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

Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean
Edited by Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar and Wes Williams
Legenda (General Series) 19 December 2016

  • ‘Montaigne in Transit proves one of the finest volumes on this overworked author... In a reflective Afterword, Ian Maclean celebrates the scholarly exchanges out of which this volume grew and the generosity inherent in intellectual work. Another aspect that ties these contributions together lies in how the authors foreground the practice of close reading. Such patience with ‘slow’ reading is a welcome change from more ambitious quantifiable, contextualizing, and politicizing forms of criticism that currently dominate the field. The contributors intelligently defend their choice not as an antidote or alternative to these other approaches but as a needed counterweight and complement.’ — George Hoffmann, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 658-59 (full text online)
  • ‘In a reading of Montaigne’s classical allusions in ‘Sur des Vers de Virgile’, Terence Cave finds the essayist resurrecting the dead: ‘The quotations from Virgil and Lucretius are haptic, erotic; they come to life, become bodies. And their life flows palpably over into Montaigne’s prose.’ Cave’s is the first of several essays in the wonderful collection Montaigne in Transit to explore metaphors for Montaigne’s thought and quotation practice, and to evaluate how we study Montaigne’s relation to other texts.’ — Peter Auger, Translation and Literature 27, 2019, 353-60 (full text online)
  • ‘In sum, the journey through these essays is well worth the effort and strongly recommended to seasoned specialists and fellow travelers interested in the historical development of learned culture in Europe from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. This reviewer wishes them a bon voyage!’ — Michael Wolfe, Sixteenth Century Journal 49.3, 2018, 885-87

The Made and the Found: Essays, Prose and Poetry in Honour of Michael Sheringham
Edited by Patrick McGuinness and Emily McLaughlin
Legenda (General Series) 25 May 2017

  • ‘Micky’s words return here in all their felicity. His appetite, brilliance, and distinct sensibility are intensely present. The editors speak of Micky ‘drawn by what was accidental, unsystematic, eccentric’ (p. ix). They see him glorying in ‘the overspill of things’. They speak of Micky as their ‘friend and colleague’ and this book is a beautiful act of camaraderie.’ — Emma Wilson, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 485-86 (full text online)
  • ‘This starry roster of writers, working in English and French, often operate along lines of creative interplay between chance and choice, the map and serendipity, walking and writing, celebrating the transition from noticing to noting and from there maybe even into actually making poetry.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.3, July 2018, 375
  • ‘The Made and the Found is a rich volume that will be of interest to friends of the late Michael Sheringham as well as to all those wanting to study the relation between French culture, language and the everyday.’ — Verena Andermatt Conley, H-France 18.214, November 2018

Gentry Life in Georgian Ireland: The Letters of Edmund Spencer (1711-1790)
Edited by Duncan Fraser and Andrew Hadfield
Legenda (General Series) 3 April 2017

  • ‘An extraordinary cache of letters... in this meticulously produced edition, which is an epistolary treat throughout.’ — Hazel Wilkinson, Times Literary Supplement 3 August 2018
  • ‘As an edition of correspondence, this work by Duncan Fraser and Andrew Hadfield is a model of how an edition should be put together. In addition to discussing the use of Old and New Style calendars and describing the archive, they supply a chronological chart of the archive listing dates, folio numbers, addressees, and places of origin. The commentary on transcription skilfully analyses the trade-off between reading the original manuscript and a transcription which ‘pares away the obfuscating aspects of unfamiliar handwriting, outdated orthographical conventions, and the deleterious effects of time on paper’. The discussion of the idiosyncrasies of Spencer’s punctuation is instructive about eighteenth-century attitudes generally and especially noteworthy in its suggestion that dashes may be used as paragraph markers to save the cost of paper. Meanwhile, in their new printed form the letters are presented in a handsomely produced volume by Legenda, an imprint of the Modern Humanities Research Association. In t’ — Jean R. Brink, Modern Language Review 114.4, October 2019, 854-55 (full text online)
  • ‘Spencer should have inherited family estates in Ireland that would make him comfortable for life. In fact, as a result of incompetence and skullduggery, he came into an inheritance that was so embarrassed, that for the rest of his life he had to struggle hard to hold onto social credibility. These letters, meticulously and brilliantly edited, tell part of the story of how Spencer tried to cope.’ — L G Mitchell, Notes & Queries 66.4, December 2019, 602-03 (full text online)

Intimacy and Distance: Conflicting Cultures in Nineteenth-Century France
Philippa Lewis
Legenda (General Series) 29 September 2017

  • ‘L’ouvrage ne se contente pas d’explorer les productions littéraires de l’intime (du roman intime au récit de voyage) mais s’appuie sur une belle et riche variété de formes littéraires et culturelles (journaux intimes, portraits littéraires, critique d’art) pour mettre en évidence la hiérarchie des valeurs à l’œuvre dans la notion d’intime.’ — Françoise Grauby, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 459
  • ‘Philippa Lewis’s fresh, thoughtful overview of the virtual relationships between French authors and readers between 1830 and 1870 focuses on selected works by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Eugène Fromentin, Maurice de Guérin, and C.-A. Sainte-Beuve... She effectively synthesizes the deconstructive distinguo move of deconstruction—dissecting specious identities—with a discreet historical consciousness that alternatively discloses new ranges of possibilities and then contracts into a synthesis. Brief, thoughtful footnotes extend Lewis’s discussions in many directions, revealing her exemplary deep background.’ — Laurence M. Porter, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 47.1-2, Fall 2018
  • ‘In this thoughtful and suggestive monograph, Philippa Lewis offers a carefully historicized, thoroughly researched, and beautifully written account of the place occupied by the concept of intimacy in the literary culture of nineteenth-century France, and especially its middle decades... The book’s true point, and its greatest merit, is to get under the skin—intus, et in cute—of nineteenth-century French letters; to reanimate with a careful balance of sympathy and erudition a somewhat forgotten yet profoundly influential moment in the history of literary thought. In this respect, the book will be of compelling interest to all scholars of nineteenth-century France.’ — Andrew J. Counter, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 146-47 (full text online)
  • ‘Accompagnato da una bibliogra a veramente ricca e da un dettagliato indice dei nomi, il saggio di Philippa Lewis si occupa nella prima parte dell’Intimacy, prendendo come punto di partenza un saggio di Henry James su Sainte-Beuve, in cui l’autore mostra il carattere “intimo” della scrittura come una caratteristica di una importante zona della letteratura francese del xix secolo: «poésie intime, the roman intime, and the journal intime».’ — Maria Emanuela Raffi, Studi francesi 186, 20, 2019, 516-17
  • ‘Lewis’s convincing argument revolves around the idea that male authors writing after 1830, including both well- and lesser-known writers such as Flaubert, Euge`ne Fromentin, and above all Baudelaire, employed certain textual strategies as a result of their ambivalent feelings towards intimacy... This study constitutes a very significant addition to the existing corpus of works on the cultural and literary history of intimacy.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 119
  • ‘A very well-researched and engaging contribution to the literary history of nineteenth-century France, the social and cultural history of emotions, Baudelaire studies, and historical masculinity studies. By deprivileging distance as the primary spatial and affective metaphor for understanding post-revolutionary French society and restoring intimacy to its rightful place on the cultural and literary landscape, Lewis successfully complicates one of the foundational paradigms of nineteenth-century French studies, making her book a compelling read for all scholars in the field.’ — Jessica Tanner, H-France 19, February 2019, no. 27
  • ‘This book is written with admirable clarity and, via the lens of intimacy, offers original perspectives on some well-known and lesser-known writers, while also shedding light on the emotional history of the nineteenth century.’ — Paul Gibbard, Emotions: History, Culture, Society 3, 2019, 174-75

Pascal Quignard: Towards the Vanishing Point
Léa Vuong
Research Monographs in French Studies 4819 December 2016

  • ‘Léa Vuong’s succinct and insightful book addresses the work of French writer Pascal Quignard through the lenses of absence and disappearance. As Vuong argues, the reception of Quignard in the Anglo-Saxon world remains somewhat limited, while his work within the Hexagon has been the subject of extensive discussions and wide critical recognition. This first thorough study of Quignard’s work in the English language fills a gap while offering a perspective that connects Quignard to a constellation of structuralist and poststructuralist thinkers, in particular with the work of Jacques Lacan and Maurice Blanchot.’ — Étienne Lussier, Modern and Contemporary France 4 Oct 2017 (full text online)
  • ‘A well-written, well-documented analysis that manages to give a good glimpse into a voluminous literary production (Quignard’s publications are now nearing eighty books), while reporting on several important, and less studied, aspects of Quignard’s oeuvre.’ — Jean-Louis Pautrot, H-France 17, December 2017, no. 236
  • ‘Both specialists and those not very familiar with Quignard will find something of value here... the range of texts considered, which help the author trace broad points of commonality across an immense and still growing body of work, and the generally compelling characterization and descriptions of the text, will be helpful to those seeking an introduction to Quignard.’ — Joseph Acquito, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 664-66 (full text online)
  • ‘Di questo dibattito, l’autrice traccia nella «Conclusio- ne» un lucido bilancio, tra accuse di parisianisme e riconoscimento in patria, moltiplicarsi delle traduzioni e interesse ancora limitato da parte della critica in altre lingue, sottolineando la sotterranea portata sovversiva di una scrittura che ostenta la propria inattualità, che ritorce il fascino esercitato dal linguaggio contro il potere euristico della parola, che ingloba il meta-discorso che suscita, condannando talora il commentatore alla parafrasi o all’imitazione.’ — Stefano Genetti, Studi francesi 185, 2018, 367-68

Balzac's Love Letters: Correspondence and the Literary Imagination
Ewa Szypula
Research Monographs in French Studies 5219 December 2016

  • ‘Balzac the inveterate re-reader forces his own readers into their own, creative, re-readings of his texts. How fortunate, then, that so many of Balzac’s own letters, not least those to Mme Hanska, have been preserved for our own reading and re-reading, and are thus able to give rise to this subtle, sophisticated, original — and eminently readable — new study.’ — Owen Heathcote, H-France 17, November 2017
  • ‘On en saluera en n l’originalité, la nesse d’analyse, et l’attention subtile prêtée à l’écriture de Balzac, à ses tactiques comme à son tact, à sa volonté de maîtrise comme à sa délicatesse.’ — Thomas Conrad, Studi francesi 185, 2018, 335-36
  • ‘Szypula treats the letters as texts in their own right, arguing persuasively that they can be analysed in much the same way as we might read and interpret Balzac’s fiction... As Szypula argues compellingly, the themes of writing and rereading assume special importance in the 1844 novel Modeste Mignon, in which Balzac can be seen to reflect on the limitations of rereading, particularly when a letter-writer is insincere. The study concludes with an Afterword that examines Mme Han ska’s attempts at revising Balzac’s letters following his death, a process that shows — as Szypula does so refreshingly in this volume — that this correspondence has never truly closed, but instead remains intriguingly open to rereading and re-interpretation.’ — Andrew Watts, French Studies 72.4, October 2018, 610-11

The Cultural Legacy of María Zambrano
Edited by Xon de Ros and Daniela Omlor
Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures 243 April 2017

  • ‘Tal y como promete su tîtulo, este monográfico le ofrece al lector una visión de conjunto del legado cultural de María Zambrano. Un elenco multidisciplinar e internacional de colaboradores se reúnen en esta publicacíon para, gracias a la cuidadosa labor de selección y edición de Xon de Ros y Daniela Omlor, proporcionar una contextualización de la extensa producción zambraniana en relación a las principales corrientes del pensamiento occidental contemporáneo.’ — Beatriz Caballero Rodríguez, Revista de Hispanismo Filosófico 23, 2019, 226-28
  • ‘Pioneras en su contexto... Coronan el volumen una bibliografía y un índex, dando cuenta de la vigencia del pensamiento de María Zambrano en distintas ramas del saber como la filosofía, la poesía, las artes plásticas o la política.’ — Carmen María López López, Las Torres de Lucca 12, January-June 2018, 285-92
  • ‘An important contribution to Zambrano’s bibliography... focuses on Zambrano’s role as a cultural agent, looking at her impact in the following areas: avant-garde, feminism, psycho-analysis, literary comparativism, art criticism and semiotics, autobiographical writing, political theory, historical memory and exile.’ — Pilar Molina, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 70, 2018, 284 (full text online)
  • ‘Serious and sustained academic attention in the Anglophone world is in its infancy. The Cultural Legacy of María Zambrano takes on a pioneering role by being among the first book-length studies aimed at an English-speaking readership... A coherent and rigorous body of research, inviting the reader to reassess the impact of Zambrano’s legacy alongside her place in Western intellectual history.’ — Beatriz Caballero Rodríguez, Modern Language Review 115.1, 2020, 195-96 (full text online)

Memory Across Borders: Nabokov, Perec, Chamoiseau
Sara-Louise Cooper
Transcript 619 December 2016

  • ‘Sara-Louise Cooper’s stimulating monograph convincingly approaches three writers whose lives and careers may at first seem disparate, and brings them together under the banner of border crossings, inter-generational memory, and its transmission.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, April 2018, 265
  • ‘Cooper’s approach encompasses a range of critical discussions, yet her incisive close reading of each author remains central. The book will be useful to students and scholars of any of the three authors, and to those interested in the concept of mobility more widely. Cooper’s future contributions are much anticipated.’ — Fabienne Cheung, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 475-76
  • ‘A meticulous and finely drawn study, highlighting the links in the three works between histories of self and wider histories, and the presence of multiple language and cultural affiliations in a single text... At the end of the work, the author makes a convincing plea not only for the richness to be found in comparative studies, but also for the recognition by French Studies of the constitutive force of movement and of different languages and places within and outside literature written in French.’ — Siobhan Brownlie, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 855-56 (full text online)
  • ‘This monograph, the sixth to appear in Legenda’s exciting new “Transcript” series, is an ambitious and searching work, which fully realises the imprint’s commitment to intercultural and trans-linguistic analysis... This is a beautifully written and elegantly produced monograph, in which stimulating and sensitive close readings are enriched by a deftly handled theoretical apparatus. It is also an important book that opens out onto discussion of much broader themes of urgent contemporary significance: national identity, migration, universalism, francophonie... A significant intervention for those working in memory studies, autobiography, comparative literature and transnational French Studies.’ — Maeve McCusker, H-France 18.201, October 2018