Antony Clayton recreates the artistic and social milieu of the turbulent period around the end of the 19th century and provides concise biographical material on the central characters, such as Wilde, Symons, Beardsley, Whistler, Dowson, Frank Harris and other less well-known people such as Count Stenbock and John Gray. It was a period of immense upheaval and change in all of the arts.
The author surveys the work produced, the favourite dining places, the public reaction and also the decadent life of London outside the artistic arena that co-existed at a time when the constraints and certainties of the Victorian period were crumbling. Decadence was indeed subversive.
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