Legenda 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:

  • Language and Social Structure in Urban France — Edited by Mari C. Jones and David Hornsby:  ‘From a variationist’s perspective, this is an insightful volume, methodical in its approach to the subject matter, and careful to consider existing research from across the social sciences. Its overarching aims are very well addressed, and the proposals outlined by the contributors will undoubtedly form an important part of future research on Metropolitan French. The volume’s undoubted strength and significant contribution comes from the break in the ‘reciprocal ignorance pact’ (Fishman 1991) that characterises the relationship between sociology and sociolinguistics. As Pooley rightly suggests (p. 209), it is this break in tradition that must now spearhead new avenues of research.’ — Jonathan R. Kasstan, Journal of French Language Studies 26.2, July 2016, 209-11
  • Samuel Butler against the Professionals: Rethinking Lamarckism 1860–1900David Gillott:  ‘Gillott’s book provides a convincing and well-structured analysis of the work of the novelist, art historian and amateur scientist Samuel Butler in the late nineteenth-century British context, focus- ing in particular on his research on art and literature.’ — Cristiano Turbil, British Journal for the History of Science 49.2, 2006, 300-01
  • Variation and Change in French Morphosyntax: The Case of Collective NounsAnna Tristram:  ‘Anyone teaching variation in French will want to talk about the findings and reflections reported in this study. A remarkable amount of ground is covered in a small compass. This is a highly welcome addition to the Legenda list, and one must hope that further linguistics titles will be added to it before very long.’ — Nigel Armstrong, Journal of French Language Studies 26.2, 2016, 211-13
  • Exile and Nomadism in French and Hispanic Women’s WritingKate Averis:  ‘This book draws a new and original path within the analysis of contemporary women’s exilic writing and the nomadic configuration of identity. Not only does it develop key notions of exile and women’s writing, applying them to illustrative cases, it also articulates connections that overturn preconceived arguments, such as the exilic stereotyped figures still in use in Euro-American theorizations, or the negative connotations of exile, which are replaced by the idea of exile as a productive and creative site in which more fluid identities are rebuilt.’ — Marianna Deganutti, OCCT Review Online, October 2015
  • Regarding Manneken Pis: Culture, Celebration and Conflict in BrusselsCatherine Emerson:  ‘To arrive at the heart of understanding how this two-foot statue has come to mean so much to the people of Brussels and to express the wide variety of social relations and tensions of a complex city and a modern nation as a whole, Regarding Manneken Pis is an ideal resource.’ — Eileen M. Angelini, French Review 89.3, 2016, 60
  • Africa’s Lost Classics: New Histories of African Cinema — Edited by Lizelle Bisschoff and David Murphy:  ‘Much of the work of this volume is archaeological, seeking to surpass extant Anglophone knowledge of African film and its premises. Since the emergence of African film criticism in the late 1980s/early 1990s... ‘African cinema’ seemed to refer to sub-Saharan, Francophone film, leaving us the impression that it was born in 1962 with Ousmane Sembène’s Borom Sarret. These essays dispel that misprision.’ — Victoria S. Steinberg, French Review 89.3, 2016, 15
  • Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of African Dictatorship: The Aesthetics of TyrannyCécile Bishop:  ‘Une problématique intéressante et une contribution pertinente construite sur des travaux théoriques majeurs et un corpus littéraire et cinématographique qui demeurent d’actualité.’ — Parfait Bonkoungou, French Review 89.3, 2016, 13-14
  • Variation and Change in French Morphosyntax: The Case of Collective NounsAnna Tristram:  ‘While language variation and change have been the focal point for linguists on this side of the Atlantic, Tristram argues that studies on morphosyntactic variation in French studies are lacking due to a focus on phonology and dialectology as well as denial of variation and change in the French language. Tristram’s book is thus a welcome contribution.’ — Samira Hassa, French Review 89.3, 2016, 108
  • Taboo: Corporeal Secrets in Nineteenth-Century FranceHannah Thompson:  ‘This examination of some of the best-known prose in nineteenth-century French literature is especially masterful for the thoughtful – sometimes stunning – deployment of the readings and the overall structure of the study... In its sweeping consideration of the body in disarray, Thompson’s study places itself squarely within studies of the body while also relying upon the tenets of newer arenas of inquiry such as disability studies.’ — Tammy Berberi, Disability and Society 31.3, 2016, 431-33
  • Politics and the Individual in France 1930-1950 — Edited by Jessica Wardhaugh:  ‘With its wide range of case studies, embracing a large number of different aspects of political engagement during the period between the 1930s and the 1950s, this book offers an interesting perspective on relationships between the individual and political movements, how this has been portrayed both at the time and in more recent analyses, and the limits of individual agency during these decades. As the conclusion states, much work remains to be done in this area. This book makes an important contribution towards achieving this aim.’ — William H. E. Rispin, French History 30.2, June 2016, 276-77
  • Comparative Encounters between Artaud, Michaux and the Zhuangzi: Rationality, Cosmology and EthicsXiaofan Amy Li:  ‘This intelligent book raises important issues about comparative literature at its most challenging... All three thinkers are concerned with expression and performativity rather than with self-justification. The justification of this three-part comparison is clearly in the fluidity of thinking and its non-limitation.’ — Mary Ann Caws, French Studies 70.2, April 2016, 278-79
  • Politics and the Individual in France 1930-1950 — Edited by Jessica Wardhaugh:  ‘This collection offers stimulating insights into mid-twentieth century political life... More important, the contributions illustrate how the political polarization that preceded and followed the Second World War compelled many people to commit to a party or cause, even when this resulted in disrupted family life and professional life or class and ethnic identities, producing the competing memories of the period that persist today.’ — Rebecca Scales, European History Quarterly 46.2, May 2016, 413-15
  • Britain, Spain and the Treaty of Utrecht 1713-2013 — Edited by Trevor J. Dadson and J. H. Elliott:  ‘A concise, well-grounded and up-to-date synthesis of a topic in international relations and law, both ancient and contemporary, which will be an indispensable work of reference for further studies on Utrecht, Gibraltar and British–Spanish relations in early modern times.’ — Juan Eloy Gelabert Gonzalez, European History Quarterly 46.2, May 2016, 340-41
  • Byron, Shelley, and Goethe’s Faust: An Epic ConnectionBen Hewitt:  ‘This is not the first study of the relationship of Goethe’s Faust to English Romantic writing, but it is an original contribution in its own right by virtue of the particular texts it focuses on and the wide-ranging, complex picture that emerges... the material is carefully assembled, and the twists and turns of the discussion are full of valuable insights.’ — David Hill, British Association for Romantic Studies Review 47, 2016, 32
  • Narrative Responses to the Trauma of the French RevolutionKatherine Astbury:  ‘Katherine Astbury’s Narrative Responses offers a fascinating counterpoint to the many studies that have focused on literary culture in pre-revolutionary France. Astbury asks important questions about novels produced during the Revolution: What kinds of texts did contemporaries want to read? How influenced were their authors by current events? And, finally, how political were those texts?’ — Mette Harder, Eighteenth-Century Fiction 28.3, Spring 2016, 593-94
  • Dostoevsky and the Epileptic Mode of BeingPaul Fung:  ‘This book continues the philosophical discussion of Fedor Dostoevskii started by Friedrich Nietzsche, Lev Shestov, Alex de Jonge, and many others. Paul Fung de- scribes existential experiences of caesura (suspension), timelessness, and anticipation of death, which he attributes to some of Dostoevskii’s characters and, possibly, to the writer himself.’ — Irina Sirotkina, Slavic Review 75.1, Spring 2016, 210-11
  • German Narratives of Belonging: Writing Generation and Place in the Twenty-First CenturyLinda Shortt:  ‘The texts are frequently autobiographical, consisting of diary entries and lived family experience. Methodological approaches range from feminist, memory and cultural studies to humanist geography, engaging with the writers’ often experimental use of language. This book will appeal to all those interested in contemporary German literature and identity.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.2, 2016, 239-40
  • Regarding Manneken Pis: Culture, Celebration and Conflict in BrusselsCatherine Emerson:  ‘In this detailed and investigative study, the multiplicity of interpretations to which the statue has been subjected comes to the fore... The iconic Manneken Pis straddles French-speaking and Flemish-speaking communities and cultures, and Emerson teases out these narratives and their ramifications.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.2, 2016, 235
  • Dada as Text, Thought and TheoryStephen Forcer:  ‘This cogent and wide-ranging study... challenges the reader to reassess Dada as a far from simplistic phenomenon exerting a radical influence on contemporary culture.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 52.2, 2016, 235
  • Sebald’s Bachelors: Queer Resistance and the Unconforming LifeHelen Finch:  ‘An early review of W.G. Sebald’s first fictional work published in English, The Emigrants (1996), contained the observation that his narrators and his other significant characters are ‘always male’... Yet until Helen Finch’s study of Bachelors in Sebald, there has been no satisfactory or truly systematic study of male characters and homoerotic undercurrents in Sebald.’ — Mark R. McCulloh, Monatshefte 108.1, 2016, 150-52