MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

According to the MHRA Style Guide, this item should be cited in a bibliography as follows:

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie. 2019. Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815 (Cambridge: Legenda), pp. i–vi

This is in the author-date variant of MHRA style. MHRA's journals don't allow author-date citation, but some of its book series (notably Legenda) do: please talk to your editor before using this. (To see the demonstration for regular style instead, follow this link.)

Let's take this bibliography entry one step at a time:

Step 1. We start with the name(s) of the author(s) of the article, inverting the first name into the form 'Forename, Surname'.

Margrave, Christie

Step 2. In author-date style, we have a full stop, then the year, then another full stop. If there are multiple entries with the same author and year, letters would be used to distinguish them: e.g., Bloggs 1994a, Bloggs 1994b.

Margrave, Christie. 2019.

Step 3. Now we add the title, in single inverted commas. Any single quotation marks already in the title must be converted to doubles.

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’

Step 4. We have to say where this comes from, so:

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in

Notice: Object of class stdClass could not be converted to int in /home/grahammhra/mhra.org.uk/library/library.php on line 865

Step 5. Next, the author(s) of the book, which come before the title because this is a monograph.

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie

Step 6. Now a full stop, the year of publication, and another a full stop:

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie. 2019.

Step 7. Here we have the book's title, in italics, not quotation marks.

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie. 2019. Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815

Step 8. Since this is a book, not a journal issue, we have to identify its source, in round brackets. First, place of publication. This can be ambiguous. Legenda may be edited in Oxford, but the registered address of MHRA, which owns Legenda, is in Cambridge.

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie. 2019. Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815 (Cambridge

Step 9. Now a colon, a space, and the publisher's name. Here that's Legenda because this is the imprint name under which the book is published, even though Legenda is not strictly speaking a company. To decide these things, one must look at the exact wording of the preliminary pages. Our preference is for Legenda books to be cited as 'Legenda', and we word our preliminaries with that aim.

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie. 2019. Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815 (Cambridge: Legenda

Step 10. Since we had the date of first publication up front, we don't need it here, so we're done with the bracketed part.

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie. 2019. Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Step 11. Now the pagination. This is a book, so we use 'p.' or 'pp.' as appropriate. Number ranges are elided in the last two digits: thus '2234-2265' should be '2234-65', and '102-109' should be '102-09'.

Margrave, Christie. 2019. ‘Writing the Landscape: Writing the Landscape’, in Margrave, Christie. 2019. Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815 (Cambridge: Legenda), pp. i–vi

And that's the finished bibliography entry. Note that there's no final full stop.

So how about citations in the main text, or in footnotes or endnotes?

The advantage of the author-date system is that these are very concise. In fact, you don't need a note at all. Suppose we quote from page 21:

The author reminds us of Shakespeare’s view: ‘Better a foolish wit than a witty fool’ (Margrave 2019: 21).

And notes are concise too. There's no difference in how to treat the first and subsequent notes.

34 Margrave 2019.

So is author-date easier than regular MHRA style? Not always. Firstly, it may not be allowed by your editor, so check before using. But secondly, it makes books easier to write, but only at the cost of making them harder to proof-read. If you discover at the last moment that Blenkinsop 1996 was actually published in 1995, that can mean hundreds of corrections to make, and it gets worse if an author has many publications in the same year, because Blenkinsop 1996e and Blenkinsop 1996d are easy to confuse.