Britain and Ireland: decadence beyond London

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British decadence has long been identified with London, the home of theaters and publishing houses. Most decadent writers lived and worked in the city, setting many of the great works of British decadence in its streets and squares. Yet decadence, as a literary style and a cultural concept, reached all parts of the United Kingdom, and in the process changed the nature of this literary tradition. Moving from Cornwall and Wales to the north of Ireland and Scotland, this essay charts a British decadence with close ties to the Celtic Revival, one that embraces nature and that looks to a future beyond the autumn of decline. From writers vacationing in the west of Britain, to the Ulster literary revival, to the embrace of natural cycles as an antidote to metropolitan ennui in Scotland, the writing examined here demonstrates the variety of forms that British decadence could take.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of decadence
EditorsJane Desmarais, David Weir
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190066956
ISBN (Print)9780190066987
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020


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