Recent Reviews of MHRA Books

MHRA books are regularly reviewed in scholarly journals across the world, and sometimes also in literary papers such as the Times Literary Supplement. From time to time, our books also appear in Europe’s newspapers, from The Independent and the Daily Telegraph to El Imparcial and Gazeta Shqiptare. The following excerpts are from the 20 most recently received reviews:

  • Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women's Fiction 1789–1815 — Christie Margrave, ‘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)
  • Poetry, Painting, Park: Goethe and Claude Lorrain — Franz R. Kempf, ‘This long overdue task [of studying Goethe and Claude Lorrain] has been accomplished in a near exemplary monograph by Franz Kempf, in a finely produced volume that does elegant justice to its subject... It will doubtless become a standard work and will open up broad vistas for future research.’ — Jeremy Adler, The Art Newspaper 334, May 2021
  • Poetry, Painting, Park: Goethe and Claude Lorrain — Franz R. Kempf, ‘Few are the writers who have the competence truly to be interdisciplinary and Franz Kempf is one of them. In Poetry, Painting, Park (Legenda) he carefully lays out the complex intellectual links forged by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from his life-long considerations of Claude’s landscapes. Kempf fluently ranges over the consequences of Goethe’s encounter with Claude— literature and literary theory, painting and drawing, horticulture and garden design, philosophy, natural science and optics, reality and spirituality—to arrive at striking a double portrait.’ — Donald Lee, The Art Newspaper Blog Books of the Year, 25 December 2020
  • Swinburne’s Style: An Experiment in Verse History — L. M. Kilbride, ‘Combines a practitioner’s delight in Swinburne’s verse textures with a scholar’s insight into poetic experiment in nineteenth-century Britain and a literary theorist’s investment in social critique.’ — Julia F. Saville, Victorian Studies 63.1, Autumn 2020, 152-53 (full text online)
  • Performing Medieval Text — Edited by Ardis Butterfield, Henry Hope and Pauline Souleau, ‘While these essays are likely to be read individually by specialists in their various fields, a reader of the whole volume will be rewarded with an enriched and nuanced understanding of the concepts of “performance” and “text,” and of the explanatory reach of the field of performance studies.’ — Anne Stone, Speculum 96.2, 2021, 482-84
  • Reading Dante and Proust by Analogy — Julia Caterina Hartley, ‘A scholar who grew up in a trilingual family (English, Italian, French) and who therefore can slip smoothly from one linguistic world to another, Julia Caterina Hartley performs an exquisitely comparatist analysis in Reading Dante and Proust by Analogy. Hartley’s conclusions are quite unexpected and shed new light on two authors who share more than one might think: Alighieri, as a medieval writer who anticipates modernity, and Proust, as a modern writer who engages with the weight of the past... In sum, this book is a meticulous comparative work at its best.’ — Ilaria Serra, Speculum 96.2, 2021, 509-10
  • Humanizing Childhood in Early Twentieth-Century Spain — Anna Kathryn Kendrick, ‘Humanizing Childhood explores the debates and practices surrounding the emerging discipline of the study of childhood in early twentieth-century Spain. Linked to the transnational education reform movement in Europe and the United States, artists, poets, educators, and philosophers in Spain developed new frameworks to understand the “world of the child” in order to guide children to their full human potential... The book provides a welcome addition to the relatively undeveloped field of the Spanish history of childhood.’ — Pamela Beth Radcliff, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 15.1, Winter 2021, 165-67 (full text online)
  • Hispanic Baroque Ekphrasis: Góngora, Camargo, Sor Juana — Luis Castellví Laukamp, ‘Hispanic Baroque Ekphrasis […] es una obra excelente por el profundo y original estudio que ofrece sobre las posibilidades expresivas de la écfrasis, el sobresaliente conocimiento de la obra de los autores estudiados, la adecuada estructuración, la riqueza de fuentes y la claridad expositiva.’ — Lizbeth Souza-Fuertes, Hispania 104.1, March 2021, 125-126 (full text online)
  • Arthur in Early Welsh Poetry — Edited by Nerys Ann Jones, ‘I am sure that this book will be much used and appreciated by lecturers and also by scholars studying the pieces of poetry contained in it, and quite likely also by advanced students of medieval Welsh. There are still too few editions that do fine-grained analyses of early texts, particularly of early poetry, and this book represents one of the successful efforts towards filling this gap.’ — Stefan Schumacher, Journal of Celtic Linguistics 22, 2021, 172 (full text online)
  • The Rise of Spanish American Poetry 1500-1700: Literary and Cultural Transmission in the New World — Edited by Rodrigo Cacho Casal and Imogen Choi, ‘Some of the strongest essays draw attention to authors, texts or topics that have for the most part received limited attention from scholars. The range of subjects covered is noteworthy and the editors and contributors deserve praise for their ability to bring into the realm of poetic signification issues as diverse as exploration, evangelization, natural disasters, ideological debates, literacy, humanism, print culture, theology, music theory, humor, Jesuit edu- cation, historiography, mourning, astrology, piracy or racialized discourses.’ — Emiro Martínez-Osorio, Colonial Latin American Review 29.4, 2020, 662-64 (full text online)
  • (Un)veiling Bodies: A Trajectory of Chilean Post-Dictatorship Documentary — Elizabeth Ramírez-Soto, ‘Impeccably documented and researched... the book works with over 100 films (an impressive corpus) and includes a filmography that will undoubtedly serve as an important resource for students and scholars... The book also rescues for/from the archive a vast group of nearly forgotten directors and films that open the reader’s mind to appreciate the breadth of what Chilean documentary film both has been and is. This is an especially important gesture for international readers... Pushes the conversation on documentary far beyond the stale, though classic debates about objectivity and subjectivity; it shows that documentary film is not only a medium capable of capturing memories but also of actively creating and triggering them through sensory experience.’ — Michael Lazzara, A Contracorriente 18.2, 2021, 271-78
  • (Un)veiling Bodies: A Trajectory of Chilean Post-Dictatorship Documentary — Elizabeth Ramírez-Soto, ‘Estas reflexiones finales apuntan a que nos en-contramos ante una obra que no solo está llama-da a convertirse en lugar de paso obligado para investigaciones posteriores sobre el documental chileno contemporáneo inserto en el devenir de las políticas del pasado y la memoria, sino que ofrece intersticios para lecturas productivas en otros ámbitos y periodos.’ — María Luisa Ortega, Secuencias 51, 2020, 178-80
  • Arthur Symons: Poet, Critic, Vagabond — Edited by Elisa Bizzotto and Stefano Evangelista, ‘Gives Symons the meticulous attention that such a pivotal cultural figure deserves. One of the most insightful aspects... is its analysis of the wandering obliqueness of his Decadent perspective as it reflects his philosophical commitment to freedom of expression, experience, and lifestyle.’ — Dennis Denisoff, Victorian Studies 62.4, 2020, 686-88 (full text online)
  • Prismatic Translation — Edited by Matthew Reynolds, ‘'Prismatic' is a potent and productive metaphor for what translation can do and be, and the chapters collected in Prismatic Translation prove it. .. Just as the best translations resolve the tensions between philology and poetry, or acceptability and adequacy, these papers mediate between the demands of narrow and broad definitions of literary translation, illuminating intricacies of both text and context.’ — Lucas Klein, Translation Studies 12 Oct 2020 (full text online)
  • Prismatic Translation — Edited by Matthew Reynolds, ‘Prismatic Translation is a book of delights … there is unquestionably something here for everyone with an interest in translation, whether as an art form, an object of study, a field for radical experiments, or indeed all of the above.’ — Sarah Ekdawi, Σύγκριση 29, 2020, 162-168 (full text online)
  • A Modernist in Exile: The International Reception of H. G. Adler (1910-1988) — Edited by Lynn L. Wolff, ‘This volume dedicated to H.G. Adler will prove edifying to seasoned scholars and newcomers alike... In contrast to Adorno, who - similar to many postmodernists - collapses traditions of value into barbarity and admits no distinction between the two, Adler struggles to maintain, describe, and explain the possibility of human goodness in the face of overwhelming evil. It is certainly true for Adler that in the world of the camps much, if not most, of the ability for ethical action was destroyed - but not all. And since this is true, Adler’s work challenges his readers to face the truth in its entirety and to define the scale of human value they will adhere to in the face of barbarity.’ — Traci S. O’Brien, Monatshefte 112.4, Winter 2020, 747-50
  • E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination — Joanna Neilly, ‘Hoffmann has until now been presented as something of a peripheral Orientalist, with more attention typically being paid to Schlegel and Novalis. Neilly’s searching study serves as a thoughtful corrective, revealing across a series of close readings the range and variety of Eastern motifs that are implied and appropriated in Hoffmann’s fictions, or—as is most often, and most intriguingly, the case—critically reflected upon, in a way that turns his ironic mirror back onto German aesthetics and indeed onto the notion of the fixed self.’ — Polly Dickson, German Studies Review 43.3, October 2020, 607-10 (full text online)
  • Arthur in Early Welsh Poetry — Edited by Nerys Ann Jones, ‘If you are looking for a well-written, meticulous examination of a range of early medieval Welsh texts concerning Arthur in their manuscript and linguistic context, then Arthur in Early Welsh Poetry should be on your shelf.’ — Daniel Helbert, Speculum 96.1, January 2021, 232-33
  • Humanizing Childhood in Early Twentieth-Century Spain — Anna Kathryn Kendrick, ‘So liegt ein reich recherchiertes Buch vor, das wie ein Feuerwerk der Informationen, Deutungen und auch Andeutungen erscheint... Die einzelnen Kapitel und Abschnitte zu Lerntheorien, Spielzeug, Theater, Kinderzeichnungen und Intelligenztests können als wichtige Beiträge zu neuen Entwicklungen einer vergleichenden und transnationalen Kindheitsgeschichte gelten und sind als solche zweifellos lesenswert.’ — Martina Winkler, H-Soz-Kult 11 January 2021
  • Thomas Elyot, The Image of Governance and Other Dialogues of Counsel (1533–1541) — Edited by David Carlson, ‘This edition will be highly useful to scholars and ought to find its way onto a number of university reading lists.’ — J. S. Crown, Sixteenth Century Journal 50, 2019, 1271