Published December 2016

John Ruskin's Continental Tour 1835: The Written Records and Drawings
Edited by Keith Hanley and Caroline S. Hull
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘At a time when scholars often find it difficult to find support for editions of archival and biographical materials relating to significant cultural figures, it is pleasing that this important volume has found its way into print through the endeavours of the editors and the MHRA, whose Legenda imprint makes high-quality editions of such materials available... The edition is perfectly conceived and delivers something approaching perfection. It should be of interest beyond Ruskin Studies, particularly to scholars of Romantic art, poetry, and landscape tourism, nineteenth-century travel, and Victorian science.’ — Mark Frost, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 863-64 (full text online)
  • ‘The interest of the texts collected in this volume is on the whole remarkable. They represent a variety of literary genres ranging from the prose diary, the letter in verse, the dramatic sketch, the short story narrative, genres through which the same travel matter is shaped and reshaped, demonstrating the precociousness and versatility of Ruskin’s genius, his witty ironic vein, but also his brilliant mastery of prose... The recent interest in emotional labour involved in diary and travel writing will certainly profit from the fresh material unearthed by this critical edition.’ — Emma Sdegno, Review of English Studies 69, September 2018, 803-05 (full text online)

Pascal Quignard: Towards the Vanishing Point
Léa Vuong
Research Monographs in French Studies 48

  • ‘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

Published February 2017

Agnès Varda Unlimited: Image, Music, Media
Edited by Marie-Claire Barnet
Moving Image 6

  • ‘The essays in this important and richly illustrated volume edited by Marie-Claire Barnet focus on the film, installation art, photography, and use of music by the multi-faceted and creative soon-to-be nonagenarian, Agnès Varda... An inspiring and valuable volume.’ — Dervila Cooke, H-France 18, March 2018, no. 51
  • ‘A wide-angle approach highlighting not only Varda’s move towards art installations in the past decades, but also the influence of various creative forms, some of them non-visual – including photography, sculpture, music, architecture, poetry, and even video gaming – on her earlier works. Contributions span an incredibly broad range of artistic and critical perspectives... Inspires the reader to (re-)discover Varda’s work and its ‘unlimited’ potential: not only in that her work resists labels, but also because her imagination and artistic legacy seem to be boundless.’ — Elise Hugueny-Léger, Modern and Contemporary France 26.1, 2018, 99-100 (full text online)
  • ‘The book’s subtitle suggests that it will give attention to the frequently overlooked music employed in (and often written for) Varda’s films, and here it does not disappoint, with Phil Powrie’s essay offering an excellently informed, disciplined, and particularly well-illustrated investigation of L’Une chante, l’autre pas as the ‘feminist musical’ Varda has claimed it to be, and Hannah Mowat’s brilliantly entitled ‘Lara Croft dans un champ de patates: A Ludomusicological Approach to Agnès Varda’ drawing on ‘the emerging discipline of ludomusicology: a field in which soundscape is inseparable from the act of gameplay’. That Mowat’s essay is the single most stimulating contribution to the volume... says much not just about the consistently high quality of its contents, but also about the remarkably enduring spirit of playfulness and invention that has characterized Varda’s entire career, and with which she continues to engage and entertain us.’ — Kate Ince, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 663-64 (full text online)
  • ‘The authors all speak with palpable enthusiasm about their subjects, making the book thoroughly enjoyable and engaging.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.3, July 2018, 371
  • ‘Any student of Varda’s work will find something indispensable in this collection, which enhances, but in no way exhausts, the growing body of research celebrating the variety, the challenge, and the inclusive playfulness of one of France’s greatest artists.’ — Alison Smith, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 482-83
  • ‘Une contribution riche et éclairante pour celles et ceux qui étudient l’oeuvre de Varda.’ — François Giraud, H-France 19, January 2019, no. 19

Published May 2017

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

  • ‘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)

  • ‘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)

Decadence and the Senses
Edited by Jane Desmarais and Alice Condé
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘I found Maxwell’s discussion of the tuberose, and more speci cally Walter Pater’s conscription of that flower to describe his own rarefied prose style, to be particularly interesting, as Pater’s writing is so often considered the acme of Decadent prose. It seems that the orchid that famously reminded Dorian Gray of the seven deadly sins should, perhaps, have been a tuberose. Equally interesting is Angela Dunstan’s suggestion that Theodore Watts-Dunton’s roman-à-clef Aylwin became for readers a means of owning the celebrity of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, or the notion extended by Liz Renes that John Singer Sargent’s Madame X should be considered a meditation on the white, sculptural body and its changing role in modern art.’ — Jamie Horrocks, English Literature in Translation 61.4, 2018, 525-28
  • ‘It is perhaps fitting that the unity of a book on Decadent literature should be best experienced ‘decomposed’ to give place to the independence of each chapter. There is no doubt, however, that the high quality of its constituent parts forms a significant contribution to Sensory Studies and that the collection is a ‘must-read’ for any student of Decadence at the fin de siècle and beyond.’ — Patricia Pulham, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 128-29 (full text online)
  • ‘Desmarais and Condé have done an enormous service by opening up this can of repulsive worms.’ — Dennis Denisoff, Victorian Studies 61.2, Winter 2019, 554-56

Published September 2017

Futurism: A Microhistory
Edited by Sascha Bru, Luca Somigli, and Bart Van den Bossche
Italian Perspectives 36

  • ‘The chapter structure is cleverly designed to replicate a ‘day in the life’ of a Futurist ‘new man’, with chapters focusing on places both large and small from ‘The Skyscraper’ to ‘The Bed’... This book was a pleasure to read and will reward both the serious scholar of Futurism and the more casual reader of twentieth-century Italian culture who may wish to dip in and out of the Futurist day.’ — Selena Daly, Modern Language Review 114.3, July 2019, 577-579 (full text online)

Sublime Conclusions: Last Man Narratives from Apocalypse to Death of God
Robert K. Weninger
Studies In Comparative Literature 43

  • unsigned notice, The Year's Work in English Studies 98.1, 2019, 657-58

Published November 2017

Performing Medieval Text
Edited by Ardis Butterfield, Henry Hope and Pauline Souleau
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Collectively, these studies effectively demonstrate the necessity for, and advantage of, an understanding of performance that transcends traditional academic boundaries and the volume, overall, serves as a solid exemplar of how to approach doing so.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.2, April 2019, 248 (full text online)
  • ‘An ambitious and wide-ranging exploration of performance in medieval European culture. Recognizing the ‘complex terminological web’ spun round the terms performance and performativity, the volume acknowledges and accepts performance as a ‘contested concept’. It also, importantly, recognizes the historical contingency of performance as an idea... The contributing essays illustrate both the ubiquity of performance in medieval culture and the very different ways it manifests in and through text, itself broadly conceived as manuscript, image, written word, and musical note.’ — Clare Wright, Modern Language Review 114.3, July 2019, 525-526 (full text online)
  • ‘This thought-filled and thought-provoking volume offers a polyphony of perspectives on, and examples of, medieval performance.’ — Blake Gutt, French Studies 73.4, October 2019, 622-23 (full text online)
  • ‘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

Minding Borders: Resilient Divisions in Literature, the Body and the Academy
Edited by Nicola Gardini, Adriana X. Jacobs, Ben Morgan, Mohamed-Salah Omri and Matthew Reynolds
Transcript 5

  • ‘The contributors not only bring to light the long history of border-making, but also the ways in which it is possible to construct a methodological framework by which to interrogate these practices.’ — Fariha Shaikh, Modern Language Review 114.4, October 2019, 845-46 (full text online)

Published January 2018

Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930: The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps
Andrea Gullotta
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Small and remote as it is, Solovki has always been central to Russian culture. Nearly all the central themes of Russian history — the power and schisms of the Orthodox Church and its intimacy with the state; the development of the Gulag — are reflected, or more often anticipated, in its history... The legacy of the Terror remains a battlefield. Books as scrupulously researched as Gullotta’s are invaluable.’ — Robert Chandler, Financial Times 27 April 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s case study of the SLON camp serves as a model for studies of Gulag writing, and makes a bold statement in favor of a new, synthesizing discourse about Gulag literature... All students of Russian literature and of the human condition owe a debt to Andrea Gullotta, who has tread on virgin snow, following in no one’s footsteps.’ — Lydia Roberts, Los Angeles Review of Books 3 May 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s scholarly, in-depth but quite readable book primarily examines the content of the printed output of work from Solovki in the early period 1923-30 and also considers the circumstances of its production, including the constantly shifting and always ambivalent relations between prisoners and camp administration.’ — Trevor Pateman, Reading This Book Online, 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s commendable study opens up a new area of Gulag research and adds considerably to our knowledge of the literature of the Soviet labour camps.’ — Sarah J. Young, Slavonic and East European Review 98.3, July 2020, 563-65 (full text online)
  • ‘An invaluable addition to a growing body of texts dedicated to understanding the multifaceted and complex cultural arena of Soviet labour camps. Gullotta effectively captures the uniqueness and plurality of the Solovki camp experience, preserving the many voices of the camp for future generations of historians and researchers.’ — Julie Draskoczy Zigoris, Modern Language Review 116.3, July 2021, 521-23 (full text online)

Published February 2018

The Modern Culture of Reginald Farrer: Landscape, Literature and Buddhism
Michael Charlesworth
Studies In Comparative Literature 36

  • ‘The clear strengths of this book are in its lucid prose, historical accuracy, and truly fascinating subject matter... Richly supported in terms of diverse textual materials, the book is also visually stunning and contains a number of wonderful illustrations, photographs, and reproduced artworks... Charlesworth’s book presents a compelling case for a renewed interest in Reginald Farrer’s writings, and will remain the definitive work on this topic for many years to come.’ — Jeffrey Mather, Modern Language Review 115.1, 2020, 164-65 (full text online)