Published June 2003

Liberty, Equality, Maternity
Alison Fell
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘A highly readable, well-informed, and clearly argued study of the discourses of motherhood in twentieth-century France.’ — Catherine Rodgers, Modern Language Review 99.4, 2004, 1059-60 (full text online)
  • ‘Ce livre consciencieux met en valeur l'humanité des trois écrivaines étudiées plutôt qu'une quelconque rigidité. Somme tout, c'est leur histoire personnelle que Fell explore, avec tout ce que cela supposes de contradictions, d'ambiguïtés, de tiraillements entre théorie et vécu.’ — Catherine Slawy-Sutton, French Review 79.2, 2006, 420-21

Published May 2006

The Extreme In-Between: Jean Paulhan's Place in the Twentieth Century
Anna-Louise Milne
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Lights up the firmament of scholarship on Paulhan with brilliance... With wit, exuberance and theoretical sure-footedness, Milne takes us through a series of close readings. Not only does The Extreme In-Between reveal the astonishing reach and depth of Paulhan’s thinking, but it paves the way for a new conception of the relationship of language to political action and historical event, one that has a remarkably contemporary (twenty-first century?) resonance to it.’ — Michael Syrotinski, French Studies 491-92
  • ‘Tout bien considéré, l'ouvrage dense et méticuleusement relu de Milne vient ajouter de nouvelles perspectives aux réévaluations actuelles de Paulhan.’ — Stephen Steele, French Review 81.5, 2008, 1007-08

Published November 2007

Literary Scholarship in Late Imperial Russia: Rituals of Academic Institutionalization
Andy Byford
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘A thoroughly researched, thoughtfully conceptualized, and highly informative book that will hopefully lead to further interest in the remarkable yet in many cases still underrecognized scholarship that emerged just before and after the turn of the twentieth century.’ — Barry P. Scherr, Russian Review 67.3, July 2008, 500-01
  • ‘This elegantly written account of the development of Russian literary scholarship is distinctive for its focus on academics and university professors (kabinetnye uchenye) rather than the more familiar, civic-minded criticism associated with the names of Chernyshevskii or Belinskii... it affords a number of extremely valuable insights that are highly pertinent for the student of Russian intellectual culture more broadly.’ — Frances Nethercott, Revolutionary Russia 22.1, 2009, 97-99
  • ‘Byford’s monograph makes two extremely important systemic contributions. First, it is part of a process of reassessment of the Russian nineteenth century, whereby cultural historians attempt to step out of the teleological shadow cast by the gargantuan events of the early twentieth century, and indeed, to redress the methodological blindspots that grew from the Soviet era; second, Byford also joins those few (in the UK, largely Bakhtin Circle-oriented Russianists) who strive to contextualize the insights of early twentieth-century Russian literary theorists.’ — Carol Adlam, Modern Language Review 105.2, 2010, 620-21 (full text online)
  • ‘Ces quelques remarques n'enlèvent rien à la qualité de cet ouvrage, le premier à aborder les études littéraires en Russie sous l'angle des processus d'institutionnalisation et qui, à ce titre, constitue une étude véritablement pionnière.’ — Catherine Depretto, Cahiers du Monde Russe 2010, 794-96

Published September 2013

The Present Word: Culture, Society and the Site of Literature
Edited by John Walker
Legenda (General Series)


Published December 2013

Selected Essays of Malcolm Bowie I: Dreams of Knowledge
Malcolm Bowie
Legenda (General Series) vol 1 of 2

  • ‘Only someone with Bowie’s exquisite powers of expression and formidably focused, well-stocked mind could home in so closely on the multilevelled play of thought in some of the most difficult modern writers, and especially on the places where their work crosses aesthetic boundaries... It is therefore a huge treat to be able to revel in the publication of his Selected Essays, impeccably edited by Alison Finch and beautifully produced by Legenda... Even in the space of a short review, Bowie’s writing offers both pleasure and intense mental stimulation. For readers old and new, there are marvels in store in these two magnificent volumes.’ — Michael Sheringham, French Studies 68.3, July 2014, 422-23
  • ‘These two volumes can only add to our sense of [Bowie's] importance... Criticism like this is clearly so much more than criticism: it is an engagement with the act of creation that is brought back to creation itself. These two volumes are full of brilliance and insight and deftly communicated and thus infectious pleasure.’ — Patrick McGuinness, Times Literary Supplement 5805, 4 July 2014, 21
  • ‘His readings are always marked by a resistance to easy answers that would attempt to reduce or deny the complexity of the text under analysis; the role of the critic is to illuminate that complexity, giving close attention to the way the text functions and how it guides the reader to a range of potential interpretive moves. While he is a highly trustworthy guide through the intricacies of the text, as he himself writes in an essay on Mallarmé, 'somehow the passage through imbricated levels of utterance towards some final state of achieved propositional clarity is never quite the point' (I: 152).’ — Joseph Acquisto, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 43.1-2, 2014
  • ‘How Verdi moves Shakespeare’s Othello around the globe, finding the mental ‘fingerprint’ in Winnicott, introducing Judith Butler, deciphering Stéphane Mallarmé, exploring brevity in Proust (yes), Liszt’s relationship with Wagner, ‘that most exhausting of sons-in-law’: these are just a few of the subjects considered with such zest by Malcolm Bowie, who was a critic of immense talent.’ — Edward Hughes, Times Higher Education Supplement 1 January 2015, 63
  • ‘Evidence abounds in these pieces of Bowie’s keen appetite for intrinsically difficult subject-matter. Indeed, his ability to sustain his critical nerve in the handling of complex material was to become a hallmark of his achievement... Yet alongside this intensity of engagement with serious subject-matter, we also see the poise and panache of a critic who was so evidently at home with textual composition.’ — Edward J. Hughes, Modern Language Review 111.1, January 2016, 228-29 (full text online)

Selected Essays of Malcolm Bowie II: Song Man
Malcolm Bowie
Legenda (General Series) vol 2 of 2

  • ‘Only someone with Bowie’s exquisite powers of expression and formidably focused, well-stocked mind could home in so closely on the multilevelled play of thought in some of the most difficult modern writers, and especially on the places where their work crosses aesthetic boundaries... It is therefore a huge treat to be able to revel in the publication of his Selected Essays, impeccably edited by Alison Finch and beautifully produced by Legenda... Even in the space of a short review, Bowie’s writing offers both pleasure and intense mental stimulation. For readers old and new, there are marvels in store in these two magnificent volumes.’ — Michael Sheringham, French Studies 68.3, July 2014, 422-23
  • ‘These two volumes can only add to our sense of [Bowie's] importance... Criticism like this is clearly so much more than criticism: it is an engagement with the act of creation that is brought back to creation itself. These two volumes are full of brilliance and insight and deftly communicated and thus infectious pleasure.’ — Patrick McGuinness, Times Literary Supplement 5805, 4 July 2014, 21
  • ‘Bowie’s style appeals both to generalist and specialist readers; his clarity makes it possible for all to follow the argument even in his more technical writings, while the sharpness of his insights make his pieces for general audiences appealing to specialists as well. His writing always strikes a balance between sophistication and accessibility, often with a dose of wit (see especially his delightful self-review of Proust Among the Stars [II: 203-6]), allowing us to travel with him through our own areas of expertise and amateur interest.’ — Joseph Acquisto, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 43.1-2, 2014
  • ‘How Verdi moves Shakespeare’s Othello around the globe, finding the mental ‘fingerprint’ in Winnicott, introducing Judith Butler, deciphering Stéphane Mallarmé, exploring brevity in Proust (yes), Liszt’s relationship with Wagner, ‘that most exhausting of sons-in-law’: these are just a few of the subjects considered with such zest by Malcolm Bowie, who was a critic of immense talent.’ — Edward Hughes, Times Higher Education Supplement 1 January 2015, 63
  • ‘Evidence abounds in these pieces of Bowie’s keen appetite for intrinsically difficult subject-matter. Indeed, his ability to sustain his critical nerve in the handling of complex material was to become a hallmark of his achievement... Yet alongside this intensity of engagement with serious subject-matter, we also see the poise and panache of a critic who was so evidently at home with textual composition.’ — Edward J. Hughes, Modern Language Review 111.1, January 2016, 228-29 (full text online)

Published November 2014

Mallarmé's Sunset: Poetry at the End of Time
Barnaby Norman
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘This study argues that Mallarmé’s poetry takes up a problem first posed by Hegel’s Aesthetics, namely that art’s self-transcendence can never be complete. Norman offers close readings of four works by Mallarmé (‘Hérodiade’, ‘Sonnet allégorique de luimême’, ‘Igitur’ and ‘Un coup de dés’) while demonstrating Mallarmé’s relevance to problems at the intersection of literature and critical theory which play a central role in the writings of Maurice Blanchot and the early Jacques Derrida, each of whom is the subject of a chapter in the second half of the book.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 51.3, July 2015
  • ‘Mallarmé’s Sunsets reminds us that regardless of whether Hegel held any influence over Mallarmé’s thinking, returning to the poetry itself can help us better understand 'our own epoch,' our contemporary situation, in ways not yet fully disclosed.’ — Christian R. Gelder, Colloquy 29, 2015, 80-90
  • ‘This study analyses the crucial role of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poetry in the work of two of the twentieth century’s most important theorists: Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida. Mallarmé’s Hegelianism, a long-contested issue in Mallarmé scholarship, assumes centre stage in Barnaby Norman’s understanding both of the poet’s development and of the position Blanchot and Derrida assign him as marking the transition from the Livre to Écriture.’ — Rebecca Pekron, French Studies 69.4, October 2015, 545-46
  • ‘Norman provides us with an imaginative reading of the reception of Mallarmé’s thought and work by two of the most influential French thinkers of the twentieth century; he returns frequently to the figure of Hegel and his notion of the end of art. This study helps to remind readers of the undeniably significant presence of the poet for more modern philosophy, while Norman avoids the pitfall of losing sight of Mallarmé’s exquisitely beautiful poetic vision.’ — Pamela A. Genova, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 44.1-2, 2015

Published September 2016

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

  • ‘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)

Published May 2017

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

  • ‘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)

Published February 2019

Gravity and Grace: Essays for Roger Pearson
Edited by Charlie Louth and Patrick McGuinness
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘A core series of contributions offers a remarkably sustained and rich reflection on the interplay between the aesthetic and ethical notions of gravity and grace.’ — Scott M. Powers, H-France 20, June 2020, no. 92
  • ‘Works of art function by allowing something to happen, rather than by making something happen, and are nothing without our active participation. The prescriptive weightiness of words in practical discourse is not what poetry, especially, puts in play. That certainly makes this book a fitting tribute to the wonderful work of Roger Pearson, whose own writing is never heavy, never pedantic, but always invites and inspires the reader to continue thinking beyond the page.’ — Peter Dayan, Modern Language Review 116.1, 2020, 188-89 (full text online)