Decadent Plays, 1890-1930

Alston, Adam and Desmarais, Jane H., eds. 2024. Decadent Plays, 1890-1930. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781350171824 [Edited Book] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

Decadent Plays is a selection of some of the most intriguing and challenging examples of Decadent drama, from the late 19th century; witty satire, political drama, transgressive social commentary, mystical meditation, which for many years were banned from being staged in public.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries decadent writers turned to decadence as a means of responding to urban modernity, and dramatists were no exception. Decadence offered these writers a framework for exploring nonconformist identities and beliefs that challenged narrow ideas about taste, decency, and progress, and recurring motifs included queer sexualities and genders, elitism, social class, degeneracy and decay.

International in scope and eclectic in content, this edited anthology is an authoritative and accessible introduction to this fast-expanding field of decadent literature . The first publication of its kind to deal specifically with decadent dramatic works in the pre-modernist and modernist periods, Decadent Plays breaks new ground by exploring how the concept of decadence cuts across genre, styles, and culture, and by including little-known works that are currently out-of-print.

Featuring work Oscar Wilde, Michael Field, Lesya Ukrainka, Rachilde, Remy de Gourmont, Jean Lorrain, Leonid Andreyev, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Maurice Maeterlinck, Izumi Kyōka, and Djuna Barnes, this anthology includes a selection of mainstream and marginal plays, some of which have been translated into English for the first time. An essential and influential introduction to the fast-expanding field of decadent literature, this edited anthology is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students, and specialists and non-specialists alike.

Item Type:

Edited Book

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature
Theatre and Performance (TAP)
English and Comparative Literature > Decadence Research Centre


11 January 2024

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 May 2023 11:42

Last Modified:

14 Jun 2024 01:26


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