, LITERARY COLLECTIONS / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900, Literature & literary studies / Anthologies (non-poetry)


The tradition of Decadent writing in the 19th century remains a fascinating current in the evolution of modern literature. This new anthology brings together key texts from an international range of Decadent writings and writings about Decadence, many of them previously hard to find and some freshly translated from French, German, Italian, and - in a special section on ancient Roman antecedents - from Latin.

The selection of texts and extracts, more fully annotated than in other sources, includes key Decadent manifestos and declarations of principle by Théophile Gautier, Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde; poems by Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Symons and many others; extracts from prose fictions by J.-K. Huysmans, Aubrey Beardsley and others; critical denunciations, with more discerning responses to the challenge of Decadence; parodies by Max Beerbohm among others of Decadent attitudes and styles; and significant extracts from relevant ancient Roman writings by Petronius and Juvenal.

The selection and explanatory notes combine to offer university students of literature and culture at all levels, along with teachers and lay enthusiasts, a rich resource for the understanding of Decadence as an elusive idea and as a literary tradition, in its complex evolution from the 1830s to the fin de siècle and beyond.


List of figures
List of figures
Notes on the texts
1. Prefaces, manifestos and declarations
2. The matter of Rome
3. Decadent verse
4. Decadent fiction
5. Diagnoses and denunciations
6. Parodies and pastiches
Select bibliography


Jane Desmarais is Lecturer in English and Art History at Goldsmiths, University of London. Chris Baldick is Professor of English at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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