The extraordinary literary, artistic, and philosophical movements spawned in London during the penultimate years of Victoria's reign are the themes of this lucid and engaging book. Chapter by chapter, Beckson (English, CUNY) examines cultural trends and their proponents, among them Fabianism (Shaw and the Webbs), Decadence (Wilde et al.), the Rhymers Club (Yeats and Le Gallienne, among others), and the New Drama (Shaw, Pinero, and Wilde again). Other chapters address Victorian fin-de-siecle attitudes toward such disparate social questions as feminism, prostitution, and homosexuality, with the book's literal centerpiece being the 1895 trial of Oscar Wilde. To paraphrase Matthew Arnold, this work presents a time and place caught between two worlds, one dead (or dying) and the other generating the power to be born; its insight into the end and beginning of eras will be an asset for any academic collection. For a view of London earlier in the 19th century, see London--World City: 1800-1840 , reviewed below.--Ed.-- Linda Smith, Mobil Corp. Lib., Fairfax, Va.