Decadence, A Literary Anthology published by The British Library and selected by writer and editor Jon Crabb is a fantastic book. Striking illustrations from the British Library’s extensive art and text collection accompany excerpts from Charles Baudelaire, Aleister Crowley, Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats, alongside work from rarer figures of the movement such as Count Stenbock, the Baltic writer of macabre fiction. It’s a fascinating book that uncovers the dark side of 19th century’s literature and art.
Decadence draws together the work of writers around the 1890s, when Decadent literature was in full bloom; a time when women published under male pseudonyms (such as Michael Field, included) elevating death and darkness to art. Blending prose, poetry, criticism and parody, Decadence spans art, spirituality and explores themes of madness, intoxication and artifice. The great Decadents are rediscovered for a new generation of readers in this richly-illustrated volume. A must-have!