Helen Craske

Helen Craske, BA (Oxon) MSt (Oxon)

Research Interests:

My DPhil thesis analyses the conceptualisation of shared crime and guilt in French fin-de-siècle literary culture. I aim to show how specific textual strategies and modes of reception encouraged the creation of relationships of collusion – imagined or otherwise – between writers, readers, and critics at the turn of the century. 

This research project is centred on literature from the first half of the Third Republic (c.1870-1914). However, I am interested more broadly in the literary production of the ‘long’ nineteenth century (c.1789-1914). My other academic interests include: libertinage, Roland Barthes, and literary theory.


‘Desire and the demi-vierge: the Impenetrable Ideal in Decadent Fiction’ – Dix-Neuf, 2018, Vol.22, Issues 1-2, 23-38. DOI: 10.1080/14787318.2018.1476438 

‘La Marquise de Sade’, The Literary Encyclopedia, First published 26 July 2017.

Conference and Seminar Papers:

‘A Decadent Patroness? Rachilde as Taste-Maker in the Mercure de France’, presented at Women Writing Decadence: European Perspectives, 1880-1920 — University of Oxford, 7-8 July 2018.

‘Displacing the Blame: Complicity in Rachilde and Zola’, presented at the SDN Annual Conference 2018, ‘Displacements’, Newcastle University, 9-11 April 2018.

‘Rachilde and the Art of the Book Review: A Matter of Taste’, presented at the French Graduate Research Seminar, University of Oxford, 23 May 2017.

‘The Decadent Ideal of Impenetrability’, presented at the SDN Annual Conference 2017, ‘Spleen et Idéal’, University of Kent, 10-12 April 2017. (Awarded the 2017 SDN Postgraduate Prize)


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