Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

Michael Field
Decadent Moderns

Edited by Sarah Parker and Ana Parejo Vadillo

“In this gorgeous volume—the cover art from Rodin’s Cathedral (1908) sets a tone of equal parts grace and passion—Parker and Vadillo reframe Michael Field as the poet wished to be seen…. The book represents a highly effective new approach to Michael Field at the intersection of multiple artistic, material, and spiritual thoroughfares. At the level of individual chapters and of the book as a whole, the effort to encapsulate the mosaic—of disciplines, of genres, of voices—is a resounding success.”

Modern Philology

“This impressive and original collection succeeds admirably at addressing previously unstudied work and adopting new approaches and methodologies. It will be of interest not only to those who study Michael Field, but to any scholars of the decades around the turn of the twentieth century.”

Emily Harrington, author of Second Person Singular: Late Victorian Women Poets and the Bonds of Verse

“This volume offers a range of innovative contributions to Field studies and more broadly to the literature and culture of the fin de siècle. The deeply researched essays will broaden readers’ appreciation for both the Fields and the cultural moment in which they lived and worked.”

Jason R. Rudy, author of Imagined Homelands: British Poetry in the Colonies

“An extremely valuable contribution to the existing scholarship on Michael Field … [that] demonstrates not only Field’s broad conceptualisation of their world, but also how they anticipated concerns of our contemporary culture.”

Rosairo Arias, ES Review: Spanish Journal of English Studies

In the last twenty years, Michael Field has emerged as one of the most fascinating poets of the Victorian era. Through their collaborative partnership as “Michael Field,” Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper engaged in the aesthetic and decadent movements of the fin de siècle, while their poetry and verse drama articulate ideas associated with the New Woman and boldly express queer and lesbian desire. Michael Field: Decadent Moderns extends the focus on these key literary and cultural contexts by emphasizing their continuing significance within twentieth-century literary modernism. Through a series of interdisciplinary essays, this book addresses Michael Field’s energetic engagements with a range of topics including ecology, perfume, tourism, art history, sculpture, formalism, classics, and book history. In doing so, Michael Field: Decadent Moderns highlights the modernity, radicalism, and relevance of their work, both within the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as in our own cultural moment.

Contributors: Leire Barrera-Medrano, Joseph Bristow, Jill R. Ehnenn, Sarah E. Kersh, Kristin Mahoney, Catherine Maxwell, Alex Murray, Sarah Parker, Margaret D. Stetz, Kate Thomas, and Ana Parejo Vadillo.

Sarah Parker is a lecturer in English at Loughborough University. She is the author of The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity, 1889–1930 and articles and chapters on Olive Custance, Constance Naden, Amy Levy, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Djuna Barnes, and Sarah Waters.   More info →

Ana Parejo Vadillo is a reader in nineteenth-century literature and culture at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of Women Poets and Urban Aestheticism: Passengers of Modernity and coauthor of Michael Field, The Poet: Published and Manuscript Materials and Victorian Literature: A Sourcebook.More info →


Review in Victorian Studies 64 no. 1 (Autumn 2021)


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Retail price: $80.00, S.
Release date: December 2019
16 illus. · 300 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Release date: December 2019
16 illus. · 300 pages
Rights:  World

Additional Praise for Michael Field

“A joy to read, due not only to the strength of each individual essay but also to the remarkable variety of their themes and approaches—a variety that will provide fertile ground for future work.”

Veronica Alfano, Victorian Studies

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