Bernardin de Saint-Pierre: A Life of Culture
Malcolm Cook
Legenda (General Series) 5 September 2006

  • ‘We tend to think of the author of Paul et Virginie as a one-hit wonder. This new biography shows that he was a man of many parts... Malcolm Cook draws on his unrivalled knowledge of Bernardin's manuscripts to give the life and works a personal and "cultural" frame.’ — Robin Howells, Modern Language Review 104.1, January 2009, 203-04 (full text online)
  • ‘An intriguing book, full of surprises: a window into the mind of the researcher as well into the life of his subject.’ — Dena Goodman, French Studies 479
  • ‘Maintaining an almost scientific objectivity, the biographer proceeds with caution in his assessments, reevaluating and correcting previous sources without speculating unnecessarily in the absence of evidence. From this process emerges the unembellished and contained sketch of a writer who lived a full and interesting life during challenging times. Specialists and general readers alike will certainly want to know more about Bernardin after reading this biography.’ — Christina Ionescu, French Review 82.1, 2009, 159-60
  • ‘Commentateur des œuvres de Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, historien de la littérature de la période révolutionnaire, particulièrement intéressé par les questions de réception (comme en témoignent les colloques qu’il a organisés sur les réécritures et sur la critique), Cook donne une biographie qui est au confluent de ses thèmes d’étude de prédilection, et qui doit être lue parallèlement à ses travaux antérieurs.’ — Youmna Charara, Eighteenth-Century Fiction 22.3, 2010, 735-36
  • ‘This is a wonderfully readable and insightful book, exceptionally richly illustrated with unpublished manuscript documents, and written with a true love for its subject.’ — Mark Darlow, Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies 33.2, June 2010, 284

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

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

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

Regressive Fictions: Graffigny, Rousseau, Bernardin
Robin Howells
Legenda (General Series) 24 August 2007

  • ‘Robin Howells investigates the connections between three eighteenth-century best-sellers in chronological order... everyone will find fresh insights on the eighteenth-century success stories.’ — Simon Davies, French Studies 63.1, 2009, 88-89

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

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)

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

Identity and Transformation in the Plays of Alexis Piron
Derek Connon
Legenda (General Series) 23 February 2007

  • ‘What emerges from Connon’s analyses is the sheer vitality of Piron’s production, its sometimes "anarchic" inventiveness, and its propensity to question hierarchies and cross boundaries of genre... I recommend this book highly.’ — Mark Darlow, Modern Language Review 103.3, July 2008, 855-56 (full text online)
  • ‘This is a particularly good-looking book, with attractive hardcover, smart format, quality white paper and lovely typesetting. It boasts the kind of finish that just makes reading particularly pleasant, and all the more so when its content inspires one to return to a relatively forgotten playwright who clearly deserves more attention than his Villon-like epitaph irreverently suggests: ‘Ci-gît Piron, qui ne fut rien,/Pas même académicien’.’ — Síofra Pierse, French Studies 477-78

Sensibility, Reading and Illustration: Spectacles and Signs in Graffigny, Marivaux and Rousseau
Ann Lewis
Legenda (General Series) 17 July 2009

  • ‘A detailed and compelling analysis... Moreover Lewis skilfully combines insights from various fields (literary history, genre studies, theory of representation, reader response) to generate thought-provoking analysis, to provide a nuanced assessment of sensibility, and to suggest additional avenues that warrant investigation.’ — Diane Beelen Woody, Eighteenth-Century Fiction 23.3, Spring 2011, 586-89
  • ‘Thoroughly researched, clearly written, and handsomely produced, this book is a significant contribution to scholarship on French eighteenth-century literature... Readers should be glad that Lewis has so adeptly read the signs and spectacles.’ — Heidi Bostic, French Review 84.5, April 2011, 1029-30
  • ‘Précis, bien informé et solidement documenté, l’ouvrage constitue un apport précieux et stimulant aux recherches sur l’illustration romanesque auquel il articule une réflexion intéressante sur le genre et la réception du roman sensible.’ — Florence Magnot-Ogilvy, French Studies 66.2, April 2012, 245-46
  • ‘[Lewis's] meticulous approach is valuable in providing an at-a-glance overview of the numerous illustrated editions of these well-known novels as well as a point of reference for researchers in the field. The consideration of nineteenth- and twentieth-century illustrations adds depth to Lewis’s study and gives credence to her theory of illustration as a ‘reading’ of a text at various points in history. This is exemplified by the ‘Romantic’ interpretation of the character of Saint-Preux in the nineteenth century, for example, or the eroticised presentation of La Vie de Marianne for a French audience of the 1930s.’ — Una Brogan, Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies 35.3, September 2012, 444-45

The Near and Distant God: Poetry, Idealism and Religious Thought from Hölderlin to Eliot
Ian Cooper
Legenda (General Series) 3 October 2008

  • ‘This is an intellectually distinguished, engagingly written and outstandingly original book, which succeeds admirably in its aim of tracing the close and continuous connection of lyric poetry, philosophical idealism and religious thought from Hölderlin to Eliot... Its achievement is as relevant to theology as it is to German Studies and deserves the widest possible readership.’ — unsigned, Forum for Modern Language Studies 46.1, January 2010, 110
  • ‘A sophisticated example of how literary studies may benefit from approaches that are theologically and spiritually mindful.’ — Helena M. Tomko, Modern Language Review 105.2, 2010, 512-13 (full text online)
  • ‘This study is densely written (something that should be applauded rather than criticized!) and cogently argued... Intellectually highly rewarding.’ — Rüdiger Görner, Comparative Critical Studies 7.2–3, 2010, 405-08
  • ‘He avoids the pitfall of many comparable studies, in which poems are merely mined for their philosophical content--a fate that especially Holderlin, Rilke, and Eliot have frequently suffered in the past. His readings of the poems emphasize the process of writing and reading--in these processes, transcendence can be experienced, and the promise of community be enacted. Cooper's fine analytical skills give us many fresh perspectives on a series of major poems.’ — Johannes Wich-Schwarz, Christianity and Literature Autumn 2010
  • ‘What seems like a huge and bold undertaking is impressively achieved... compelling and, at times, beautiful writing.’ — Carly McLaughlin, Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 248, 2011, 166-67
  • ‘Cooper succeeds in establishing the centrality of theology to the work of Hölderlin, and in tracing the afterlife of Hölderlin's poetic religiosity he expands our awareness of the prehistory of the high modernist struggle to come to terms with Spirit.’ — Nathaniel Davis, Journal of Modern Literature 35.1, Fall 2011, 196-99

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

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

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

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

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

Richardson and the Philosophes
James Fowler
Legenda (General Series) 23 April 2014

  • ‘James Fowler aims to restore Richardson to his proper place in an Enlightenment that resisted stratification along na- tional lines, and one in which Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment ideals inter- sected productively to engender the ideological dynamism we associate with the second half of the eighteenth century... Fowler initiates an important conversation about Richardson’s influence on the Continent.’ — Hans Nazar, French Studies 69.2, April 2015, 245
  • ‘The strength of Fowler’s study is found in his examination of a debate that perplexed Christians and deists alike (and with which atheists, too, had to engage): the role of Providence in conducting human affairs (or not) and the subsequent question of whether justice is to be achieved in this world or the next.’ — Karen Lacey-Holder, Modern Language Review 110.3, July 2015, 785-86 (full text online)
  • ‘The book is the most sustained examination to date of why Richardson, ‘a ‘‘counter-Enlightenment’’ writer’ who ‘claimed to write religious novels in order to counter anti-Christian tendencies in Britain’, should find such a sincere, serious, and even emulative audience in a generation of French intellectuals who ‘almost by definition, saw revealed religion as a source of prejudice and superstition’.’ — James Smith, The Year's Work in English Studies 95.1, 2016, 655-56

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)