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:

  • Dante and Epicurus: A Dualistic Vision of Secular and Spiritual Fulfilment — George Corbett, ‘Stunningly readable with potent, clear argumentation, Corbett’s nonetheless highly academic presentation of Dante’s dualism in the context of the poet’s literary integration of the figure and philosophy of Epicurus reads like a page-turner. Furthermore, Corbett’s innovative methodological approach is cradled by a no less than masterful organization throughout the book. […] The topic and breadth of the book, perhaps, lend themselves better to students and scholars versed well enough with the traditions of the philosophers, biblical exegetes and scholarly commentators that orbit so closely Dante’s works. Readers with a grasp of Latin will take double pleasure in reading volumes of quotes from their original sources as well as in their English translations. Corbett’s book, overall, is a must-have for the bookshelves of the committed dantista.’ — Elsie Emslie Stevens, Italica 41.4, 2014, 833-35
  • William Webbe, A Discourse of English Poetry (1586) — Edited by Sonia Hernández-Santano, ‘Webbe will be well served by the ready availability of a modernized text, and by the detailed introduction … The materials are here for a fuller reintegration of Webbe’s Discourse into our understanding of Elizabethan humanism, poetics, and cultures of reading.’Spenser Review 47.1.14, Winter 2017 (Michael Hetherington)
  • Abraham Fraunce, The Shepherds' Logic and Other Dialectical Writings — Edited by Zenón Luis-Martínez, ‘Luis-Martínez gives as rigorous and detailed an account of the work’s genesis and immediate context as most readers could possibly wish for, offering much greater precision about Fraunce’s sources than earlier studies have been willing or able to provide … Fraunce has found a well-informed and sympathetic editor who can guide readers through what will be, to most, the unappealing thickets of humanistic logic, and direct their attention, instead, to the instructive value of this idiosyncratic Elizabethan voice.’Spenser Review 47.1.14, Winter 2017 (Michael Hetherington)
  • Margaret Tyler, Mirror of Princely Deeds and Knighthood — Edited by Joyce Boro, ‘Boro’s introduction does a fine job of summarizing the previous fifteen years of intense scholarly interest on Tyler’s work, and clearly articulates avenues for further investigation and inquiry.’ — Aaron Taylor Miedema, Renaissance and Reformation 39.3, Summer 2016, 217-18
  • Louisa Waterford and John Ruskin: 'For you have not Falsely Praised' — Caroline Ings-Chambers, ‘Ings‐Chambers builds a strong case for reintegrating this artist in the wider Pre‐Raphaelite canon. Her writing makes Waterford’s art come across as essential thanks to its charm, vision and social/gender relevance.’ — Nic Peeters, Pre-Raphaelite Society Journal XXIII, 2015, 63-66
  • Baudelaire and Photography: Finding the Painter of Modern Life — Timothy Raser, ‘As always with Raser’s writing, this is an intelligently and cogently argued book. His deep knowledge of Baudelaire’s art criticism firmly grounds his arguments about aesthetic theory. Raser’s literary interpretations, such as that of Hugo’s poem, are interesting and thought-provoking... This slender and elegant book has set me to thinking about Baudelaire’s “aesthetics” of the modern as I read his works — it has given me a new perspective on his poetry.’ — Dorothy Kelly, H-France 16.125, July 2016
  • Fontane and Cultural Mediation: Translation and Reception in Nineteenth-Century German Literature — Edited by Ritchie Robertson and Michael White, ‘This volume contains thirteen varied contributions which the editors successfully present as a coherent group of essays in honour of a distinguished Fontane scholar, whose own work provides an implicit point of reference... The strengths of this volume lie for the most part in the expository sections, the light that is thrown on unfamiliar corners of nineteenth-century German literary life, and the commitment shown by this group of commentators to its preservation as an object of study.’ — John Osborne, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 284-86
  • Goethe's Poetry and the Philosophy of Nature: Gott und Welt 1798-1827 — Regina Sachers, ‘Although the twenty-one poems of the original collection were composed over as many years or more, Regina Sachers rejects the ‘autonomous’ approach taken by Theodor Adorno, David Wellbery, and others, pointing out that by deliberately placing them together, Goethe must have wished the reader to view them as a single entity.’ — Osman Durrani, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 279-80 (full text online)
  • Baudelaire and Photography: Finding the Painter of Modern Life — Timothy Raser, ‘Highlights exciting aspects of Baudelaire’s work and illuminates his stance on modernity. One of Raser’s achievements is to take seriously the fact that Baudelaire transcended the boundaries between various arts and media. Exploring the relations between painting, poetry, engravings, and photography, he shows to what degree Baudelaire’s work is characterized by intertextual and intermedial tensions.’ — Marit Grøtta, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 254-56 (full text online)
  • Gadda and Beckett: Storytelling, Subjectivity and Fracture — Katrin Wehling-Giorgi, ‘Katrin Wehling-Giorgi’s comparative reading of the works of two giants of European literature is both enlightening and fascinating... The book is written in an elegant style and has the great merit of spelling out with admirable clarity the philosophical implications of Gadda’s and Beckett’s narrative projects.’ — Olivia Santovetti, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 225-27 (full text online)
  • Dada as Text, Thought and Theory — Stephen Forcer, ‘This is a lively, incisive, and thought-provoking book substantially based on original archive work, which injects new and proliferating life into the study of Dada... With excellent English translations of quotations throughout, and well-chosen monochrome illustrations, the book is fully accessible to non-francophone readers and is an absolute must for anyone with a serious interest in Dada.’ — Andrew Rothwell, French Studies 71.1, Winter 2017, 133-34
  • Spring Shoots: Young Belarusian Poets in the Early Twenty-First Century — Arnold McMillin, ‘This collection illustrates a meticulous approach, significant effort, dedication and passion for Belarusian verse. By bringing together the work of Belarusian poets, which is not always easy to find, especially for specialists from abroad, McMillin has produced a unique volume within post-Soviet literature which should inspire readers to read more works by these young poets, who are convincingly carving a distinct niche in future Belarusian poetic culture.’ — Galina Miazhevich, Slavic Review 75.4, Winter 2016, 1020-21
  • Nicolas Edme Rétif de la Bretonne's Ingénue Saxancour — Edited by Mary S. Trouille, ‘Trouille presents a novel that remains as unsettling for the modern reader as it was when it was first published. It offers a valuable entry point for scholars and students alike into the dark Restivian world.’ — Gemma Tidman, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 252-53 (full text online)
  • Fougeret de Monbron, Margot la ravaudeuse — Translated by Édouard Langille, ‘A valuable addition to the New Translations series, making available to a wider public an interesting and unusual text.’ — Derek Connon, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 251-52 (full text online)
  • Richard Carew, The Examination of Men's Wits — Edited by Rocío G. Sumillera, ‘Sumillera’s edition is an important contribution to sixteenth-century studies.’ — Andrew Breeze, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 223-24 (full text online)
  • German Narratives of Belonging: Writing Generation and Place in the Twenty-First Century — Linda Shortt, ‘A helpful overview and nuanced discussion of literary, essayistic, and autobiographical texts that explore the multiple obstacles — historical, social, political, familial, global — complicating or curtailing the human desire to belong, but that also ponder new forms of fluid or changing attachments in contemporary society.’ — Friederike Eigler, GegenwartsLiteratur 16, 2016, 350-51
  • Algernon Swinburne and Walter Pater: Victorian Aestheticism, Doubt and Secularisation — Sara Lyons, ‘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
  • William Webbe, A Discourse of English Poetry (1586) — Edited by Sonia Hernández-Santano, ‘William Webbe’s A Discourse of English Poetry, the ‘first published treatise exclusively dedicated to the theory of poetry’ in England but not edited in full in over a century, is conveniently presented in Sonia Herna ́ndez-Santano’s edition. She provides us with an extensively glossed and annotated modern-spelling text that situates Webbe’s treatise both in its early modern context and in terms of contemporary scholarship... Hopefully Herna ́ndez-Santano’s fine treatment of Webbe’s Discourse will inspire editions of other such fascinating early modern poetic treatises.’ — Sarah Case, Review of English Studies Advance Access 4 October 2016
  • Baudelaire and Photography: Finding the Painter of Modern Life — Timothy Raser, ‘Writing on the cusp of modernity, runs Raser’s overarching argument, Baudelaire is struggling to leave behind the traditional world, abandoning a search for beauty in a quest for a theory of modernity.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.4, October 2016, 476-77
  • Comparative Encounters between Artaud, Michaux and the Zhuangzi: Rationality, Cosmology and Ethics — Xiaofan Amy Li, ‘The philosophical, rather than literary approach undertaken here offers valuable and well-founded insights into enduring modes of thought and existence.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.4, October 2016, 473-74