This study explores the work of one of the most influential women writing in English in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The recent upsurge of interest in the culture of the fin de siecle and lesbian Modernist writing has assured Lee a well-deserved critical resurrection and this book explores her ground-breaking literary work in light of the turbulent friendships that she had with figures such as Henry James, Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells and Virginia Woolf. A belle-lettriste, a self-consciously Continental intellectual and a pacifist, Lee's changing authorial masks doubly anticipate and participate in the wider shift from Victorian earnestness to Modernist play marking British letters over the course of fifty years. Ultimately, however, Lee emerges as an increasingly isolated figure harried both by her attraction to other women and the incipient destruction of her beloved Europe in the 'Great Game' of empire.
"Sondeep Kandola's study "Vernon Lee" is a useful contribution to fin-de-siecle literature and queer studies that continues the critical recuperation of the writings of Vernon Lee."--John O. Jordan "Studies in English Literature (SEL), 52, 4 (Autumn 2012) "