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In this major new book, Vincent Sherry reveals a fresh continuity in literary history. He traces the idea of decadence back to key events from the failures of the French Revolution to the cataclysm of the Great War. This powerful work of literary criticism and literary history encompasses a rich trajectory that begins with an exposition of the English Romantic poets and ends with a re-evaluation of modernists as varied as W. B. Yeats, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Rebecca West, Djuna Barnes, Samuel Beckett and, centrally, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. Sherry's hugely ambitious study will be essential reading for anyone working in modernist studies and twentieth-century literature more generally.