Chivalry, Academy, and Cultural Dialogues: The Italian Contribution to European Culture
Edited by Stefano Jossa and Giuliana Pieri
Italian Perspectives 3719 December 2016

  • ‘An interesting aspect is the rhythmical alternation of the contributions, organized in an almost Dantesque numerological order. Each section counts six chapters and is opened by an extraordinarily distinguished scholar [...] discussing challenging topics that escape traditional frames of literary studies: vocal transmissions of Petrarch’s verse, Camillo’s theater of memory, and Berni’s Rifacimento of Boiardo’s Innamorato between oral and written language... These eminent scholars and their fifteen fellow authors form a remarkable group shot of different generations of Italianists between two continents.’ — Alessandro Giammei, Renaissance Quarterly 71.9, October 2018, 1196-98
  • ‘This broad and enterprising survey is provided by some of the foremost names in early modern Italian Studies... Though the volume is ambitious and highly diverse, editors Stefano Jossa and Giuliana Pieri have ensured a smooth transition of thought between the essays, and the structure of the book itself is instinctive and accessible... A substantial contribution to early modern Italian Studies, and scholars from a range of disciplines will find it a valuable and thought-provoking read.’ — Lucy Rayfield, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 150-51 (full text online)

Pietro Bembo: A Life in Laurels and Scarlet
Marco Faini
Legenda (General Series) 15 May 2017

  • ‘Faini has managed very effectively the task of providing an introduction to Bembo’s life and work that is insightful yet relatively succinct and accessible. He gives a good sense of the complexity of underlying issues without overwhelming readers with detail. His writing is engaging and attentive to descriptive effect... Helpfully and attractively illustrated.’ — Brian Richardson, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 884-86 (full text online)
  • ‘As this slim but elegant volume highlights, the life of Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) bridges the transition in Italy from the height of the Renaissance into the early stages of the Catholic Reformation, not simply in terms of chronology but also in his career trajectory... This is a beautifully illustrated work, with more than 30 images, many of which are in colour. It is an engaging treatment and an excellent introduction to this significant figure.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, July 2019, 266 (full text online)

The Italian Renaissance: A Zest for Life
Edited by Michel Jeanneret and Nicolas Ducimetière
Legenda (General Series) 15 May 2017

  • ‘This is a Renaissance that triumphantly emerges from the dark ages of medieval Europe, bringing with it the birth of an ideal society guided by beauty and love, thus giving rise to one of the most extraordinary creative seasons of poetry, architecture, and art that the world has ever known... Yves Bonnefoy gives a moving account of his youthful discovery, in a still deserted post-war Florence, of the Brancacci Chapel... The most remarkable pages, however, of these many and memorable contributions are those by Michel Butor, sadly deceased in the same year in which the book was published. Always concerned with ‘micro-événements’ [...] Butor simply fixes his (and our) attention on every tiny detail of Antonello da Messina’s Renaissance image of the Middle Ages in his painting of Saint Jerome in his Study, reading (one presumes) his own historic translation of the Bible. The sense of this descriptive tour de force becomes clear in a final poem in which Butor identifies himself with Antonello.’ — Hilary Gatti, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 887-89 (full text online)

Cultural Reception, Translation and Transformation from Medieval to Modern Italy: Essays in Honour of Martin McLaughlin
Edited by Guido Bonsaver, Brian Richardson, and Giuseppe Stellardi
Legenda (General Series) 17 May 2017

  • ‘A remarkable unified collection... [the essays] may be read in any order, so rich and abundant are the resonances among them.’ — Carmine G. Di Biase, Times Literary Supplement 8 May 2018
  • ‘Zygmunt G. Barański presents a deeply contextualized understanding of the Orpheus myth in Petrarch’s Canzoniere, taking into account Virgilian and Ovidian antecedents, and the traces of their elaboration in works including the Bucolicum carmen and Familiares. At the heart of his essay, Barański boldly, but not unpersuasively, asserts Petrarch’s lyric collection of fragments to be “the great overlooked Orphic text of the Western tradition”. Brian Richardson’s essay is also among the most ambitious, tackling a massive quantity of Renaissance Italian poetic production—extempore Latin and vernacular lyric compositions—and he does so with aplomb, providing perhaps the first categorization with a qualitative/theoretical valuation of this important but almost entirely overlooked subgenre of poetry... Meriting special distinction, Peter Hainsworth’s contribution rescues John Dickson Batten’s illustrations to Dante’s Inferno (1897–1900) from their relative oblivion.’ — Sherry Roush, Renaissance Quarterly 71.9, October 2018, 1193-95
  • ‘The scope, historical locus and chronological ambition of the present volume are exceptionally wide and rich... The quality of the contributions is invariably high and all are case-studies relevant to the book’s central preoccupation with cultural contact and interchange... an admirable collection, full of stimulus and surprises, handsomely produced by Legenda.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, July 2019, 265-66 (full text online)
  • ‘This volume brings to mind one of Calvino’s own definitions, in his Why Read The Classics?: ‘The classics are those books which come to us bearing the aura of previous interpretations, and trailing behind them the traces they have left in the culture or cultures (or just in the language and customs) through which they have passed’ (McLaughlin’s translation). The volume invites readers into the palimpsest that is Italian culture, which is to say, among other things, its imitations, its intertextuality and transmediality, and its translations.’ — Antonella Braida, Translation and Literature 29, 2020, 291-96 (full text online)
  • ‘The volume reads as a user guide to the most updated views on literary theory and cultural studies, demonstrating how ‘open’ a field Italian studies has become in recent years. Texts—in a semiological sense, hence comprising all meaningful artefacts of culture—are scrutinized through a wide range of approaches, including linguistic, philological, thematic, intertextual, historical, sociological, comparative. and hermeneutical.’ — Oscar Schiavone, Modern Language Review 115.3, July 2020, 737-41 (full text online)

Accent, Rhythm and Meaning in French Verse
Roger Pensom
Research Monographs in French Studies 4430 September 2018

  • ‘With his passing, we have lost an indispensable and challenging voice in the ongoing dispute about the nature of French metricity, a voice that has restored to the debate, with impressive scholarship, the claims of the pre-modern and early modern periods, a voice that has tirelessly made the very necessary case for accent, and tellingly revealed the shortcomings of too purist a version of isosyllabism.’ — Clive Scott, Modern Language Review 114.4, October 2019, 875-76 (full text online)
  • ‘This highly detailed, technically demanding book is not one that undergraduates will be expected to read, but its findings should unquestionably be one’s starting point in introducing them to French verse.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.4, October 2019, 497 (full text online)
  • ‘The legacy of this book, and of its author’s life’s work, does not have to be, indeed, does not deserve to be, relegated to the lone furrow which he sometimes suggests he is ploughing. There is ample proof here to suggest that the accentual has a vital role to play within the metrical, that the peculiar tensions and hesitations of verse rhythm are produced, precisely, by the interplay between the two... Pensom’s work makes a welcome and valuable contribution.’ — David Evans, H-France 19.239, November 2019

St Teresa of Ávila: Her Writings and Life
Edited by Terence O'Reilly, Colin Thompson and Lesley Twomey
Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures 1910 September 2018

  • ‘The variety of topics and approaches in these essays, and the erudition and rigour of their authors, ensures that this volume represents an invaluable contribution to scholarship on St Teresa of Avila and will serve as a touchstone for future work on this saint and, more generally, on religious writing in the period.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.4, October 2019, 498-99 (full text online)
  • ‘Readers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds will find this collection fruitful and accessible, and scholars who are unfamiliar with Spanish will find faithful translations... The volume commemorates the five-hundredth anniversary of Teresa’s birth, but its imaginative, far-reaching perspectives on her life and legacy show that there is still ample appetite and space for future Teresian scholarship.’ — Catherine Maguire, Hispanic Research Journal 20.4, 2019, 409-10 (full text online)
  • ‘The contributors [...] deepen our understanding of Teresa by noting previously-overlooked sources and influences and emphasizing her theological contributions, which carry potential relevance in spiritual discussions today. As Thompson notes, in Teresa’s writings we encounter her not as an otherworldly being, but a person to whom modern-day readers can relate. The essays in this volume allow us further access to the human experiences, resultant insights and immediate legacy of one of Spain’s most famous saints.’ — Teresa Hancock-Parmer, Bulletin of Spanish Studies 97.2, 2020, 269-70

The Rhetoric of Exile: Duress and the Imagining of Force
Vladimir Zorić
Studies In Comparative Literature 3919 December 2016

  • ‘Since the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise and down to the exodus of Jews from Germany triggered by Kristallnacht, followed most recently by the flight of millions from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, exile has constituted a basic experience of human history and myth, summoning forth a library of commentary... Zorić has taken a rich and fascinating topic and exposed it fruitfully to various theoretical analyses.’ — Theodore Ziolkowski, Modern Language Review 113.2, April 2018, 363-64 (full text online)
  • ‘The book has something of the virtues of classical philology, such as erudition and close reading of the overall European literary tradition in original languages. It is equally commendable for widening its scope to the literary depictions of exilic experience in often overlooked East and Central European literatures, thus escaping the rather common fault of essentially reducing European intellectual and imaginative experiences to its Western parts.’ — Aleksandar Pavlović, European History Quarterly 48.2, 402-03