What does it mean to focus on the decade as a unit of literary history? Emerging from the shadows of iconic Victorian authors such as Eliot and Tennyson, the 1880s is a decade that has been too readily overlooked in the rush to embrace end-of-century decadence and aestheticism. The 1880s witnessed new developments in transatlantic networks, experiments in lyric poetry, the decline of the three-volume novel, and the revaluation of authors, journalists and the reading public. The contributors to this collection explore the case for the 1880s as both a discrete point of literary production, with its own pressures and provocations, and as part of literature's sense of its expanded temporal and geographical reach. The essays address a wide variety of authors, topics and genres, offering incisive readings of the diverse forces at work in the shaping of the literary 1880s.