The Fin-de-Siècle Poem
English Literary Culture and the 1890s

Edited by Joseph Bristow

“This collection is a significant contribution to the scholarship on late Victorian literature. It will also allow scholars of modernist literature to reassess the modernity of the fin-de-siècle in Britain.”

Mary Ellis Gibson, author of Epic Reinvented: Ezra Pound and the Victorian

“This book is a masterful collection of articles that seeks to freshen critical interest in this strange transition period between the apparent softness of Victorian poetry and deliberate hardness of the modernist poetry waiting around the century’s corner.”

Rocky Mountain Review of Language & Literature

“The volume is a major contribution to the study of late-Victorian poetics. Bristow should be commended for inspiring and assembling it and Ohio should be recognised for publishing an anthology of higher quality than more established presses.”

Victorian Studies

The Fin-de-Siécle Poem: English Literary Culture and the 1890s is one of the most important books in the field of fin-de-siécle poetry of the last twenty years. Erudite, bold, and impressive, this collection offers new ways of reading the poetry of the 1890s and demonstrates just how rewarding those new ideas can be.”

Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies

Featuring innovative research by emergent and established scholars, The Fin-de-Siècle Poem throws new light on the remarkable diversity of poetry produced at the close of the nineteenth century in England. Opening with a detailed preface that explains why literary historians have frequently underrated fin-de-siècle poetry, the collection shows how a strikingly rich body of lyrical and narrative poems anticipated many of the developments traditionally attributed to Modernism. Each chapter provides insights into the ways in which late-nineteenth-century poets represented their experiences of the city, their attitudes toward sexuality, their responses to empire, and their interest in religious belief.

The eleven essays presented by editor Joseph Bristow pay renewed attention to the achievements of writers such as Oscar Wilde, John Davidson, Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, and W. B. Yeats, who dominated the literary scene of the 1890s. This book also explores the lesser-known but equally significant advances made by notable women poets, including Michael Field, Amy Levy, Charlotte Mew, Alice Meynell, A. Mary F. Robinson, and Graham R. Tomson.

The Fin-de-Siècle Poem brings together innovative research on poetry that has been typecast as the attenuated Victorianism that was rejected by Modernism. The contributors underscore the remarkable innovations in English poetry of the 1880s and 1890s and show how women poets stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their better-known male contemporaries.


Joseph Bristow is a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he edited the journal Nineteenth-Century Literature from 1997 to 2007. His recent books include The Fin-de-Siècle Poem, The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry, Oscar Wilde: Contextual Conditions, and the variorum edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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Related Subjects

Literary Studies · Poetry · Victorian Studies · British Literature · Literary Criticism

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Paperback

978-0-8214-1628-0
Retail price: $29.95, S.
Release date: Aug. 2005
352 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World

Hardcover

978-0-8214-1627-3
Retail price: $55.00, S.
Release date: Aug. 2005
352 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World