Channel Crossings: French and English Poetry in Dialogue 1550-2000
Clive Scott
Legenda (General Series) 1 December 2002

  • ‘Crossing the boundary between the critical and the creative, Clive Scott continues the debate on the 'undecidable' in the meaning of art text and concomitant problems in the theory of translation.’ — Roger Pensom, Modern Language Review 99.1, 2004, 281-2 (full text online)
  • ‘The imaginative and sensitive essays explore the principles of translation and the notion of comparative literature... Stimulating arguments link all the essays, such as the celebration of the necessary difference between source and target texts, especially in poetry, where 'the' meaning remains defiantly unseizable.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XL.1, 2004, 116
  • ‘Scott is a critic who can find the perfect critical expression for the tiniest little effect, who can describe microscopic modulations of thought and language, and thereby give them status in the reading process. He is also a critic with his eye on the big picture, who has produced a discipline-defining book, showing us where we have got to and suggesting where next we might profitably go. It richly deserved to win the Gapper Prize.’ — Patrick McGuinness, French Studies LVIII.3, 2004, 446-7

Octavio Paz and T. S. Eliot: Modern Poetry and the Translation of Influence
Tom Boll
Legenda (General Series) 10 October 2012

  • ‘What has been missing from Paz scholarship so far are comparative studies that take a larger international approach to a poet who prided himself on his intellectual cosmopolitanism... Tom Boll’s Octavio Paz and T. S. Eliot is a welcome contribution in this direction. It presents a careful and impressively researched study of young Paz’s reflections on Eliot’s poetry, which the former repeatedly acknowledged as one of the most important influences on his early work and on his vision of modernity.’ — Rubén Gallo, Modernism/modernity 21.2, April 2014, 564-65

The Spirit of England: Selected Essays of Stephen Medcalf
Stephen Medcalf, edited by Brian Cummings and Gabriel Josipovici
Legenda (General Series) 12 April 2010

  • ‘One of the more extraordinary scholars of the late twentieth century... The range of these essays is the more astonishing at a time when most critics prided themselves on their specialisms rather than their diversity. Medcalf wanted us to see things that could only be understood against the whole gamut of European literary history... Brian Cummings and Gabriel Josipovici are to be congratulated.’ — Stephen Prickett, Times Literary Supplement 26 November 2010
  • ‘A modern parable of birth and death, miraculous encounter and mysterious return, makes a fitting and beautiful conclusion to a book of which we can say, as we rarely can with such confidence, that it was written by a good and wise man.’ — Paul Dean, The New Criterion October 2010, 69-72
  • ‘Cummings and Josipovici have performed a 'mitzvah', a good deed, in editing these essays, which display a brilliant, humane mind at work. It is to be hoped that more Medcalf will be collected for the benefit of subsequent generations.’ — William Baker, Modern Language Review 106.3, July 2011, 871-73 (full text online)
  • ‘The value of this posthumous collection is that it acts as both a lament and a lantern of hope. All we have by way of a memorial are these esoteric essays – but what essays. They show a liberal humanism at its best, expansive learning worn lightly and a belief in teasing out the particularities of a panoply of works... In our bleak climate of fees and looming instrumentality for the humanities, such a voice as Medcalf’s, singing the value of thought and the non-paraphrasable nature of poetry, is as insightful as it is heartening.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 48.1, 2012, 115
  • ‘Von solchen und literarischen Wundern berichtet das Buch, es sollte in vielen Inklings-Bibliotheken stehen und durch die Hände vieler Freunde der englischen Kultur gehen.’ — Elmar Schenkel, Inklings-Jahrbuch 29, 2011, 378-79
  • ‘Medcalf’s reflections throw great light upon Kipling, Horace, and translation.’ — unsigned review, The Year's Work in English Studies 91, 2012, 765

English Responses to French Poetry 1880-1940: Translation and Mediation
Jennifer Higgins
Legenda (General Series) 12 May 2011

  • ‘The account of Huxley’s version of Rimbaud’s ‘Les Chercheuses de poux’ is particularly fine, and laurels awarded to Beckett’s ‘Drunken Boat’ are shown to be well deserved. In this respect, Higgins’s readings are consonant with some of her own general arguments, for she frequently conveys the sense of a critical mind finding out more about the original text, as well as testing the qualities of the translation. In her hands, both French and English texts are made to speak to and of each other.’ — Matthew Creasy, Translation and Literature 21, 2012, 255-61
  • ‘This rewarding book deftly handles — and illuminates — a wide range of sources... a tantalizing taste of a fascinating area for further research.’ — Adam Watt, Modern Language Review 107.3, July 2012, 897-98 (full text online)
  • ‘In the years preceding the Second World War [...] a diminution in the quantity of translated material is compensated for by a greater acknowledgement of the centrality of translation to the development of national — and transnational — literary cultures. This study is to be commended for its consistent advocacy and demonstration of that centrality.’ — Michael G. Kelly, French Studies 66.4 (October 2012), 572

Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile
Carmen Bugan
Legenda (General Series) 23 February 2013

  • ‘This book is a marvellous accumulation of insights and openings into Heaney’s work in the context of his affinities with the four East European poets with whom he shares an acute awareness that history is ‘the mother of culture’, as Brodsky put it in a comment on Herbert. In the minutiae of her study she has provided Heaney students with a valuable resource that will be challenging to surpass.’ — Gerry Smyth, Modern Poetry in Translation 2013 no. 3, October 2013, 106-11
  • ‘Though many critics have mentioned their influence, Carmen Bugan’s monograph is the first to offer a detailed, in-depth study of Heaney’s relationship with East European poets... This is a very good book, a massively and precisely documented scholarly study, written by someone who has a consummate knowledge of her subject.’ — Adolphe Haberer, The European English Messenger 22.2, 2013, 82-85
  • ‘A well-documented and insightful study of one of the few aspects of Seamus Heaney’s work that still needs attention. As Irish studies are becoming increasingly comparative and intercultural, this is a very welcome addition to the academic discussion on Seamus Heaney’s work and on Irish literature in general.’ — Florence Impens, Irish Studies Review 2014
  • ‘Bugan's book demonstrates just how productive cultural exchange between poets East and West can be. She shows how Heaney borrows the concept of exile - a Cold War topos par excellence - and successfully recasts it in the Irish context, imbuing his work with an ethical complexity and self-awareness that continues to resonate with readers from all corners of the globe.’ — Connor Doak, Slavic and East European Journal 58.2, Summer 2014, 166-67
  • ‘A densely researched and lucid study of a poetic congeniality that Heaney experienced with four East European poets... Published in the year that saw the death of this most influential of contemporary poets, it represents a fitting tribute to Heaney’s relational poetics.’ — Rui Carvalho Homem, Translation and Literature 23.3, 2014, 412-16

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

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

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

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

Swinburne’s Style: An Experiment in Verse History
L. M. Kilbride
Legenda (General Series) 10 September 2018

  • ‘An ambitious attempt to reckon with the poet’s achievement in verse... this book helps us to see Swinburne’s corpus for what it is: one of the most sophisticated formal projects in English verse, no matter what T. S. Eliot thought.’ — Justin A. Sider, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920 63.2, 2020, 280-83
  • ‘Kilbride provides the reader with insightful textual analyses that shed new light on a selection of Swinburne’s poetical works, some of which are canonical, others still fairly neglected.’ — Giovanni Bassi, Modern Language Review 115.4, October 2020, 905-07 (full text online)
  • ‘Combines a practitioner’s delight in Swinburne’s verse textures with a scholar’s insight into poetic experiment in nineteenth-century Britain and a literary theorist’s investment in social critique.’ — Julia F. Saville, Victorian Studies 63.1, Autumn 2020, 152-53 (full text online)

Invention: The Language of English Renaissance Poetics
Rocío G. Sumillera
Legenda (General Series) 23 September 2019

  • ‘Distrust of the role of originality in Renaissance poesis often leads literary scholars to prioritize logico-rhetorical accounts of invention, which recommended writers to select their topics from authoritative discursive repertoires. Rocío G. Sumillera’s meticulous critical history of poetic invention up to Renaissance England is a persuasive caveat about our need to revise those notions.’ — Zenón Luis-Martínez, Parergon 38.1, 2021, 260-61 (full text online)
  • ‘Taken together, Sumillera and Baron's books [Scarlett Baron, The Riddle of Creativity] cover literature and theory from Aristotle to the present. Each book reaches widely across European languages, combining science, theology and linguistics with conventional literary works. They look from opposite directions at the vanishing point that is the Romantic ideal of the artist as a lamp or organic entity, existing free from influence of any kind. The scope and ambition of the two projects is impressive. There is a great deal here to admire.’ — Bart van Es, Times Literary Supplement 11 December 2020
  • ‘This is a wide-ranging and well-argued piece of work, with a comprehensive and useful bibliography. It makes an extremely valuable contribution to the study of a concept which must be at the heart of our understanding of literary composition in the Renaissance.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 57.1, 2021, 142 (full text online)