Pessoa in an Intertextual Web: Influence and Innovation
Edited by David G. Frier
Legenda (General Series) 30 January 2012

  • ‘As its title suggests, [the book] provides Pessoan scholars and the general reader with a lot of thematic variety and in-depth insights. Some of the papers bring fresh perspectives on topics that had been critically broached before, but are here seen from enriching perspectives. Other papers provide refreshingly new arguments. These are two of the many reasons why one would wish to recommend this volume, both to the specialist and to the student who is starting out on the path to his or her own Pessoa.’ — Francisco Cota Fagundes, Bulletin of Spanish Studies 110.4, September 2013, 1058-59

Gender, Nation and the Formation of the Twentieth-Century Mexican Literary Canon
Sarah E. L. Bowskill
Legenda (General Series) 6 July 2011

  • ‘Its coherent, well-sustained, and highly persuasive argument is likely to inspire others to take on this and the other challenges outlined in the conclusion. Indeed, as much as Bowskill’s book delves into the archives of reviews of the past, this is also a forward-looking study.’ — Amit Thakkar, Modern Language Review 110.1, January 2015, 273-74 (full text online)
  • ‘Sarah E. L. Bowskill’s study on gender, nation and canon-formation is a groundbreaking treatment of Mexican literature. She dissects a series of canonised and uncanonised novels to prove how the former were privileged by the state and how critics (un)consciously rewarded certain works while ignoring others... Bowskill makes us wonder why no one had deconstructed such critical happenings before, given that nation-building was the overpowering impulse to put Mexico in the literary map of modernity.’ — Francisco A. Lomelí, Bulletin of Latin American Research 34.1, 2014, 106-07

Dream Cities: Utopia and Prose by Poets in Nineteenth-Century France
Greg Kerr
Legenda (General Series) 21 December 2012

  • ‘This is a valuable and ambitious study which operates deftly on the edge of cultural and intellectual history and successfully inflects our understanding of the emergence, and the evolution, of a literary form.’ — Claire White, Journal of European Studies 43, 2013, 378-79
  • ‘An ambitious inquiry into key structural and thematic aspects of poetic prose in nineteenth-century France, Greg Kerr’s Dream Cities combines a diverse array of primary sources and theoretical frameworks... Of particular interest in this book is Kerr’s attention to textual innovations pursued by several Saint-Simonian writers, including Barthélémy-Prosper Enfantin, Michel Chevalier, Charles Duveyrier, and Emile Barrault.’ — Suzanne F. Braswell, H-France 13, November 2013, 175
  • ‘In this study Greg Kerr intriguingly argues that the contemporaneous development of the prose poem is closely associated with utopian dreaming, as if Baudelaire’s dream of a prose poétique, sufficiently supple and abrupt to adapt itself to the ‘mouvements lyriques de l’âme, aux ondulations de la rêverie, aux soubresauts de la conscience’ ... could alone do justice to these new social and physical structures.’ — Rosemary Lloyd, French Studies 68.1, January 2014, 118
  • ‘This work is a fascinating study of the ways in which the modern metropolis altered not only the content, but also the formal innovations of several nineteenth-century French writers... An innovative and valuable contribution to both urban and literary studies.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.1, January 2014, 128
  • ‘A significant contribution to our understanding of the ways that utopian and journalistic writing can be juxtaposed alongside the prose poem and other visual and architectural projections of urban futurity. Kerr convincingly shows how this set of disparate phenomena collectively reflects the dynamic, uncertain, and ultimately unfulfilled desires of a society en quête de forme.’ — Daniel Sipe, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 43.1-2, 2014
  • ‘Investigations of the ‘poème en prose’ as a hybrid form are multiple, and Kerr’s arguments add to them. His aims, however, are distinctive. Rather than seek to explain such hybridity by tracing the form’s identity or development within a specific historical tradition, he presents a more fluid and open kind of contextualization, in which new awareness of unfamiliar utopian rhetoric contributes to our understanding of the urban prose poem. Notions of hybridity are thereby extended and enriched.’ — Richard Hobbs, Modern Language Review 110.3, July 2015, 870-71 (full text online)

Photobiography: Photographic Self-Writing in Proust, Guibert, Ernaux, Macé
Akane Kawakami
Legenda (General Series) 4 December 2013

  • ‘An important addition to literature on the subject. Kawakami’s conclusion is that we are entering a new age of writing about ourselves photographically. Researchers exploring the self-perceptions that are made available in the lens-inflected self-narratives of this new age will surely gain from setting their findings into context by reading this extremely rewarding study.’ — Shirley Jordan, French Studies 68.4, October 2014, 580-81
  • ‘All in all, this study brings a new perspective to bear on the study of autobiography that is in keeping with the times both thematically and theoretically. The photobio- graphical text reveals dimensions of personal experience that engage both text and image, reality and fantasy, writer and reader.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 508
  • ‘This volume provides a readable introduction to photobiography and faithful syntheses of the texts. With its wealth of bilingual quotation, its consistent clarity, and a particularly strong chapter on Ernaux, Kawakami has fashioned a volume that could also work extremely well as a course book.’ — Paul Edwards, Screen 79, Summer 2014, 65-66
  • ‘Among the strengths of Photobiography, I would point to her use of the first person in her own prose, her very complete use of relevant criticism, and her mastery of works of differing if overlapping genres.’ — Ralph Sarkonak, Modern Language Review 110.2, April 2015, 550-51 (full text online)
  • ‘Kawakami’s lively new study of a particular brand of contemporary photo-textual practice signals a photographic turn in narratives of the self... Kawakami compellingly considers how Guibert, Ernaux, and Macé use photography to complicate the already ambiguous generic status of their texts, which hover on the border between document and fiction.’ — Ari J. Blatt, French Review 89.1, 2015, 228

Taboo: Corporeal Secrets in Nineteenth-Century France
Hannah Thompson
Legenda (General Series) 3 June 2013

  • ‘One of the principal merits of the book is that it is a study of how the ‘unspeakable’ manages to find a voice and how taboo excesses can be represented in language. It provides a reflective and stimulating commentary on the ways in which what is not usually talked about signifies and matters.’ — Françoise Grauby, Modern Language Review 109.3, July 2014, 809-10 (full text online)
  • ‘With such an array of taboo subjects, it struck me that it would have been hard to know where to begin, but one of the things I like best about this book is its craftsmanship... I think scholars and students will find much to discuss in Taboo.’ — Holly Christine Woodson, H-France 14.101, June 2014
  • ‘Throughout, Thompson identifies a variety of critical perspectives that throw those taboos into sharper focus, from seminal reference points such as Freud, Sontag and Butler to the emerging field of Disability Studies, resulting in a thought-provoking exploration.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 510
  • ‘This monograph is an incisive study of representations of the unspeakable taboo body... Thompson’s lucid work argues that analysis of the form and function of the taboo encourages readers to re-examine their own values and preconceived notions towards the body. This study is especially useful to scholars of nineteenth-century French literature, gender studies, and disability studies.’ — Karen Humphreys, French Studies 69.3, July 2015, 403-04
  • ‘This is a valuable contribution to the growing field of studies investigating the literary body.’ — Bernadette Lintz, French Review 89.1, 2015, 282
  • ‘This examination of some of the best-known prose in nineteenth-century French literature is especially masterful for the thoughtful – sometimes stunning – deployment of the readings and the overall structure of the study... In its sweeping consideration of the body in disarray, Thompson’s study places itself squarely within studies of the body while also relying upon the tenets of newer arenas of inquiry such as disability studies.’ — Tammy Berberi, Disability and Society 31.3, 2016, 431-33

Shandean Humour in English and German Literature and Philosophy
Edited by Klaus Vieweg, James Vigus and Kathleen M. Wheeler
Legenda (General Series) 4 March 2013

Women, Genre and Circumstance: Essays in Memory of Elizabeth Fallaize
Edited by Margaret Atack, Diana Holmes, Diana Knight and Judith Still
Legenda (General Series) 1 June 2012

  • ‘Like the woman to whom it pays tribute, and whose haunting gaze looks out at us from its cover, this volume of essays combines intellectual rigour with humanity, serious purpose with humour, depth of insight with lightness of touch.’ — Julia Waters, Modern and Contemporary France 20.4 (November 2012), 505-06
  • ‘A powerful and moving reminder of the lineaments and achievements of [Elizabeth Fallaize's] scholarly work. Equally, as critical explorations of a variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century narrative artefacts and practices, [these essays] are a pleasure to read, combining to create a collection that is an academic delight and would certainly have delighted the woman to whom it is dedicated.’ — Alex Hughes, French Studies 67.2 (April 2013), 294-95
  • ‘The chapters which form this scholarly homage... keep the dialogue open with a scholar, teacher, feminist and mentor who spent her life engaging with French literature. Yet, each contribution, particularly those of Michèle le Doeuff, Ursula Tidd and Diana Holmes, offers intellectual stimulation in its own right.’ — France Grenaudier-Klign, New Zealand Journal of French Studies 34.2, 2014, 130-32

Childhood as Memory, Myth and Metaphor: Proust, Beckett, and Bourgeois
Catherine Crimp
Legenda (General Series) 21 December 2012

  • ‘Challenging and original, this is a study that will appeal not just to specialists of these three creative figures but also to everyone interested in narrative, metaphors, and the ways in which the image of the child simultaneously enables and challenges creativity.’ — Rosemary Lloyd, French Studies 67.4, October 2013, 584-85
  • ‘The study is informed by a wide array of philosophical and theoretical points of reference and relies especially on Maurice Blanchot’s writing to make a convincing case for the importance of childhood in the oeuvres of Proust, Beckett and Bourgeois.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 504

Language and Social Structure in Urban France
Edited by Mari C. Jones and David Hornsby
Legenda (General Series) 4 December 2013

  • ‘From a variationist’s perspective, this is an insightful volume, methodical in its approach to the subject matter, and careful to consider existing research from across the social sciences. Its overarching aims are very well addressed, and the proposals outlined by the contributors will undoubtedly form an important part of future research on Metropolitan French. The volume’s undoubted strength and significant contribution comes from the break in the ‘reciprocal ignorance pact’ (Fishman 1991) that characterises the relationship between sociology and sociolinguistics. As Pooley rightly suggests (p. 209), it is this break in tradition that must now spearhead new avenues of research.’ — Jonathan R. Kasstan, Journal of French Language Studies 26.2, July 2016, 209-11

Translating the Perception of Text: Literary Translation and Phenomenology
Clive Scott
Legenda (General Series) 10 October 2012

  • ‘In echoing Walter Benjamin’s disapproval of the view that a translation is intended for ‘readers who do not understand the original’, Clive Scott convincingly argues in favour of translation as a literary art that helps promote the language of the source text rather than seeks to provide substitutes for it.’ — Ramona Fotiade, French Studies 68.1, January 2014, 143-44
  • ‘The literary translation urged on us in this seismic manifesto is neither the creation of an object nor the reaching of a target: ‘Translation’s area of operation is not two langues, but language itself, and translation’s business is not merely to provide a version of a text, but to make the provision of that version a fruitful con- tribution to the development of the expressive potentialities of the language medium’.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.1, January 2014, 130-31
  • ‘The real achievement of this volume, I think, is that it pushes for an overhaul of current understanding of the task of the (literary) translator. Even readers and translators who reject some of his individual claims and particular ideas will find that the thrust of the work as a whole leaves a lasting impression. If all this does is serve to remind the translator not to translate as would a machine (word for word, from one language to another, searching for sameness), this is still a valuable contribution.’ — Mairi McLaughlin, Comparative Literature Studies 52.3, 2015, 653-56

Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy
Edited by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong
Legenda (General Series) 4 March 2013

  • ‘The editors are to be congratulated on putting together a volume which maintains a consistently high quality, while ranging widely over a multitude of topics.’ — Leonee Ormond, George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies 64-65, October 2013, 99-100
  • ‘An excellent tribute to the work of Professor Hardy; however, the critical essays and their approach to fiction in the nineteenth century also make this collection of interest to scholars in the field who may not be as familiar with the work of Hardy.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 506

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

Théodore de Banville: Constructing Poetic Value in Nineteenth-Century France
David Evans
Legenda (General Series) 1 July 2014

  • ‘Despite the admiration of a number of influential poets — especially Rimbaud, Mallarmé, and Apollinaire, but also Baudelaire and Verlaine — Banville has been neglected until recently. David Evans has written an engaging, richly documented study of the poet that will no doubt arouse interest in his work and provoke discussion.’ — Peter Hambly, French Studies 69.3, July 2015, 403
  • ‘It is part of Evans’s purpose to reintroduce us to the sheer range of Banville’s output and to its abiding preoccupations as well as to its periodic inconsistencies... he is not afraid to give this study, periodically, the feel of an anthology. But make no mistake; this is an extremely important critical venture. It is scholarly, it has a sure-footed control of its materials, it is analytically judicious and insightful, and it draws the reader deep into its own critical zestfulness.’ — Clive Scott, Journal of European Studies 45.2, June 2015, 161-63
  • ‘Challenges the conventional wisdom about Banville's poetry... The strength of the arguments with which Evans demonstrates his thesis can leave no doubt about Banville's commitment to modernity and his significant contributions to the evolution of late nineteenth-century poetics... A truly original reading of Banville and a 'must read' for all those who are working in the field of nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry.’ — Peter J. Edwards, Modern Language Review 110.4, October 2015, 1138-39 (full text online)
  • ‘In this excellent monograph, David Evans considers with aplomb Théodore de Banville’s voluminous verse output, along with the infamous Petit Traité de poésie française, detailing the ways in which Banville’s virtuosity has been consistently misunderstood over the last century... In rehabilitating Banville’s verse, he highlights the works of other French poets who have fallen either into obscurity or out of critical favor all while blending close readings with rigorous formal analyses. Indeed, few contemporary scholars are as knowledgeable on the technical mechanics of French verse and, at the same time, as able to render in-depth examinations of lines and syllables not merely comprehensible, but readable.’ — Erin E. Edgington, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 44.1-2, 2015
  • ‘Théodore de Banville a longtemps été considéré par la critique comme un funambule de la versification [...]. Pourtant, l’auteur du Petit Traité de poésie française a été vu également comme un législateur du Parnasse inflexible [...]. Le stimulant essai que lui consacre David Evans [...] fait voler en éclats ce paradoxe de la critique en révélant la profondeur que la poésie banvillienne cache sous son apparente frivolité. [...] L’analyse très pertinente de certains poèmes [...] permet à David Evans d’expliquer comment Banville a mêlé, dans ses poèmes à forme fixe, le respect de la tradition et l’esprit d’innovation.’ — Yann Mortelette, Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France 115.4, 2015
  • ‘Banville has frequently been dismissed as a poetic acrobat, a superb manipulator of rhythm and rhyme, who, however, had little of value to say. [...] David Evans has given us a far more comprehensive and subtler assessment of Banville’s achievements. [...] As a specialist of nineteenth-century French poetry and an outstanding metrician, Evans is well placed to pursue such a study, and his work is thoroughly grounded both in critical studies and in primary texts. [...] a brilliant and highly readable exploration of the poet’s techniques [offering] new insights expressed with admirable clarity. [...] Banville’s poetry is set within a rich framework, ranging from the lofty claims of Romanticism through the debunking works of Surrealism and Dadaism to the formal fireworks of Oulipo. [...] Evans writes well, with clarity and nuance, eschewing jargon and revealing that musicality is not just in his subject but in his medium. This is a work that should be in all university libraries and will richly reward anyone wit’ — Rosemary Lloyd, H-France 16:165, August 2016

Selected Essays of Malcolm Bowie I: Dreams of Knowledge
Malcolm Bowie
Legenda (General Series) vol 1 of 24 December 2013

  • ‘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)

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

Dostoevsky and the Epileptic Mode of Being
Paul Fung
Legenda (General Series) 10 December 2014

  • ‘Fung avoids the trap of a simplistic focus on Dostoevsky’s own real-life epilepsy. While noting the author's terror at the illness [...], he remains wisely off-trend by withholding any cod-scientific correlation between epilepsy and literary creativity. Fung’s interest is, rather, in what Dostoevsky wrote, more than the fact that his slow periods of recovery meant that he often could not write anything at all. And by focusing on ‘moments of caesuras and breaks’, Fung also sets himself apart from the myriad critics drawn to the famous scenes where verbal, and sometimes physical, arguments erupt with astonishing force... A Dostoevsky scholar to watch.’ — Andre van Loon, Review 31 online
  • ‘It’s a great philosophical read, which squeezes Dostoevsky and his characters in and out of the minds of any number of puissant Western thinkers. It deserves a welcome and respected place up on the bookshelves of Academia, next to the many fascinating books on the life and works of that perverse and talented genius of Russian literature: Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.’ — U. R. Bowie, classical-russian-literature.blogspot.co.uk 7 July 2015
  • ‘This book continues the philosophical discussion of Fedor Dostoevskii started by Friedrich Nietzsche, Lev Shestov, Alex de Jonge, and many others. Paul Fung de- scribes existential experiences of caesura (suspension), timelessness, and anticipation of death, which he attributes to some of Dostoevskii’s characters and, possibly, to the writer himself.’ — Irina Sirotkina, Slavic Review 75.1, Spring 2016, 210-11
  • ‘Paul Fung opens new perspectives onto Dostoevsky's post-Siberian novels by focusing on their preoccupation, at once morbid and exalted, with the moment, whose ineffable paradoxes congeal metaphorically around the epileptic attack.’ — Mark R. Pettiss, Russian Review 75.1, 2016, 140-42

Selected Essays of Malcolm Bowie II: Song Man
Malcolm Bowie
Legenda (General Series) vol 2 of 24 December 2013

  • ‘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)

The Present Word: Culture, Society and the Site of Literature
Edited by John Walker
Legenda (General Series) 25 September 2013

Mallarmé's Sunset: Poetry at the End of Time
Barnaby Norman
Legenda (General Series) 1 November 2014

  • ‘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

Politics and the Individual in France 1930-1950
Edited by Jessica Wardhaugh
Legenda (General Series) 8 June 2015

  • ‘This collection offers stimulating insights into mid-twentieth century political life... More important, the contributions illustrate how the political polarization that preceded and followed the Second World War compelled many people to commit to a party or cause, even when this resulted in disrupted family life and professional life or class and ethnic identities, producing the competing memories of the period that persist today.’ — Rebecca Scales, European History Quarterly 46.2, May 2016, 413-15
  • ‘With its wide range of case studies, embracing a large number of different aspects of political engagement during the period between the 1930s and the 1950s, this book offers an interesting perspective on relationships between the individual and political movements, how this has been portrayed both at the time and in more recent analyses, and the limits of individual agency during these decades. As the conclusion states, much work remains to be done in this area. This book makes an important contribution towards achieving this aim.’ — William H. E. Rispin, French History 30.2, June 2016, 276-77

Maud Beerbohm Tree: Lady of the Stage
Susana Cory-Wright
Legenda (General Series) 26 February 2018

  • ‘This is a beautifully presented work, with an attractive cover and illustrations... There is much emphasis upon the personal life and career of Maud, but the book is also good on the sociopolitical changes taking place in the theatre at this time, and on the role of women in society.’ — unsigned notice, The Year's Work in English Studies 98.1, 2019, 657-58

Rewriting Les Mystères de Paris: The Mystères Urbains and the Palimpsest
Amy Wigelsworth
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

  • ‘Presentant des demonstrations dont Jes etapes sont habilement resumees pour clore chaque chapitre, Rewriting Les Mysteres de Paris offre des etudes fouillees d'reuvres riches mais rarement traitees par la critique... La demonstration est convaincante et stimulante par Jes avenues de reflexion qu'elle ouvre.’ — Nicolas Gauthier, L'Esprit Créateur 57.1, 2017, 141

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