Published June 1996

Baudelaire: Individualism, Dandyism and the Philosophy of History
Bernard Howells
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘This is Baudelaire as iceberg, in Claude Pichois's term, the writer whose reading lurks like a huge submerged mass... Baudelaireans will be pleased to have these essays in so convenient a form, and graduate students focusing on the nineteenth century will find them both challenging and informing.’ — Rosemary Lloyd, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 30.3-4, 2002, 417-19
  • ‘Le lecteur estimera surtout dans l'oeurage de Howells la richesse et la subtilité de parallèles, surtout avec Emerson et Carlyle, fondés sur des relations de fait et la mise en situation et en perspective de textes de Baudelaire qu'une critique fran°aise parfois étroitement nationale a pu appréhender de manière trop isolée.’ — Claude de Grève, Revue de littérature comparée 3, 1997, 391-3
  • ‘The great advantage of Howells's unflappable approach to Baudelaire's flower-pot philosophising is its corrosive effect on commonplaces of Baudelaire criticism... A valuable contribution to the art of defining a poet's philosophy.’ — Graham Robb, Times Literary Supplement 24 January, 1997
  • ‘Howells has undertaken an admirable close re-reading of Baudelaire's work by paying attention to its allusive intellectual density and to the contexts into which it should be placed.’ — Dudley M. Marchi, Comparatist 22, 1998, 208-9

Published January 1997

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

  • ‘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

Published May 1998

Processes of Literary Creation: Flaubert and Proust
Marion Schmid
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘This is an excellent, scholarly analysis with insights both for the specialist and the non-genetic scholar.’ — notice, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 60, 1998, 164
  • ‘A penetrating and valuable contribution to genetic scholarship.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 37.1, 2001, 110-11
  • ‘Represents a formidable amount of research... a very substantial and fruitful study on all counts.’ — Nola M. Leov, New Zealand Journal of French Studies 22.1, 2001, 29
  • ‘A painstaking and perceptive account... Schmid defends genetic criticism against Bourdieu's charge that it marks a return to the positivism of traditional literary historiography. Her own application of genetic theories of composition is measured and nuanced, and throws up many insights.’ — Edward J. Hughes, Modern Language Review 95.3, 2000, 843-4 (full text online)
  • ‘Intriguingly, Proust had placed medical prescriptions centre-stage in one of the drafts for the opening line of the novel... Nuggets such as this feature in Schmids study, in which she meticulously explains genetic criticism, before uncovering two contrasting compositional styles.’ — Edward Hughes, Times Literary Supplement 21 May, 1999, 8
  • ‘As well as containing detailed analysis of two radically opposed writing practices, the work is especially valuable in setting out the main issues in genetic studies.’ — Larry Duffy, French Studies LIV.2, 2000, 233-4
  • ‘Schmid's analysis sheds new light on the organizational intricacies of these canonical texts, which may encourage even scholars of Flaubert and Proust to reread, in hopes of appreciating the subtle patterns she uncovers.’ — Hollie Markland Harder, French Review 77.5, April 2004, 990-1

Published August 1999

Anglo-German Interactions in the Literature of the 1890s
Patrick Bridgwater
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘The author is to be congratulated for shedding new light on a wide range of Anglo-German cross-currents... His study weaves a multi-faceted web of historical and inter-personal connections, and is at its best when it forges links between the approaches of different authors and diverse forms of art.’ — Susanne Stark, Modern Language Review 97.2, 2002, 523-4 (full text online)
  • ‘This well-documented volume provides new insights into the key social and cultural issues of the 1890s, including the truth and morality of artistic writing.’ — Crocker and Womack, The Year's Work in English Studies 2000, 532

Published October 1999

The Artificial Self: The Psychology of Hippolyte Taine
Hilary Nias
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Given the relative dearth of serious work on the writers who formed the philosophical backbone to nineteenth-century literary France, a study of any one of them is welcome, a study of this quality of scholarship, insight and precision a real feast.’ — David C. J. Lee, Modern Language Review 96.3, 2001, 830-1 (full text online)
  • ‘This authoritative study of Taine's indirectness and inconclusiveness will be an indispensable foundation.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 37.3, 2001, 347
  • ‘A probing and stimulating contribution to Tainian studies.’ — Thomas H. Goetz, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 29.3-4, 2001, 370-1

Published December 1999

Assuming the Light: The Parisian Literary Apprenticeship of Miguel Angel Asturias
Stephen Henighan
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘The combination of close textual analysis of Asturias's own work, both fictional and journalistic, with that of other discourses, including the work of his contemporaries as well as his critics, is, in my view, one of the many strengths of Assuming the Light. Frequently provocative and meticulously researched, this book will be of interest therefore not only to Asturias specialists but also more generally to scholars engaged in Latin American cultural studies, particularly those interested in questions of cultural identity.’ — Claire Lindsay, Modern Language Review 97.3, 2002, 742-3 (full text online)
  • ‘Lucid, sophisticated, beautifully written, it provides a valuable and thought-provoking introduction to the writer's extraordinary sojourn in Paris... Stephen Henighan seems destined to make an outstanding contribution to Asturias studies.’ — Gerald Martin, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 79, 2002
  • ‘Valuable, problematic insights for those conversant with Asturias's work and its criticism.’ — Paul Jordan, Bulletin of Spanish Studies LXXIX, 2002, 826-8

Published July 2000

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

  • ‘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

Published November 2000

Britain and Italy from Romanticism to Modernism: A Festschrift for Peter Brand
Edited by Martin McLaughlin
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘The book concludes with a useful bibliography of Peter Brand's work and offers a valuable résumé of work in the field since Brand's pioneering study.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies xxxix/1, 2003, 91
  • ‘This rich and varied collection of essays... a worthy homage to Peter Brand.’ — Carmine G. di Biase, Italica 79.4, 2002, 568-72
  • ‘A volume that, with its interlacing strands, very effectively offers a picture of the complex relationship between two cultures reciprocally illuminating each other in often unpredictable ways.’ — Laura Lepschy, Modern Language Review 98.2, 2003, 482-3 (full text online)
  • ‘Une présentation très claire, dans laquelle toutefois le titre peut paraïtre trompeur, car il resterait à explorer, pendant cette même période, ce qu'apporte précisément cet autre aspect de la culture moderne italienne qu'est par exemple sa production romanesque. On songe à Manzoni (1785-1873) dont l'èuvre reflète à bien des égards le passage du Romantisme au Modernisme.’ — Annie Dubernard Laurent, Revue de littérature comparée 3, 2002, 381-3

Published December 2000

Paul Valéry and the Voice of Desire
Kirsteen Anderson
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Anderson is right. The question of voice goes to the heart of Valéry's relationship with writing... One can learn a great deal from Anderson about this elusive figure of French letters, thanks, above all, to the careful attention she gives to the multiple voices of Valéry she invites us to hear.’ — Suzanne Guerlac, French Studies LVI.2, 2002, 260
  • ‘This accessible study will act as a bridge into the universe of one of the most original and understudied thinker-poets of the twentieth century.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies xxxix/1, 2003, 87

Published May 2001

Experiment and Metaphysics: Towards a Resolution of the Cosmological Antinomies
Edgar Wind
Legenda (General Series)


Published December 2001

Conceptions of the Absurd: From Surrealism to Chestov's and Fondane's Existential Thought
Ramona Fotiade
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Fotiade argues persuasively that the ideas of Chestov and Fondane form the basis of a tradition of dissident thought in the 1920s and beyond... an original and illuminating contribution to French intellectual history, a clearly organized and closely argued exploration of a neglected field.’ — Douglas Smith, French Studies LVII.3, 2003, 414-15

Published May 2002

Victor Hugo, romancier de l'abîme: New Studies on Hugo's Novels
Edited by J. A. Hiddleston
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘This is a fascinating collection, revealing complexities and shifting sands in place of the stark dichotomies once associated with Hugo's novels... clearly demonstrates a rich seam of interest for the twenty-first-century reader. A thought-provoking volume indeed!’ — Monica Nurnberg, Modern Language Review 99.1, 2004, 204-5 (full text online)

Published December 2002

The Sentinel: An Incomplete Early Novel by Rebecca West
Edited by Kathryn Laing
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘It is the least surprising thing in the world that Rebecca West should have begun a novel when she was 17, and that parts of it should be very good. She was only 18, after all, when her stinging reviews first appeared in The Freewoman and The Clarion, and caused sleepy Fabian giants to sit up and take notice of this fiercely intelligent Edinburgh schoolgirl juggling axes in the air... Richly rewarding.’ — Claudia FitzHerbert, Daily Telegraph 1 February, 2003, 5
  • ‘Quite a coup... West's urgent descriptions of events and characterisations of key figures, from politicians to the Pankhursts, can hardly be bettered. But this is more of a social history than it might first appear, thanks to the journalistic observations woven into her storytelling. Her description of the Daily Mail as 'the encyclopaedia of vulgarity' retains a certain resonance today.’ — Harriet Griffey, Financial Times 22 February, 2003, 4
  • ‘An astonishing piece of juvenilia... It is easy to recognise the real women who belonged to the militant Women's Social and Political Union: Mary Gawthorpe, Emily Davidson, Dora Marsden, Emmeline Pankhurst. The rise of the New Woman writing of the 1890s and suffragette fiction of the early twentieth century challenged strict definitions of feminine experience only to replace them with equally rigid rules governing women's social and political roles. West questions such demarcations. Her women long for motherhood and some of the most important suffragists are men. The novel's message is that love is not only more important than political power, it is the source of such power in the modern world and the modern novel.’ — Rosalind Porter, Times Literary Supplement 28 February, 2003, 24
  • ‘Here is an emerging and well-read mind confronting public and private matters... Laing's scholarly introduction is a rich tool for reading this novel. Though unsophisticated and fragmentary as a novel, The Sentinel is nevertheless a richly worked resource; a readable and fascinating historical document that brings much of the time and its author to life.’ — Antonia Byatt, Times Higher Education Supplement 18 April, 2003, 28
  • ‘Not only the publication of The Sentinel, but the way it has been published, may represent a tidal change in the way its author's work is now received... Fascinating to readers interested in the development of West as a woman, because it is obsessively concerned not only with feminist politics but with sexuality, and with the compelling beauty of certain girls and women, pored over in erotic detail... The most striking passages, which foreshadow the vivid reportage of her maturity, are the accounts of suffragette marches, protests and riots... Carries in it the seeds of almost everything that was to preoocupy West throughout her writing life. Laing's treatment of The Sentinel may complete the transition of her fiction, and of her work as a whole, out of the overcrowded 20th-century mainstream and into the canon.’ — Victoria Glendinning, The Guardian 20 December, 2003, G2

Published June 2003

Desiring the Dead: Necrophilia and Nineteenth-Century French Literature
Lisa Downing
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Downing is working outside the scope of any simple discourse of pathology, and perhaps outside the queer undoing of pathology as such. ...this is an impressive first book, striking without being facile, theoretically complex without being unruly, and attentive to literary qualities in the chosen texts while sustaining its thematic argument.’ — Peter Cryle, Modern Language Review 100.2, 2005, 505-6 (full text online)
  • ‘This is a successful, richly structured, and thought-provoking exploration of 'the cultural fantasy of necrophilia'.’ — Carol Rifelj, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 33, n. 1 and 2, Fall-Winter 2004-2005
  • ‘Downing's approach throughout is essentially post-Faucauldian and psychoanalitic. Her style, at once sober and engaging, is a model for academic prose in general. ... The work also indicates a new direction for death studies, and despite its omissions deserves consideration in this regard.’ — Jason Hartford, The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association Spring 2004, 119-21

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

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

Secrets and Puzzles: Silence and the Unsaid in Contemporary Italian Writing
Nicoletta Simborowski
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Simborowski's book provides a novel, interpretative angle for some of the most studied authors of 20th century Italian literature, inviting a reading which overcomes the limitations of the said by engaging the reader in an operation of 'voicing the silence.' The book is clearly written and Simborowski's positions convincingly argued.’ — Nicoletta Di Ciolla McGowan, Forum Italicum 38/1, 2004, 267-9
  • ‘This book throws new light on a crucial period of Italian culture. In the analysis of silence and the unsaid it provides a key for interpretation, which works well (although not infallibly), and which highlights fundamental issues in Italian literature of the second half of the twentieth century.’ — Olivia Santovetti, Modern Language Review 100.3, 7 July 2005, 843-44 (full text online)
  • ‘Secrets and Puzzles foregrounds and consolidates an important interpretative issue, offering a new perspective on mainstream authors and a new critical context in which to view other writers of the post-war period. An impressive contribution to the study, at undergraduate level and beyond, of contemporary Italian literature.’ — Jennifer Burns, Italian Studies 60.1, 2005, 111-12

Published April 2004

Naturalism Redressed: Identity and Clothing in the Novels of Emile Zola
Hannah Thompson
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘A cogently presented argument with carefully selected textual support... Hannah Thompson's thought-provoking monograph is an example of the richness of the new approaches to which the Zolian oeuvre lends itself.’ — Barbara M. Stone, New Zealand Journal of French Studies 27.1, 2006, 50-51
  • ‘Thompson's well-documented and convincing analyses make an important contribution to the ongoing demystification of Zola as a "Naturalist" novelist as well as to a critical re-examination of the implications of Naturalism in and for the novel... An entertaining and worthwhile read for anyone interested in Zola studies, Naturalism, or cultural history.’ — Laurey Martin-Berg, French Review 80.4, 2007, 918-19
  • ‘This book is valuable for its detailed analysis of the significance of clothing in Zola, and even more so for its challenging insights about naturalism as textual practice.’ — Larry Duffy, Modern Language Review 101.4, October 2006, 1132-33 (full text online)
  • ‘Thompson's study rightly highlights the transgressive nature of power and desire present in many of the novels and offers sustained and convincing readings, further enriching our continuing awareness of the multilayered character of the naturalist text, which Zola himself sought to portray in his theoretical writings as scientific and unproblematic.’ — Sarah Capitanio, French Studies 60.4, 2006, 529-30
  • ‘Naturalism Redressed provides a refreshing perspective for Zola studies, and will therefore interest any scholar seeking to deepen his or her understanding of a wide variety of topics in Zola’s novels ranging from feminist issues, the body, sexuality, and the role of material culture in this author’s oeuvre.’ — Kathryn A. Haklin, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 42.3-4, Summer 2014

Published February 2005

A Taste for the Negative: Beckett and Nihilism
Shane Weller
Legenda (General Series)

The Feminine in the Prose of Andrey Platonov
Philip Bullock
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘The author traces with great clarity the development of Platonov's thinking... This appears to be Legenda's first excursion into the Russian field, and the results are impressive. There are long, carefully analysed quotations in Cyrillic, all fully translated in a way which does justice to Platonov's highly idiosyncratic style.’ — Michael Pursglove, Slavonic and East European Review 84.2, 2006, 314-15 (full text online)
  • ‘Interesting... Although Bullock sets out to concentrate on a single topic (gender) from specific points of view (feminism and psychoanalysis), he admits to his "admiration of the paradoxical nature of [Platonov's] prose", and it is exactly this admiration that prevents the monograph from becoming a single-minded study of just one theme in the prose in question.’ — Anat Vernitski, Modern Language Review 103.3, July 2008, 921-23 (full text online)
  • ‘The book is founded on close readings that every scholar of Platonov will want to consult. The formulations are elegant and are likely to be quoted frequently in the scholarly literature... This indispensable book on Platonov is also a compelling study in the value and limits of methodology.’ — Eric Naiman, Russian Review 68.4, 2009, 693-94
  • ‘Philip Bullock’s important new book on Andrei Platonov energetically elaborates what it promises at its outset: a feminist reading of Platonov’s most significant prose works... an eloquent and insightful investigation into a distinctly unsettled element in Platonov’s worldview. Bullock follows earlier studies of gender relations and sexuality in Platonov by Eric Naiman, Eliot Borenstein, and Valerii Podoroga but offers a far more extensive and synthetic account of the oeuvre.’ — Thomas Seifrid, Slavic Review 69.1, Spring 2010, 236-37
  • ‘(notice in Japanese)’ — Susumu Nonaka, Bulletin of the Japanese Association of Russian Scholars 38, 2006, 143-46
  • ‘(notice in Russian)’ — Tat’iana Krasavchenko, Literaturnovedenie 1 (2007), 124-32

Published September 2005

Women in Russian Literature after Glasnost: Female Alternatives
Carol Adlam
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘An engaging look at some of the most influential figures in post-Soviet writing.’ — Benjamin Sutcliffe, Modern Language Review 104.1, January 2009, 307-08 (full text online)

Published January 2006

Modernist Song: The Poetry of Tristan Tzara
Stephen Forcer
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Writing with evident pleasure, Forcer starts from an accessible premiss to go on to explore exciting new ground, teasing out a surprising array of readings and styles... Indeed, as Forcer demonstrates that Tzara’s poetry is a rich and diverse body of work in which classic avant-garde tropes feature alongside more established poetic practices and vocabulary, he clearly exposes both the critical inadequacy of Tzara's epithet as the "Father of Dada" and, on a more general level, the need for a much more inclusive historiography of avant-garde creativity. All of which makes this powerfully argued book a most welcome and valuable publication.’ — Jo Langley, Modern Language Review 104.2, April 2009, 575-76 (full text online)
  • ‘Stephen Forcer's book impresses in that it does not use the myth [of Dada] as a ready-made prop with which to proclaim its subject's importance... What distinguishes Modernist Song, above all, is Forcer's sustained and precise analysis of selected poems, his own interrogations of signifying play, which draw on a range of theoretical tools and critical references.’ — Ruth Hemus, French Studies 492-93

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 September 2006

Rilke's Poetics of Becoming
Ben Hutchinson
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Eine sorgfältige und konzentrierte Analyse der Dichtungen des jungen Rilke... Die sehr gut lesbare und Beachtung verdienende Studie von Ben Hutchinson hat hier einen bemerkenswerten Schritt auf dem Weg zu einem umfassenden Rilke-Verständnis getan.’ — Sascha Löwenstein, IASLonline online
  • ‘Overall this is a well-written book, offering both a coherent original thesis and perceptive analyses of individual poems.’ — Helen Bridge, Modern Language Review 103.1, January 2008, 282-83 (full text online)
  • ‘A judicious study of impressive scope.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.4, 2011, 480

Published December 2006

Bakhtin between East and West: Cross-Cultural Transmission
Karine Zbinden
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Zbinden exhibits considerable theoretical insight and a capacity for nuanced analysis throughout the work.’ — R. Coates, Slavonic and East European Review 87.2, 2009, 344-46 (full text online)
  • ‘Exceptional new work being produced on the Russian polymath, some of the most interesting of which was coming out of the University of Sheffield, whose Bakhtin Centre supports the work of an outstanding group of language theorists... Karine Zbinden and Alastair Renfrew are two of the excellent younger scholars from the Bakhtin Centre.’ — Michael Bernard-Donals, Slavic Review 68.1, Spring 2009, 193-95