Book Launch: Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature by Dr Helen Craske

We are pleased to announce the publication of Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature by Dr Helen Craske, a Junior Research Fellow and alumna of Merton College.

Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature examines late-nineteenth century French understandings of literature as a morally collusive medium, which implicates readers, writers, and critics in risqué or illicit ideas and behaviour. It considers definitions of complicity from the period’s evolving legal statutes, critical debates about literary ‘bad influence’, and modern theories of reader response, in order to achieve a deeper understanding of how cultural production of the period forged relationships of implication and collusion.

The analysis draws on a range of case studies from different media forms, including: Naturalist, Decadent, and psychological novels, biographically revealing fiction (‘romans à clefs’), little magazines (‘petites revues’), and saucy magazines (‘revues légères’). Texts written by well-known literary figures—such as Émile Zola, Octave Mirbeau, and Rachilde—appear alongside previously overlooked periodical and archival sources.

The book is available via Oxford Scholarship Online, to which students and staff with institutional affiliation can access without charge. Print copies will be available from next Thursday (20 June). There is a 30% off promotional code: AAFLYG6. See website for more information:

16:30 Tea/coffee and cake (Vegan and GF options avaliable)
17:00 Author’s discussion with Dr Julien Schuh (Paris-Nanterre) and audience questions.
17:45 (approx) Drinks reception.