MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

According to the MHRA Style Guide, this item should be cited in a bibliography as follows:

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 27 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2005), pp. i–iii

This is how standard MHRA style would look. Some of its book series (notably Legenda) allow an alternative citation system called 'author-date', but please talk to your editor before using it. (To see the demonstration for author-date, follow this link.)

Let's take this bibliography entry one step at a time:

Step 1. We start with the name(s) of the author(s) of the article, inverting the first name into the form 'Forename, Surname'.

Brown, Hilary

Step 2. This is regular MHRA style, so the name's followed by a comma.

Brown, Hilary,

Step 3. Now we add the title, in single inverted commas. Any single quotation marks already in the title must be converted to doubles.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’

Step 4. We have to say where this comes from, so:

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in

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Step 5. Next, the author(s) of the book, which come before the title because this is a monograph.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary

Step 6. Now a comma, not a full stop:

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary,

Step 7. Here we have the book's title, in italics, not quotation marks.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture

Step 8. This book belongs to a series, so we'll name that. If the series is numbered, we give the number, too. No italics, no quotation marks in the series name.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 27

Step 9. Since this is a book, not a journal issue, we have to identify its source, in round brackets. First, place of publication. This can be ambiguous. MHRA now has its registered address in Cambridge, so let's give that.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 27 (Cambridge

Step 10. Now a colon, a space, and the publisher's name. Abbreviating to 'MHRA' is fine here.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 27 (Cambridge: MHRA

Step 11. Then the year of first publication, and we're done with the bracketed part.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 27 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2005)

Step 12. Now the pagination. This is a book, so we use 'p.' or 'pp.' as appropriate. Number ranges are elided in the last two digits: thus '2234-2265' should be '2234-65', and '102-109' should be '102-09'.

Brown, Hilary, ‘Front Matter’, in Brown, Hilary, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 27 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2005), pp. i–iii

And that's the finished bibliography entry. Note that there's no final full stop.

So how about citations in footnotes or endnotes?

In standard MHRA style, the first time the work is cited in a note, it should be cited in full. This looks very like a Bibliography entry, but:

  • The author's name doesn't always come first: only for monographs. For collections and editions, the title comes first.
  • Even if the author's name does come first, it's back to being the right way round, so it's Forename Surname, not Surname, Forename;
  • Unlike Bibliography entries, notes are punctuated as sentences, and usually end in full stops.

Suppose we want to cite a passage on pages 24 to 27:

34 See Hilary Brown, ‘Front Matter’, in Hilary Brown, Benedikte Naubert (1765-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 27 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2005), pp. i–iii, pp. 24-27.

But in any subsequent notes, a heavily abbreviated form is used:

37 Compare Brown, p. 17.