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Mahoney, Literature and the Politics of Post-Victorian Decadence

Kristin Mahoney

By Kristin Mahoney

In Literature and the Politics of Post-Victorian Decadence, Kristin Mahoney argues that the specters of the fin de siècle exercised a remarkable draw on the British cultural imagination well into the twentieth century. These authors and artists refused to assimilate to the aesthetic and political ethos of the era, representing themselves instead as time travelers 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.

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