English Professor Peter Jeffreys examines the influence of the London aesthetic movement on C. P. Cavafy in his latest book, Reframing Decadence: C. P. Cavafy's Imaginary Portraits.

Reframing Decadence book cover

Cavafy spent time in England as a young man in the 1870s, a period that saw the stirrings of an international decadent movement in the British and French avant-garde.

In Reframing Decadence: C. P. Cavafy's Imaginary Portraits, Jeffreys examines the influences of Britain’s Pre-Raphaelite artists and aesthetic writers on the poet. He also looks at Cavafy’s relation to Victorian aestheticism and his fascination with the decline of imperial Rome, the rise of Christianity, and the fading Byzantium culture. 

Jeffreys is the editor of The Forster-Cavafy Letters: Friends at a Slight Angle and author of Eastern Questions: Hellenism and Orientalism in the Writings of E. M. Forster and C. P. Cavafy.

Richard Kaye of Hunter College, author of The Flirt's Tragedy: Desire without End in Victorian and Edwardian Fiction, writes: “Peter Jeffreys, who seems to know more about Cavafy than any critic alive, shows how Cavafy's early stays in Britain and France gave him an intense foundation in an ongoing decadent tradition then emerging as a countercultural force in British and French writing, painting, and criticism.”