'Michael Field' (1884-1914) was the pseudonym of two women, the aunt and niece Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper, who lived and wrote together as 'lovers'. The large oeuvre contains poems, dramas, and a vast diary. Marion Thain recounts the development of a fascinating and idiosyncratic poetic persona, which became a self-reflexive study in aestheticism. The constructed life and work of 'Michael Field' is used here to deepen and complicate our understanding of many of the most distinctive aesthetic debates of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; a process unified by the recurring engagement with theories of time and history that structures this book. This analysis of poetry, aestheticism and the fin de siecle, through the performance of 'Michael Field', has implications that reach far beyond an understanding of one poet's work. Scholars of both Victorian and modernist literature will learn much from this innovative and compelling study.