Gender and sexuality

Diderot and the Body
Angelica Goodden
Legenda (General Series) 1 July 2001

  • ‘Vorremmo sottolineare anche la bellezza del titolo del volume di A. Goodden, titolo elegante nella sua apparente essenzialità ma al tempo stesso anticpatore di uno studio richissimo e interessante.’ — Paola Perazzolo, Studi francesi 139, 2003, 174
  • ‘Welcome, in that it deals comprehensively with a subject which has lurked, half-hidden, in many previous studies of Diderot, often noticed but never fully confronted... Sends one back to grapple yet again with this most protean of philisophes.’ — D. J. Adams, French Studies LVII.2, 2003, 236-7
  • ‘A richly interesting study, written with Angelica Goodden's characteristic vigour, which illuminates both Diderot's works and a wide range of eighteenth-century literature and thought.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XL.1, 2004, 104
  • ‘An eminently readable, coherent and cogent volume which captures the profundity, wisdom, humanity, excesses, sensuality, and frailty of Diderot, both the man and the writer.’ — Roseann Runte, French Review 77/4, March 2004, 783

Goethe and Patriarchy: Faust and the Fates of Desire
James Simpson
Legenda (General Series) 2 January 1999

  • notice, Germanistik 41.3-4, 2000, 921
  • ‘Simpson argues that Goethe's work, in essence, constitutes an act of self-diagnosis and therapy... his paradigm is not just Freudian, but also implicitly Jungian.’ — Paul Bishop, Modern Language Review 96.2, 2001, 566-7 (full text online)
  • ‘This book is not brilliant: it is too carefully argued and clearly written to deserve that flashy label of the day. A more apt descriptor might be formidable, both for its ambition and for its achievement. Simpson has undertaken nothing less than the elucidation of the paradigm that was central to all of Goethe's intellectual, personal, scientific and poetic concerns, the "ur-fantasy that is a fantasy of origins"... In the best tradition of British literary criticism, Simpson writes in a lively, engaging style that does not need jargon... No one working seriously on Goethe or on Faust can ignore the challenge of this study.’ — Arnd Bohm, Seminar 41.1, 2005, 73-74

History of ideas

Image and Word: Reflections of Art and Literature
Edited by Antonella Braida and Giuliana Pieri
Legenda (General Series) 1 June 2003


Survey works

Spanish Romanticism and the Uses of History: Ideology and the Historical Imagination
Derek Flitter
Legenda (General Series) 17 January 2006

  • ‘La perspectiva de Flitter elabora perspicaces análisis de un proyecto intelectual, el historiocismo schlegeliano al hispánico modo, con cierto recorrido histórico en la cultura española moderna.’ — Íñigo Sánchez Llama, Iberoamericana 8.30, 2008, 263-65

The Backward Look: Memory and the Writing Self in France 1580-1920
Angelica Goodden
Legenda (General Series) 1 July 2000

  • ‘Reads like an essay by Montaigne... an ambitious and thought-provoking study.’ — Michéle Bissiére, French Review 76.3, 2003, 592-3
  • ‘It is salutary to read a thoughtful, level-headed and well-informed account of the representation of the self in French writing... there is no doubting the depth, range and persuasiveness of the thesis advanced.’ — Anthony Strugnell, French Studies LVII.3, 2003, 428-30

Gender and sexuality

The Libertine’s Nemesis: The Prude in Clarissa and the roman libertin
James Fowler
Legenda (General Series) 4 February 2011

  • ‘The beguiling cover of this Legenda volume is well matched by the book’s contents. Fowler’s thesis is an original and well-argued one: the establishment of a symbiotic relationship between the libertine and the prude in a number of key eighteenth-century texts... the argument is persuasive and elegant, and we are swept along by the author’s enthusiasm for his subject.’ — John Phillips, French Studies 66.3, July 2012, 402

German Women's Writing of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Future Directions in Feminist Criticism
Edited by Helen Fronius and Anna Richards
Legenda (General Series) 26 August 2011

  • ‘The volume will be of great use to students and researchers alike, as a source of well-written critical scholarship and of pointers to severe deficits in current research. It offers productive methodologies for taking the enquiry forward in areas vital to a fuller, more nuanced understanding of the place of women writers as part of the whole picture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century cultural history in the German-speaking lands.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 48.4 (October 2012), 489
  • ‘Thus the book’s structure, like its title, ultimately collapses: the future has not yet happened. Yet it is glimpsed here—and it will indeed necessarily entail killing off and reviving the female author and the female reader, undoing and redoing gender, sexuality, and herstory, embracing pluralism and firing the canon. And it will only have been achieved once the gatekeepers become contributors and all critics—including men—are doing feminist criticism.’ — Robert Gillett, Modern Language Review 109.2, April 2014, 547-48 (full text online)

Survey works

Enlightenment Cosmopolitanism
Edited by David Adams and Galin Tihanov
Legenda (General Series) 26 August 2011


Mythology

Symbol and Intuition: Comparative Studies in Kantian and Romantic-Period Aesthetics
Edited by Helmut Hühn and James Vigus
Legenda (General Series) 21 December 2012

  • ‘Skilfully planned and structured, the volume offers original research on less familiar material while it lucidly covers most of the essential formulations of the symbol from the late eighteenth century onwards, thus speaking to readers of different backgrounds... It is Hühn and Vigus’s broad conception of the subject that ensures the collection’s originality and secures its unique place among the increasing studies of the symbol.’ — Stephanie Dumke, Angermion 7, 2014, 191-93
  • ‘This rich volume successfully inducts its readers into key aesthetic-philosophical debates around 1800, while at the same time breaking new ground by extending our understanding of the variations and functions of ‘symbol’ and ‘intuition’ within the works of individual writers and thinkers. It also makes meaningful comparisons and connections between texts that have not been discussed together before. The editors have drawn together a wide range of international scholars from the fields of German, English, and philosophy into a timely discussion.’ — James Hodkinson, Modern Language Review 110.3, July 2015, 786-88 (full text online)

Trauma

Narrative Responses to the Trauma of the French Revolution
Katherine Astbury
Legenda (General Series) 10 October 2012

  • ‘Katherine Astbury’s welcome monograph includes within its purview a range of now forgotten texts and successfully questions the established view that the Revolution had little impact on novels written in the years following 1789.’ — Michael Tilby, French Studies 67.4, October 2013, 566
  • ‘Astbury offers an original theoretical approach to the fiction of the 1790s and sheds new light on many of these forgotten texts. Her study will be welcomed by eighteenth-century scholars.’ — Ruth P. Thomas, New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century Spring 2014, 11.1, 86-88
  • ‘One of the great merits of the book is that Astbury has actually read, rather than glossed, these unloved novels. As a result, she can demonstrate how ostensibly escapist fiction was saturated with contemporary references... The book provides fresh and detailed exposition of key novels within the revolutionary corpus, and triumphantly succeeds in making a case for the political sub-currents bubbling away within some seemingly innocuous fiction.’ — Tom Stammers, French History March 2014, 28.1, 126-27
  • ‘Astbury’s account of 'The English Novel and the Literary Press in France during the Revolutionary Decade' is the center and triumph of her book. In this chapter, she makes a 'systematic examination of editors' and translators' choices' that reveal a dynamic, cross-Channel conversation about the convulsions in France and their consequences.’ — Gina Luria Walker, European Romantic Review 25.4, 2014, 522-27
  • ‘Astbury’s clear, elegant prose engages the reader and Astbury convincingly shows how the fiction of the Revolutionary decade, while perhaps not overtly political, nonetheless responded to Revolutionary events—whether through portrayals of moral regeneration in 1791 or through tales of exile in 1797.’ — Annie K. Smart, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 43.1-2, 2014
  • ‘Succeeds in changing the terms of a debate that had relegated a decade of literature to virtual oblivion. Astbury is absolutely right to insist on the historical and literary significance of the fiction of the 1790s. Given the historical impact of these years, it seems extraordinary that later generations of scholars have expressed such little interest in these works.’ — Lesley H. Walker, Modern Language Review 110.2, April 2015, 547-48 (full text online)
  • ‘Katherine Astbury’s Narrative Responses offers a fascinating counterpoint to the many studies that have focused on literary culture in pre-revolutionary France. Astbury asks important questions about novels produced during the Revolution: What kinds of texts did contemporaries want to read? How influenced were their authors by current events? And, finally, how political were those texts?’ — Mette Harder, Eighteenth-Century Fiction 28.3, Spring 2016, 593-94
  • ‘Le livre de Katherine Astbury mérite incontestablement d’être recommandé. Fondé sur une approche théorique et méthodologique clairement définie, il explore avec minutie un corpus de textes souvent méconnus (en laissant délibérément de côté les œuvres de Sade et Rétif) et a le mérite de ne pas proposer une lecture myope des œuvres de la période qui, pour n’être pas toutes ouvertement consacrées à l’écriture des événements, n’en livrent pas moins un regard sur l’Histoire et la Révolution.’ — Paul Kompanietz, Dix-huitième siècle 46, 2014, 724-25

Opera

Dissonance in the Republic of Letters: The Querelle des Gluckistes et des Piccinnistes
Mark Darlow
Legenda (General Series) 23 February 2013

  • ‘Darlow quotes generously from a wide selection of the many texts that contributed to the quarrel, from the writings of well-known authors to anonymous pamphlets. His profound and thoughtful study should be of interest not only to music specialists, but to anyone with an interest in eighteenth-century aesthetics and ideas.’ — Derek Connon, Modern Language Review 109.2, April 2014, 513-14 (full text online)
  • ‘Mark Darlow’s excellent book is less concerned with questions about the extent to which Piccinni and other Italians imitated Gluck than with the wider context of the Querelle. This includes the politics of the Opéra itself, as well as the literary, social and political dimensions of the affair. He has gone beyond the published collections of polemic to sources hitherto ignored.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 504
  • ‘This is a timely and important book... Darlow has digested an impressive range of source material: archival records, periodicals, pamphlets, letters, memoires, livrets, scores - and those are merely the eighteenth-century sources. His discussions are also constantly in- formed by copious reference to, and generous discussion of, the work of his scholarly peers.’ — Nathan John Martin, Music & Letters 282-85

Survey works

Reading Literature in Portuguese: Commentaries in Honour of Tom Earle
Cláudia Pazos Alonso and Stephen Parkinson
Legenda (General Series) 25 September 2013


Gender and sexuality

French Divorce Fiction from the Revolution to the First World War
Nicholas White
Legenda (General Series) 23 February 2013

  • ‘Impeccably researched and well-written... Developing White's earlier survey of the family novel (1999), grounded in historical knowledge, guided by sociological readings, and underpinned by a massive amount of reading from the past two centuries, this ambitious study concludes with a meditation on contemporary images of relationships, in ways that hint at a welcome third volume of the triptych.’ — Rosemary Lloyd, Times Literary Supplement 27 September 2013
  • ‘Fortunately for nineteenth-century French readers, the advent of divorce did not signal an untimely end to the marriage of familial and plot structures... And just as fortunately for contemporary readers, Nicholas White has provided the first study of these distinctively modern tales, deftly weaving long-forgotten divorce novels, many of them quite popular in their time, into a complex and insightful broader sociocultural but also deeply literary and historical narrative.’ — Rachel Mesch, Romanic Review 2014, 104.1-2, 172-74
  • ‘A persuasive study of a society, and its literature, exploring the implications of new ideas of personal freedom.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.2, April 2014, 232
  • ‘The originality of this important study is clear: it is the first book in English or French to focus on the divorce fiction that surrounds the Loi Naquet. The monograph’s ambitious breadth is reflected in the range of authors discussed: in addition to references to canonical figures such as Maupassant and Bourget, renewed consideration is afforded to the ‘Great Unread’, or what is termed ‘“minor” women writers and unfashionable patriarchs’ (p. 145), including André Léo, Claire Vautier, Marie-Anne de Bovet, and Camille Pert, and Anatole France, Alphonse Daudet, and Edouard Rod.’ — Steven Wilson, French Studies 68.2, April 2014, 257
  • ‘Nicholas White has considered a series of important questions about nineteenth- and twentieth-century French novels... His work opens the way for interested readers in fields as various as history, literature, sociology and gender studies to ask and answer new questions of their own about these novels now.’ — Jean Elisabeth Pedersen, French History 28.2, June 2014, 277-78
  • ‘An important contribution to the study of nineteenth-century French literature and the family. The authors covered are an exciting selection of, as White puts it, ‘unknown women and forgotten men’. He displays tremendous knowledge of the corpus and authors, but also of the eras and literary movements discussed. His inspired choice to conclude with American novelist Diane Johnson’s 1997 Le Divorce brings his story to the present, but also contributes to his broader argument about the literary value of texts beyond the canon.’ — Phoebe Maltz Bovy, Modern Language Review 109.4, October 2014, 1086-87 (full text online)
  • ‘Témoignant d’une profonde érudition, apportant une grande attention aux contextes idéologiques et biographiques, cet essai sans équivalent, aux analyses perspicaces, aux enjeux précis, à l’écriture claire et non départie d’humour, offre une lecture aussi enrichissante qu’agréable.’ — Claudie Bernard, French Review 89.1, 2015, 288

The French Revolution

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)

Michel de Montaigne (1533-92), French essayist

Retrospectives: Essays in Literature, Poetics and Cultural History by Terence Cave
Terence Cave, edited by Neil Kenny and Wes Williams
Legenda (General Series) 17 July 2009

  • ‘A very welcome overview of several of the central themes of Cave’s work.’ — John D. Lyons, French Studies 65.1, January 2011, 93-94
  • ‘An excellent overview, enhanced by the editors’ astute introduction, of this highly influential critic’s ideas... an impressive testament to a distinguished and continuing critical career.’ — Emma Herdman, Modern Language Review 106.4, 2011, 1156-57 (full text online)

Pre-Histories and Afterlives: Studies in Critical Method
Edited by Anna Holland and Richard Scholar
Legenda (General Series) 23 December 2008

Method and Variation: Narrative in Early Modern French Thought
Edited by Emma Gilby and Paul White
Legenda (General Series) 28 May 2013

  • ‘Overall, this is an engaging volume that usefully emphasizes the narrative methods and less scientific genres which underlie early modern French thought and its philosophical fictions.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.2, April 2014, 230-31
  • ‘This timely and important volume addresses the role of narration in revealing early modern French belief patterns... In demonstrating the range of ways in which early modern authors reconfigure and renegotiate narrative’s relationship to thought, argument, and proof, the contributors to this volume together add critical understanding to the complex articulation of fable, history, and argument in the early modern period.’ — Allison Stedman, French Studies 68.4, October 2014, 542-43

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

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), Spanish novelist

The Inn and the Traveller: Digressive Topographies in the Early Modern European Novel
Will McMorran
Legenda (General Series) 1 December 2002

  • ‘The book could serve, almost by the way, as a brief introduction to the modes of early narrative fiction in any of the European languages on which it draws.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XL.1, 2004, 112
  • ‘McMorran's approach offers a number of intriguing comparisons among a set of novels not itherto considered together in a single study. It places Fielding and Sterne within a broader European context, which so many Anglocentric treatments fail to do. Most important, it usefully interrogates the ways that travel within a text reflects, influences, and subverts travel through a text.’ — Joseph F. Bartolomeo, Eighteenth-Century Fiction 17:2, 2005, 288-90
  • ‘A highly accomplished comparatist, McMorran respects the specificities of the national traditions to which the works he discusses belong while teasing out the overarching European narrative on which his interpretation depends.’ — Charles Forsdick, Modern Language Review 102.1, January 2007, 187-88 (full text online)

The Cervantean Heritage: Reception and Influence of Cervantes in Britain
Edited by J. A. G. Ardila
Legenda (General Series) 23 December 2008

  • ‘Resulta reconfortante para cualquier investigador interesado en los textos de Miguel de Cervantes comprobar que, tras la explosión de estudios surgidos en torno a las celebraciones del año 2005, cuarto centenario de la publicación del Quijote, el cervantismo está más vivo que nunca. De hecho, es precisamente ahora, tras el paso del ciclón de publicaciones que trajo consigo dicho aniversario, cuando surge la oportunidad de realizar análisis nacidos más al calor de la curiosidad real y el rigor y menos de la oportunidad o el oportunismo. Este libro supone una muy valiosa aportación para el campo de los estudios cervantinos pero también para el estudio de la literatura británica, y especialistas de ambos campos encontrarán en él material ineludible y original con el que ganar en conocimiento y sobre todo, una herramienta con la que continuar avanzando en el no siempre bien conocido ni estudiado campo de las relaciones literarias y culturales hispano-británicas.’ — Ana M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Iberoamericana IX.36, 2009, 189-91
  • ‘Rather than emanating from the Cervantesmania that has informed most of the book-length studies on Cervantes's influence on English-speaking writers [since the 2005 anniversary year], the present volume benefits from the fact that its contributors come from among the pre-2005 generation of critics, who have drawn on their experience of digging out Cervantes's actual influence on British literature.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.1, January 2011

Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression
Edited by Rhian Atkin
Legenda (General Series) 6 July 2011


Martin Opitz von Boberfeld (1597-1639), German poet

Classical Rhetoric and the German Poet: 1620 to the Present
Anna Carrdus
Legenda (General Series) 1 January 1997

  • ‘The tone is confident, the style lucid. Within a few pages the reader senses how purposeful the exposition is, and how well thought out. But what makes Anna Carrdus's performance so assured is her obvious commitment to poetry itself... It concludes with a wish that may sound audacious, yet which the undertaking wholly justifies: 'My findings will, I hope, open up an opportunity for scholarship to revise current perceptions of the history of German poetry.' She has already revised them herself, single-handed.’ — Peter Skrine, Modern Language Review 94.1, 1999, 243-5 (full text online)
  • ‘Die Analysen sind treffich, und die Er≥rterungen zum literarhistorischen und poetologischen Kontext zeugen von groôer Kennerschaft.’ — Joachim Knape, Germanistik 41.2, 2000, 419

Pierre Corneille (1606-84), French playwright

Sublime Worlds: Early Modern French Literature
Emma Gilby
Legenda (General Series) 7 December 2006

  • ‘In a book which deals with aspects of a certain literary experience, the presence of Pascal alongside Corneille and Boileau here may at first surprise. The overriding concern with cognition and models of communication, however, vindicates his inclusion, and indeed adds a richness to Gilby's already suggestive study... A sensitive, detailed and compelling treatment, challenging several idées reçues along the way.’ — James Ambrose, Modern Language Review 103.3, July 2008, 851-52 (full text online)
  • ‘Gilby's theory of the sublime as a movement stressing the horizontality of communication rather than the verticality of loftiness offers new insights and adds to earlier work on sublimity by Jules Brody and Marc Fumaroli.’ — C. J. Gossip, New Zealand Journal of French Studies 30.1, 2009, 49-50
  • ‘Gilby’s conception of the sublime is neatly mirrored in her own work, which offers a series of close, nuanced readings that in turn suggest greater insights into the century more generally.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.1, January 2011
  • ‘A compelling case for seeing the seventeenth-century French reception of the Longinian sublime as a broader, deeper, and more varied development than is commonly assumed.’ — Richard Scholar, French Studies 65.1, January 2011, 92-93

Louis II de Bourbon (1621-86), French general

Condé in Context: Ideological Change in Seventeenth-Century France
Mark Bannister
Legenda (General Series) 1 November 2000

  • ‘Bannister does an excellent job of reminding us that changes in relationships of power are the product of more than political developments or individual actions... Anyone interested in the nature of the seventeenth-century state will appreciate how the approach to the subject has just been widened.’ — Alan James, French History 16.2, 2002, 233-4
  • Gerrit Walther, Historische Zeitschrift 275, 2002, 195-6
  • ‘Compelling... Bannister's account, full of scholarly enthusiasm and fascination with the subject, is exemplary in introducing readers to the crucial relation between political and cultural transformations in a society that both resisted and welcomed them.’ — Henry Phillips, French Studies LVII.1, 2003, 80-1

Blaise Pascal (1623-62), French philosopher

Sublime Worlds: Early Modern French Literature
Emma Gilby
Legenda (General Series) 7 December 2006

  • ‘In a book which deals with aspects of a certain literary experience, the presence of Pascal alongside Corneille and Boileau here may at first surprise. The overriding concern with cognition and models of communication, however, vindicates his inclusion, and indeed adds a richness to Gilby's already suggestive study... A sensitive, detailed and compelling treatment, challenging several idées reçues along the way.’ — James Ambrose, Modern Language Review 103.3, July 2008, 851-52 (full text online)
  • ‘Gilby's theory of the sublime as a movement stressing the horizontality of communication rather than the verticality of loftiness offers new insights and adds to earlier work on sublimity by Jules Brody and Marc Fumaroli.’ — C. J. Gossip, New Zealand Journal of French Studies 30.1, 2009, 49-50
  • ‘Gilby’s conception of the sublime is neatly mirrored in her own work, which offers a series of close, nuanced readings that in turn suggest greater insights into the century more generally.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.1, January 2011
  • ‘A compelling case for seeing the seventeenth-century French reception of the Longinian sublime as a broader, deeper, and more varied development than is commonly assumed.’ — Richard Scholar, French Studies 65.1, January 2011, 92-93