This is the first anthology of Decadent short stories reflecting a variety of fin-de-siecle themes. This wide-ranging anthology showcases for the first time the short story as the most attractive medium through which writers experiment with Decadent themes and styles. Ranging from works by Ernest Dowson, George Egerton and Charlotte Mew to those of Arthur Symons, Joseph Conrad and Oscar Wilde, the 36 stories demonstrate ideas of class, gender, sexuality, and science as well as the Gothic, social satire, Symbolist fantasy, fairy tale, Naturalism/Realism, Impressionism, erotica, and the scientific romance. The book stresses the role of the magazine culture in the unprecedented explosion of the Decadent short story in the 1890s. A full introductory essay sets the scene, while detailed annotations and helpful critical material make this anthology stand out. It brings a variety of rare and important stories together in one volume reflecting an influential literary genre.
It expands the scope of Decadence by bringing together male and female voices, obscure and famous authors, and stylistic and thematic concerns such as New Woman fiction, the Gothic, Impressionism, Realism, paganism, class, homosexuality, and science. It includes a detailed introduction, an introduction to each story, endnotes, three appendices containing parodies, background sources, and further reading with a timeline, and a select bibliography.