Algernon Swinburne and Walter Pater: Victorian Aestheticism, Doubt and Secularisation
Sara Lyons
Legenda (General Series) 1 July 2015

  • ‘As British aestheticism continues to enjoy a revival of interest, it becomes ever more urgent to reassess the metaphysical work that Pater and Swinburne have done for us in their search for a way beyond doubt. Algernon Swinburne and Walter Pater is a timely reminder of our intellectual inheritance from this moment of crisis in Western religion.’ — Orla Polten, Essays in Criticism 66.3, July 2016, 390-96
  • ‘Sara Lyons’s admirable monograph will prove a cornerstone in Victorian studies and will soon become invaluable to students and scholars alike working on 19th-century literature and culture.’ — Charlotte Ribeyrol, Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens 83, Printemps 2016
  • ‘Lyons’s rethinking of Swinburne’s and Pater’s relationship to religion is absolutely necessary in light of recent revisions of the secularization thesis. She productively complicates the oversimplified binary between belief and unbelief that still too often plagues our readings of Victorian literature, and provocatively asks us to rethink the reasons underlying the Aesthetic Movement’s embrace of an ‘art for art’s sake’ philosophy. Algernon Swinburne and Walter Pater should be read by scholars of aestheticism, nine- teenth-century religion, and Victorian literature more generally.’ — Dustin Friedman, Review of English Studies Advance Access 4 October 2016
  • ‘A valuable addition to scholarship on Swinburne, Pater and aestheticism.’ — Beth Newman, Victorian Studies 60.1, Autumn 2017, 126-28

Lucidity: Essays in Honour of Alison Finch
Edited by Ian James and Emma Wilson
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

  • ‘This carefully crafted volume offers subtle and sustained reflections on the theme of lucidity as it is manifested in a range of cultural forms and media... This volume of fine schol- arship is dedicated to Alison Finch. As such, it pays tribute to her writing, teaching, and personal qualities, and constitutes a fitting tribute to her own lucidity.’ — Shirley Jordan, French Studies 74.1, January 2020, 157 (full text online)

The Poetry of Ernest Jones: Myth, Song, and the ‘Mighty Mind’
Simon Rennie
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930: The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps
Andrea Gullotta
Legenda (General Series) 15 January 2018

  • ‘Small and remote as it is, Solovki has always been central to Russian culture. Nearly all the central themes of Russian history — the power and schisms of the Orthodox Church and its intimacy with the state; the development of the Gulag — are reflected, or more often anticipated, in its history... The legacy of the Terror remains a battlefield. Books as scrupulously researched as Gullotta’s are invaluable.’ — Robert Chandler, Financial Times 27 April 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s case study of the SLON camp serves as a model for studies of Gulag writing, and makes a bold statement in favor of a new, synthesizing discourse about Gulag literature... All students of Russian literature and of the human condition owe a debt to Andrea Gullotta, who has tread on virgin snow, following in no one’s footsteps.’ — Lydia Roberts, Los Angeles Review of Books 3 May 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s scholarly, in-depth but quite readable book primarily examines the content of the printed output of work from Solovki in the early period 1923-30 and also considers the circumstances of its production, including the constantly shifting and always ambivalent relations between prisoners and camp administration.’ — Trevor Pateman, Reading This Book Online, 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s commendable study opens up a new area of Gulag research and adds considerably to our knowledge of the literature of the Soviet labour camps.’ — Sarah J. Young, Slavonic and East European Review 98.3, July 2020, 563-65 (full text online)
  • ‘An invaluable addition to a growing body of texts dedicated to understanding the multifaceted and complex cultural arena of Soviet labour camps. Gullotta effectively captures the uniqueness and plurality of the Solovki camp experience, preserving the many voices of the camp for future generations of historians and researchers.’ — Julie Draskoczy Zigoris, Modern Language Review 116.3, July 2021, 521-23 (full text online)

Louisa Waterford and John Ruskin: 'For you have not Falsely Praised'
Caroline Ings-Chambers
Legenda (General Series) 16 March 2015

  • ‘This book is a valuable revelation of a little-known figure. Lady Waterford is shown both to have been acutely sensitive to the cultural currents of her day and to have been a strong talent in her own right.’ — John Batchelor, Modern Language Review 111.4, October 2016, 1128-29 (full text online)
  • ‘Ings‐Chambers builds a strong case for reintegrating this artist in the wider Pre‐Raphaelite canon. Her writing makes Waterford’s art come across as essential thanks to its charm, vision and social/gender relevance.’ — Nic Peeters, Pre-Raphaelite Society Journal XXIII, 2015, 63-66

Aloysius Bertrand's Gaspard de la Nuit: Beyond the Prose Poem
Valentina Gosetti
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

  • ‘It is Baudelaire that dubs [Bertrand] the pioneer of the prose-poem and out of this well-meaning act springs the genie of subsequent critical depreciation. Gosetti’s absorbing and hugely valuable historical recontextualization of Bertrand gives us just the tools we need to do Gaspard altogether better justice.’ — Clive Scott, Journal of European Studies 47.1, 2017, 82-83
  • ‘In her informative and thoroughly researched monograph, Valentina Gosetti contends that developing a fuller understanding of Bertrand’s Gaspard de la Nuit is contingent upon a wider appreciation of the historical, social, cultural, and literary contexts in which the collection was produced... This study, which includes an appendix containing four beautiful English translations by Gian Lombardo, is a valuable contribution to the scholarship on Bertrand in the Anglophone world. It will be of great interest to historians and literary scholars of French Romanticism.’ — Catherine Witt, H-France 17, 2017
  • ‘In clear and eloquent prose, Gosetti presents a lively and thoroughly interesting account of Gaspard that illuminates a creative experimental work deserving of its proper spot in the canon of French Romantic literature... Gosetti convinces the reader many times over that Gaspard de la Nuit is an audacious nexus of literary and artistic motifs that emerge once the portrait of the artist is allowed to share the Romantic limelight.’ — Karen F. Quandt, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 46.1-2, 2017
  • ‘This elegant and beautifully written monograph seeks to offer new insights into Gaspard de la nuit, by returning to the literary and cultural context in which it was written, and approaching it on its own terms... Gosetti’s book richly deserves to achieve its aim of encouraging readers to pick up Bertrand, but it also offers an enormously rewarding read for anyone interested more generally in prose poetry, provincial literature, and the role of the fantastic in nineteenth-century France.’ — Fiona Cox, French Studies 71.4, October 2017, 585-86 (full text online)
  • ‘«Fascinating work» que ce Gaspard de la Nuit, écrit-elle dans les dernières lignes de sa conclusion: le lecteur en est toujours plus convaincu après avoir lu ce brillant essai.’ — Christine Marcandier, Revue Bertrand No. 1, 2018, 256-59

Decadence and the Senses
Edited by Jane Desmarais and Alice Condé
Legenda (General Series) 17 May 2017

  • ‘I found Maxwell’s discussion of the tuberose, and more speci cally Walter Pater’s conscription of that flower to describe his own rarefied prose style, to be particularly interesting, as Pater’s writing is so often considered the acme of Decadent prose. It seems that the orchid that famously reminded Dorian Gray of the seven deadly sins should, perhaps, have been a tuberose. Equally interesting is Angela Dunstan’s suggestion that Theodore Watts-Dunton’s roman-à-clef Aylwin became for readers a means of owning the celebrity of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, or the notion extended by Liz Renes that John Singer Sargent’s Madame X should be considered a meditation on the white, sculptural body and its changing role in modern art.’ — Jamie Horrocks, English Literature in Translation 61.4, 2018, 525-28
  • ‘It is perhaps fitting that the unity of a book on Decadent literature should be best experienced ‘decomposed’ to give place to the independence of each chapter. There is no doubt, however, that the high quality of its constituent parts forms a significant contribution to Sensory Studies and that the collection is a ‘must-read’ for any student of Decadence at the fin de siècle and beyond.’ — Patricia Pulham, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 128-29 (full text online)
  • ‘Desmarais and Condé have done an enormous service by opening up this can of repulsive worms.’ — Dennis Denisoff, Victorian Studies 61.2, Winter 2019, 554-56

Haunted Serbia: Representations of History and War in the Literary Imagination
David A. Norris
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

  • ‘This is a remarkable study, which accomplishes a lot more than a brief review can mention. One of its greatest merits is the convincing and coherent narrative which strings together a large number of apparently disparate works around an axis which is at one and the same time a literary one — the uncanny and its Gothic repertoire — and extra-literary: searching for meaning in both recent past and in contemporary events. Admirably well researched, Haunted Serbia offers an invaluable insight into a turbulent though fruitful period of Serbia’s literary history, which up until now was uncharted territory.’ — Zoran Milutinović, Slavonic and East European Review 95.2, April 2017, 353-54 (full text online)
  • ‘David A. Norris, direttore del Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies dell’Università di Nottingham, disegna un panorama della narrativa a tema bellico nella letteratura serba della seconda metà del XX secolo guardando ad essa dall’angolatura delle “ways in which narrative fiction represents the changing relationship between past and present in times of crisis” (p. 35)... L’interessante sintesi di D. A. Norris, proprio per la complessità del materiale da essa messo in circolazione, induce a più di qualche riflessione.’ — Janja Jerkov, Ricerche Slavistiche N.S. 14, 2016, 560-72
  • ‘In this well-informed, logically structured study, David A. Norris o ers a lucid and original interpretation of important and in uential Serbian narrative ction between the demise of Tito in 1980 and the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999.’ — Ralph Bogert, Slavic Review Summer 2018, 510-12

The History of Language Learning and Teaching I: 16th-18th Century Europe
Edited by Nicola McLelland and Richard Smith
Legenda (General Series) vol 1 of 330 September 2018

  • ‘Es erhebe nicht den Anspruch, seinen Gegenstand ganz abzudecken, sondern biete “an illustrative sample of in-depth studies” (I: 2). Doch möchte es das Studium der Geschichte des Fremdsprachenlehrens und -lernens (“History of Language Learning and Teaching”, HoLLT) wenn nicht begründen, so doch maß- geblich begleiten, denn bisher sei die Forschung an verschiedenen Stellen getrennt und unkoordiniert betrieben worden (I: 3–4). Mit diesem Werk werde HoLLT etabliert oder gar zu einer Disziplin erweitert (I: 5).’ — Helmut Glück, Historiographia Linguistica 46.1, 2019, 208-17 (full text online)
  • ‘As far as I know, this three-volume collection is the first-ever attempt at a comparative and truly global history of our discipline... The three volumes just discussed constitute a treasure trove to the riches of which a single reviewer can do scant justice.’ — Arthur van Essen, ELT Journal 74.1, January 2020, 89-93
  • ‘The three volumes of The History of Language Learning and Teaching offer a significant contribution to the emerging interdisciplinary, intercultural and plurilinguistic research area of historical foreign language didactics... a very stimulating and rich mosaic of FLT history.’ — Britta Juska-Bacher, Paedagogica Historica online, 25 Nov 2020 (full text online)
  • ‘Edited collections of this breadth and quality are rare and these three volumes make an important and vitalising contribution to the multidisciplinary field of HoLLT. The extensive range of case studies provides a highly readable and scholarly reference which will be undoubtedly valued by language teachers and students and researchers of language and education historiography.’ — Simon Coffey, Language & History 31 Mar 2020 (full text online)

Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean
Edited by Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar and Wes Williams
Legenda (General Series) 19 December 2016

  • ‘Montaigne in Transit proves one of the finest volumes on this overworked author... In a reflective Afterword, Ian Maclean celebrates the scholarly exchanges out of which this volume grew and the generosity inherent in intellectual work. Another aspect that ties these contributions together lies in how the authors foreground the practice of close reading. Such patience with ‘slow’ reading is a welcome change from more ambitious quantifiable, contextualizing, and politicizing forms of criticism that currently dominate the field. The contributors intelligently defend their choice not as an antidote or alternative to these other approaches but as a needed counterweight and complement.’ — George Hoffmann, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 658-59 (full text online)
  • ‘In a reading of Montaigne’s classical allusions in ‘Sur des Vers de Virgile’, Terence Cave finds the essayist resurrecting the dead: ‘The quotations from Virgil and Lucretius are haptic, erotic; they come to life, become bodies. And their life flows palpably over into Montaigne’s prose.’ Cave’s is the first of several essays in the wonderful collection Montaigne in Transit to explore metaphors for Montaigne’s thought and quotation practice, and to evaluate how we study Montaigne’s relation to other texts.’ — Peter Auger, Translation and Literature 27, 2019, 353-60 (full text online)
  • ‘In sum, the journey through these essays is well worth the effort and strongly recommended to seasoned specialists and fellow travelers interested in the historical development of learned culture in Europe from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. This reviewer wishes them a bon voyage!’ — Michael Wolfe, Sixteenth Century Journal 49.3, 2018, 885-87

Performing Medieval Text
Edited by Ardis Butterfield, Henry Hope and Pauline Souleau
Legenda (General Series) 1 November 2017

  • ‘Collectively, these studies effectively demonstrate the necessity for, and advantage of, an understanding of performance that transcends traditional academic boundaries and the volume, overall, serves as a solid exemplar of how to approach doing so.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.2, April 2019, 248 (full text online)
  • ‘An ambitious and wide-ranging exploration of performance in medieval European culture. Recognizing the ‘complex terminological web’ spun round the terms performance and performativity, the volume acknowledges and accepts performance as a ‘contested concept’. It also, importantly, recognizes the historical contingency of performance as an idea... The contributing essays illustrate both the ubiquity of performance in medieval culture and the very different ways it manifests in and through text, itself broadly conceived as manuscript, image, written word, and musical note.’ — Clare Wright, Modern Language Review 114.3, July 2019, 525-526 (full text online)
  • ‘This thought-filled and thought-provoking volume offers a polyphony of perspectives on, and examples of, medieval performance.’ — Blake Gutt, French Studies 73.4, October 2019, 622-23 (full text online)
  • ‘While these essays are likely to be read individually by specialists in their various fields, a reader of the whole volume will be rewarded with an enriched and nuanced understanding of the concepts of “performance” and “text,” and of the explanatory reach of the field of performance studies.’ — Anne Stone, Speculum 96.2, 2021, 482-84

The History of Language Learning and Teaching II: 19th-20th Century Europe
Edited by Nicola McLelland and Richard Smith
Legenda (General Series) vol 2 of 330 September 2018

  • ‘Es erhebe nicht den Anspruch, seinen Gegenstand ganz abzudecken, sondern biete “an illustrative sample of in-depth studies” (I: 2). Doch möchte es das Studium der Geschichte des Fremdsprachenlehrens und -lernens (“History of Language Learning and Teaching”, HoLLT) wenn nicht begründen, so doch maß- geblich begleiten, denn bisher sei die Forschung an verschiedenen Stellen getrennt und unkoordiniert betrieben worden (I: 3–4). Mit diesem Werk werde HoLLT etabliert oder gar zu einer Disziplin erweitert (I: 5).’ — Helmut Glück, Historiographia Linguistica 46.1, 2019, 208-17 (full text online)
  • ‘As far as I know, this three-volume collection is the first-ever attempt at a comparative and truly global history of our discipline... The three volumes just discussed constitute a treasure trove to the riches of which a single reviewer can do scant justice.’ — Arthur van Essen, ELT Journal 74.1, January 2020, 89-93
  • ‘The three volumes of The History of Language Learning and Teaching offer a significant contribution to the emerging interdisciplinary, intercultural and plurilinguistic research area of historical foreign language didactics... a very stimulating and rich mosaic of FLT history.’ — Britta Juska-Bacher, Paedagogica Historica online, 25 Nov 2020 (full text online)
  • ‘Edited collections of this breadth and quality are rare and these three volumes make an important and vitalising contribution to the multidisciplinary field of HoLLT. The extensive range of case studies provides a highly readable and scholarly reference which will be undoubtedly valued by language teachers and students and researchers of language and education historiography.’ — Simon Coffey, Language & History 31 Mar 2020 (full text online)

The History of Language Learning and Teaching III: Across Cultures
Edited by Nicola McLelland and Richard Smith
Legenda (General Series) vol 3 of 330 September 2018

  • ‘Es erhebe nicht den Anspruch, seinen Gegenstand ganz abzudecken, sondern biete “an illustrative sample of in-depth studies” (I: 2). Doch möchte es das Studium der Geschichte des Fremdsprachenlehrens und -lernens (“History of Language Learning and Teaching”, HoLLT) wenn nicht begründen, so doch maß- geblich begleiten, denn bisher sei die Forschung an verschiedenen Stellen getrennt und unkoordiniert betrieben worden (I: 3–4). Mit diesem Werk werde HoLLT etabliert oder gar zu einer Disziplin erweitert (I: 5).’ — Helmut Glück, Historiographia Linguistica 46.1, 2019, 208-17 (full text online)
  • ‘The studies cover analyses of instruction books and didactic materials, and the cultural representations and values found in those; teaching and education policies or applications of phonetics for teaching. One study also examines creating and maintaining international penfriend networks.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.4, October 2019, 496 (full text online)
  • ‘As far as I know, this three-volume collection is the first-ever attempt at a comparative and truly global history of our discipline... The three volumes just discussed constitute a treasure trove to the riches of which a single reviewer can do scant justice.’ — Arthur van Essen, ELT Journal 74.1, January 2020, 89-93
  • ‘The three volumes of The History of Language Learning and Teaching offer a significant contribution to the emerging interdisciplinary, intercultural and plurilinguistic research area of historical foreign language didactics... a very stimulating and rich mosaic of FLT history.’ — Britta Juska-Bacher, Paedagogica Historica online, 25 Nov 2020 (full text online)
  • ‘Edited collections of this breadth and quality are rare and these three volumes make an important and vitalising contribution to the multidisciplinary field of HoLLT. The extensive range of case studies provides a highly readable and scholarly reference which will be undoubtedly valued by language teachers and students and researchers of language and education historiography.’ — Simon Coffey, Language & History 31 Mar 2020 (full text online)

Cognitive Confusions: Dreams, Delusions and Illusions in Early Modern Culture
Edited by Ita Mac Carthy, Kirsti Sellevold and Olivia Smith
Legenda (General Series) 13 February 2017

  • ‘Cognition-centered scholarship is here, and Dreams, Delusions and Illusions in Early Modern Culture is a welcome new contribution... I found myself wanting to dialogue with each of these writers... they enter into essential new investigations into the diversity of our cognitive experiences.’ — Donald Beecher, Renaissance Quarterly 71.1, 2018, 267-69
  • ‘Sustained and intensive collaboration is evident in the collection, where every chapter displays a profound and fruitful engagement with cognitive psychology and philosophy that illuminates both early modern literary texts and contemporary science... These essays are thought-provoking, rigorous, and inventive themselves, and as exemplary models of properly collaborative research should interest early modernists, literary scholars, and other researchers into cognition.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.3, July 2018, 372

The Made and the Found: Essays, Prose and Poetry in Honour of Michael Sheringham
Edited by Patrick McGuinness and Emily McLaughlin
Legenda (General Series) 25 May 2017

  • ‘Micky’s words return here in all their felicity. His appetite, brilliance, and distinct sensibility are intensely present. The editors speak of Micky ‘drawn by what was accidental, unsystematic, eccentric’ (p. ix). They see him glorying in ‘the overspill of things’. They speak of Micky as their ‘friend and colleague’ and this book is a beautiful act of camaraderie.’ — Emma Wilson, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 485-86 (full text online)
  • ‘This starry roster of writers, working in English and French, often operate along lines of creative interplay between chance and choice, the map and serendipity, walking and writing, celebrating the transition from noticing to noting and from there maybe even into actually making poetry.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.3, July 2018, 375
  • ‘The Made and the Found is a rich volume that will be of interest to friends of the late Michael Sheringham as well as to all those wanting to study the relation between French culture, language and the everyday.’ — Verena Andermatt Conley, H-France 18.214, November 2018

Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815
Christie Margrave
Legenda (General Series) 23 April 2019

  • ‘The book is meticulously researched and packed with critical responses from a variety of different fields, showing Margrave’s interdisciplinary intentions. This book opens the door for yet more focused work to be carried out on this understudied yet highly formative period in French literary and social history.’ — Stacie Allan, Modern Language Review 115.2, 2020, 470-71 (full text online)
  • ‘Writing the Landscape’s strengths lie in its close literary analyses of lesser-known works by women... The book rightly calls our attention to a corpus of women’s writing that deserves more critical attention, and it renews our understanding of how - far from being insignificant green backdrops - landscape descriptions could serve as focal points within a novel.’ — Giulia Pacini, H-France 20, May 2018, no. 77
  • ‘Scholars of European Romanticism have almost entirely overlooked the influence of French women writers of the First Republic and First Empire. In reaction to this oversight, Margrave's excellent monograph resituates the dominant themes of French Romanticism, firstly, as developing earlier than the 1820s and, secondly, as much more than a male phenomenon... This well-researched and beautifully written book provides fresh contributions to the fields of Women's Studies and French Romanticism by demonstrating the vital importance of these largely forgotten women writers of the First Republic and First Empire.’ — Julianna Starr, Women in French Studies 28, 2020, 147-48 (full text online)

Gentry Life in Georgian Ireland: The Letters of Edmund Spencer (1711-1790)
Edited by Duncan Fraser and Andrew Hadfield
Legenda (General Series) 3 April 2017

  • ‘An extraordinary cache of letters... in this meticulously produced edition, which is an epistolary treat throughout.’ — Hazel Wilkinson, Times Literary Supplement 3 August 2018
  • ‘As an edition of correspondence, this work by Duncan Fraser and Andrew Hadfield is a model of how an edition should be put together. In addition to discussing the use of Old and New Style calendars and describing the archive, they supply a chronological chart of the archive listing dates, folio numbers, addressees, and places of origin. The commentary on transcription skilfully analyses the trade-off between reading the original manuscript and a transcription which ‘pares away the obfuscating aspects of unfamiliar handwriting, outdated orthographical conventions, and the deleterious effects of time on paper’. The discussion of the idiosyncrasies of Spencer’s punctuation is instructive about eighteenth-century attitudes generally and especially noteworthy in its suggestion that dashes may be used as paragraph markers to save the cost of paper. Meanwhile, in their new printed form the letters are presented in a handsomely produced volume by Legenda, an imprint of the Modern Humanities Research Association. In t’ — Jean R. Brink, Modern Language Review 114.4, October 2019, 854-55 (full text online)
  • ‘Spencer should have inherited family estates in Ireland that would make him comfortable for life. In fact, as a result of incompetence and skullduggery, he came into an inheritance that was so embarrassed, that for the rest of his life he had to struggle hard to hold onto social credibility. These letters, meticulously and brilliantly edited, tell part of the story of how Spencer tried to cope.’ — L G Mitchell, Notes & Queries 66.4, December 2019, 602-03 (full text online)

Pietro Bembo: A Life in Laurels and Scarlet
Marco Faini
Legenda (General Series) 15 May 2017

  • ‘Faini has managed very effectively the task of providing an introduction to Bembo’s life and work that is insightful yet relatively succinct and accessible. He gives a good sense of the complexity of underlying issues without overwhelming readers with detail. His writing is engaging and attentive to descriptive effect... Helpfully and attractively illustrated.’ — Brian Richardson, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 884-86 (full text online)
  • ‘As this slim but elegant volume highlights, the life of Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) bridges the transition in Italy from the height of the Renaissance into the early stages of the Catholic Reformation, not simply in terms of chronology but also in his career trajectory... This is a beautifully illustrated work, with more than 30 images, many of which are in colour. It is an engaging treatment and an excellent introduction to this significant figure.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, July 2019, 266 (full text online)

The Italian Renaissance: A Zest for Life
Edited by Michel Jeanneret and Nicolas Ducimetière
Legenda (General Series) 15 May 2017

  • ‘This is a Renaissance that triumphantly emerges from the dark ages of medieval Europe, bringing with it the birth of an ideal society guided by beauty and love, thus giving rise to one of the most extraordinary creative seasons of poetry, architecture, and art that the world has ever known... Yves Bonnefoy gives a moving account of his youthful discovery, in a still deserted post-war Florence, of the Brancacci Chapel... The most remarkable pages, however, of these many and memorable contributions are those by Michel Butor, sadly deceased in the same year in which the book was published. Always concerned with ‘micro-événements’ [...] Butor simply fixes his (and our) attention on every tiny detail of Antonello da Messina’s Renaissance image of the Middle Ages in his painting of Saint Jerome in his Study, reading (one presumes) his own historic translation of the Bible. The sense of this descriptive tour de force becomes clear in a final poem in which Butor identifies himself with Antonello.’ — Hilary Gatti, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 887-89 (full text online)

Cultural Reception, Translation and Transformation from Medieval to Modern Italy: Essays in Honour of Martin McLaughlin
Edited by Guido Bonsaver, Brian Richardson, and Giuseppe Stellardi
Legenda (General Series) 17 May 2017

  • ‘A remarkable unified collection... [the essays] may be read in any order, so rich and abundant are the resonances among them.’ — Carmine G. Di Biase, Times Literary Supplement 8 May 2018
  • ‘Zygmunt G. Barański presents a deeply contextualized understanding of the Orpheus myth in Petrarch’s Canzoniere, taking into account Virgilian and Ovidian antecedents, and the traces of their elaboration in works including the Bucolicum carmen and Familiares. At the heart of his essay, Barański boldly, but not unpersuasively, asserts Petrarch’s lyric collection of fragments to be “the great overlooked Orphic text of the Western tradition”. Brian Richardson’s essay is also among the most ambitious, tackling a massive quantity of Renaissance Italian poetic production—extempore Latin and vernacular lyric compositions—and he does so with aplomb, providing perhaps the first categorization with a qualitative/theoretical valuation of this important but almost entirely overlooked subgenre of poetry... Meriting special distinction, Peter Hainsworth’s contribution rescues John Dickson Batten’s illustrations to Dante’s Inferno (1897–1900) from their relative oblivion.’ — Sherry Roush, Renaissance Quarterly 71.9, October 2018, 1193-95
  • ‘The scope, historical locus and chronological ambition of the present volume are exceptionally wide and rich... The quality of the contributions is invariably high and all are case-studies relevant to the book’s central preoccupation with cultural contact and interchange... an admirable collection, full of stimulus and surprises, handsomely produced by Legenda.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, July 2019, 265-66 (full text online)
  • ‘This volume brings to mind one of Calvino’s own definitions, in his Why Read The Classics?: ‘The classics are those books which come to us bearing the aura of previous interpretations, and trailing behind them the traces they have left in the culture or cultures (or just in the language and customs) through which they have passed’ (McLaughlin’s translation). The volume invites readers into the palimpsest that is Italian culture, which is to say, among other things, its imitations, its intertextuality and transmediality, and its translations.’ — Antonella Braida, Translation and Literature 29, 2020, 291-96 (full text online)
  • ‘The volume reads as a user guide to the most updated views on literary theory and cultural studies, demonstrating how ‘open’ a field Italian studies has become in recent years. Texts—in a semiological sense, hence comprising all meaningful artefacts of culture—are scrutinized through a wide range of approaches, including linguistic, philological, thematic, intertextual, historical, sociological, comparative. and hermeneutical.’ — Oscar Schiavone, Modern Language Review 115.3, July 2020, 737-41 (full text online)

Writers' Block: The Paris Antifascist Congress of 1935
Jacob Boas
Legenda (General Series) 19 December 2016

  • ‘[Boas concludes that] this Congress was a 'shining assembly of the princes of the pen' and that it marked the apogee of the Soviet influence in the West, shortly to be eroded by a series of show trials in 1936/38... whereas Western writers suffered no long-term damage to their careers, many Soviet delegates awaited a dire future: Kirshon and Koltsov perished in a GULAG, Babel vanished with- out trace in 1939, and even Boris Pasternak – though surviving the Stalinist era – was eventually denied the Nobel Prize in Literature awarded him in 1985.’ — Jörg Thunecke, International Feuchtwanger Society Newsletter 22, 2017, 66-68
  • ‘Situating his subject against the menacing backdrop of rising totalitarianism in East and West, Jacob Boas provides a compelling narrative of the five-day congress through a series of short, semi-biographical portraits, or vignettes, of some of the key European intellectuals that took part... The book is exceptionally well written and well researched, drawing on an impressive variety of sources, both published and unpublished, in Russian, French, German, Dutch, English, and Spanish. What emerges is a captivating portrait of the state of European intellectual life in the 1930s.’ — Alastair Hemmens, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 636-37 (full text online)

The Poetics of Early Russian Crime Fiction 1860-1917: Deciphering Stories of Detection
Claire Whitehead
Legenda (General Series) 10 September 2018

  • ‘An intricately researched and fascinating exploration of the origins and development of a forgotten genre... Whitehead’s re- evaluation of Dostoevskii’s novels (including Brothers Karamazov) as crime literature is rewarding and insightful. Even more valuable, however, is her analysis of Dostoevskii’s forgotten peers, who created the landmarks of this fluid and reactive genre.’ — Muireann Maguire, Slavonic and East European Review 90.4, October 2020, 767-69 (full text online)

Intimacy and Distance: Conflicting Cultures in Nineteenth-Century France
Philippa Lewis
Legenda (General Series) 29 September 2017

  • ‘L’ouvrage ne se contente pas d’explorer les productions littéraires de l’intime (du roman intime au récit de voyage) mais s’appuie sur une belle et riche variété de formes littéraires et culturelles (journaux intimes, portraits littéraires, critique d’art) pour mettre en évidence la hiérarchie des valeurs à l’œuvre dans la notion d’intime.’ — Françoise Grauby, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 459
  • ‘Philippa Lewis’s fresh, thoughtful overview of the virtual relationships between French authors and readers between 1830 and 1870 focuses on selected works by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Eugène Fromentin, Maurice de Guérin, and C.-A. Sainte-Beuve... She effectively synthesizes the deconstructive distinguo move of deconstruction—dissecting specious identities—with a discreet historical consciousness that alternatively discloses new ranges of possibilities and then contracts into a synthesis. Brief, thoughtful footnotes extend Lewis’s discussions in many directions, revealing her exemplary deep background.’ — Laurence M. Porter, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 47.1-2, Fall 2018
  • ‘In this thoughtful and suggestive monograph, Philippa Lewis offers a carefully historicized, thoroughly researched, and beautifully written account of the place occupied by the concept of intimacy in the literary culture of nineteenth-century France, and especially its middle decades... The book’s true point, and its greatest merit, is to get under the skin—intus, et in cute—of nineteenth-century French letters; to reanimate with a careful balance of sympathy and erudition a somewhat forgotten yet profoundly influential moment in the history of literary thought. In this respect, the book will be of compelling interest to all scholars of nineteenth-century France.’ — Andrew J. Counter, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 146-47 (full text online)
  • ‘Accompagnato da una bibliogra a veramente ricca e da un dettagliato indice dei nomi, il saggio di Philippa Lewis si occupa nella prima parte dell’Intimacy, prendendo come punto di partenza un saggio di Henry James su Sainte-Beuve, in cui l’autore mostra il carattere “intimo” della scrittura come una caratteristica di una importante zona della letteratura francese del xix secolo: «poésie intime, the roman intime, and the journal intime».’ — Maria Emanuela Raffi, Studi francesi 186, 20, 2019, 516-17
  • ‘Lewis’s convincing argument revolves around the idea that male authors writing after 1830, including both well- and lesser-known writers such as Flaubert, Euge`ne Fromentin, and above all Baudelaire, employed certain textual strategies as a result of their ambivalent feelings towards intimacy... This study constitutes a very significant addition to the existing corpus of works on the cultural and literary history of intimacy.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 119
  • ‘A very well-researched and engaging contribution to the literary history of nineteenth-century France, the social and cultural history of emotions, Baudelaire studies, and historical masculinity studies. By deprivileging distance as the primary spatial and affective metaphor for understanding post-revolutionary French society and restoring intimacy to its rightful place on the cultural and literary landscape, Lewis successfully complicates one of the foundational paradigms of nineteenth-century French studies, making her book a compelling read for all scholars in the field.’ — Jessica Tanner, H-France 19, February 2019, no. 27
  • ‘This book is written with admirable clarity and, via the lens of intimacy, offers original perspectives on some well-known and lesser-known writers, while also shedding light on the emotional history of the nineteenth century.’ — Paul Gibbard, Emotions: History, Culture, Society 3, 2019, 174-75

The Multilingual Muse: Transcultural Poetics in the Burgundian Netherlands
Edited by Adrian Armstrong and Elsa Strietman
Legenda (General Series) 1 November 2017

  • ‘This forward-thinking collection is part of an emerging and significant trend towards analysing medieval literature in the multilingual context in which it was written... this collection has a much wider significance beyond this geographical setting insofar as it provides a splendid model for future research into the multilingualism of medieval literature.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.2, April 2019, 247-48 (full text online)
  • ‘Through the viewpoint of transcultural exchange, and by giving voice to cases in their contemporary contexts, the editors successfully present an enriching new picture of multilingualism in the fifteenth-century Low Countries.’ — Bram Caers, French Studies 73.2, April 2019, 284-85 (full text online)
  • ‘Largely refuses clichés and tired assumptions about translation and other interlingual-literary engagements, preferring instead to turn new ground for specific analyses of less obvious intertextual, interdiscursive, and intermedial contacts. Armstrong and Strietman have gathered a fine collection that puts on display the richly provocative multilingualism of the early modern Low Countries. Anyone interested in early modern literary culture will be delighted by the insights and methods of these fine essays.’ — Anne E. B. Coldiron, Early Modern Low Countries 3.1, 2019, 145–148 (full text online)
  • ‘This essay collection offers an excellent point of entry for reflection and further research on the impressive literature of the Low Countries under the dukes of Burgundy, and shows how the multilingualism and multiculturalism of the region energized and enriched its poetry.’ — unsigned notice, Medium Aevum 88, 2019, 191-92
  • ‘The Multilingual Muse est un ouvrage important qu’il faut saluer. En effet, il éclaire dans le détail la manière dont se forme culturellement, socio-économiquement et même politiquement--malgré notre remarque ci-dessus--un espace commun bilingue au 15e siècle et au début du 16e siècle. Nombre d’enseignements sont à retenir pour l’historien.ne du politique : la nécessité de repenser les modèles de diffusion culturelle et donc idéologique « top-down » pour privilégier des processus en réseaux interpénétrés, et surtout abandonner cette idée issue du 19e siècle, et pourtant encore bien présente chez nombre de collègues, que l’État dynastique tardo-médiéval et renaissant se construirait nécessairement par l’unification linguistique. L’exemple de la mosaïque étatique bourguignonne dément tout à fait ce postulat.’ — Jonathan Dumont, H-France 19, November 2019, 220
  • ‘This is an exciting volume which sheds important light on multilingualism in the world of the Burgundian Netherlands during the late Middle Ages.’ — Albrecht Classen, Mediaevistik 31, 2018, 465-67

The Journalist in the French Fin-de-siècle Novel: Enfants de la presse
Kate Rees
Legenda (General Series) 26 February 2018

  • ‘L’ouvrage de Rees est donc intéressant et riche, on ne peut qu’en recommander la lecture. Il constitue une excellente synthèse de la recherche en direction du public anglophone, tout en apportant son propre regard sur les représentations du journalisme.’ — Guillaume Pinson, French Studies 73.2, April 2019, 312 (full text online)
  • ‘An excellent new analysis of the figure of the journalist in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French fiction. It will be a significant guide for future studies of the French press and the French journalist, and it serves as a reminder of the historical importance of journalists and the press, especially in today’s world of “fake news” campaigns and anti- media attacks that aim to silence the essential role of journalists in our society.’ — Juliette M. Rogers, H-France 19.70, May 2019
  • ‘Kate Rees’s fine new monograph takes us into a world both strange and familiar: magazine and newspaper publishing in the Belle Époque... Rees produces rich and detailed readings of all the texts she considers, unfolding their complexities with great subtlety while drawing in ideas from fields as diverse as phenomenology and remediation theory. A substantial and significant research content has been orchestrated with a sure touch, resulting in a monograph which will be of interest not only to dix-neuviémistes but to anyone concerned with the relationship between literature and journalism, and the latter’s role in shaping modern culture.’ — Emma Bielecki, Modern Language Review 115.3, July 2020, 729-30 (full text online)