Rococo Fiction in France 1600-1715: Seditious Frivolity
By Allison Stedman
“The book succeeds in its aim to ‘open up the field of early modern French studies to a greater receptiveness to this compendium-resistant trend in literary creation and publication”’(4). Stedman has provided a valuable conceptual toolbox with which to excavate this rich vein of neglected literary innovation.”
—Ellen R. Welch, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures, vol. 68 issue 4 (Dec. 2014)
"This thought-provoking study aims to rehabilitate a branch of French prose writing that has been traditionally overlooked or treated with disdain."
—Perry Gethner, Oklahoma State University; French Forum Winter 2014 Vol. 39, No. 1
“Susan Fischer’s contributions to theater studies — revising critical approaches to Spanish Golden Age plays away from the exclusive concentration on textual and contextual matters and moving instead toward issues of staging and performance—are enumerated and explicated by Mujica in the volume’s introduction, highlighting Fischer’s groundbreaking scholarship that connects ‘‘textual criticism and performance practice, Calderon and Shakespeare scholarship, classical theater and modern sociology, and psychology and political theory’’ (1). This volume of insightful and intelligent essays should be on the reading list of any scholar of early modern European theater.”
—Susan Paun De Garcia, Denison University; Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (Fall 2014)
The Matrimonial Trap: Eighteenth-Century Women Writers Redefine Marriage
By Laura E. Thoason
“The Matrimonial Trap succeeds admirably in demonstrating “that the novel was only part of a larger conversation about the meaning of marriage…[as writers attempted] to stabilize the social and individual value of marriage while the morals and standards that had traditionally justified it were shifting” (p. 154).”
—Katherine Montwieler, University of North Carolina, Wilmington; Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature (Fall 2014)
"Thomason's study of marriage provides a thoughtful examination of how women writers consciously and meticulously honed through writing their identities as women and would-be wives. She demonstrates that these women harnessed the power of rhetorical restraint and audience analysis in ways that were sophisticated and used those skills to empower themselves in a system that was purposefully constructed to strip them of such agency. For a well-trod academic topic, Thomason extracts a refreshing analysis of how female writers employed remarkable rhetorical dexterity to spring the matrimonial trap."
—Melissa Wehler, Central Penn College, The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer, September 2014
“Thomason usefully reminds the reader that even conservative rhetorics of gender offered considerable room for rhetorical play and self-determination. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.”
—M. E. Burstein, SUNY College at Brockport; CHOICE (July 2014)
Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals
By Manushag N. Powell
Powell's book is extensive in its survey, providing in-depth examinations of the authorial personae of the Female Tatler, British Apollo, Covent-Garden Journal, Inspector, Drury-Lane Journal, Old Maid, Connoisseur, Female Spectator, and Parrot. Powell 's mastery of her material is exemplary. Necessarily selective in its focus, I think wisely, and choosing to concentrate on lesser-studied journals than The Tatler, The Spectator, The Guardian, and The Rambler, Performing Authorship does not neglect those august periodicals but uses them as more familiar touchstones in its survey of forty-odd years of popular periodicals.
—Erin Mackie, Syracuse University; Eighteenth-Century Life (Fall 2014)
"The examination of eidolons' flexibility and rhetorical trickery will enlighten and entertain readers, who can compare such to those of satirists outside the periodical, such as Swift's in A Tale of a Tub--my sense is that students of satire have long identified artistry comparable to that found here in the essay periodical. The persuasive, ironic, and theatrical posturings shown in the periodicals should lead those "working outside the periodical" to benefit from Powell's study, as Chantel Lavoie observes in her very favorable review for Eighteenth-Century Fiction (26.2 [2013-14], 322-24). Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals makes working inside periodicals inviting and interesting."
—J. May, The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer, September 2014
Two new books, Coyness and Crime in Restoration Comedy: Women's Desire, Deception, and Agency by Peggy Thompson and A Race of Female Patriots: Women and Public Spirit on the British Stage, 1688-1745 by Brett D. Wilson, contribute to ongoing debates about the representation of women on the Restoration and eighteenth-century London stage.... Wilson and Thompson both bring productive attention to the cultural importance of female characters in the drama in this period. Thompson reveals a particular paradox that has escaped previous attention and may have contributed to the misogynistic expressions in the plays; Wilson, by contrast, shows why we should be returning to some of them in the first place.
—Laura J. Rosenthal, University of Maryland; Eighteenth-Century Life (Fall 2014)
Fiction and the Philosophy of Happiness: Ethical Inquiries in the Age of Enlightenment
By Brian Michael Norton
"The book is well-informed by Enlightenment philosophy, in particular some unfamiliar 18th-century treatises on happiness...the close readings Norton provides are incisive, accessible, and rewarding and each chapter is brilliantly conceived and executed. An important contribution to the growing body of work on literature and ethics."
—D.A. Robinson, Widener University; Choice (September 2014)
Eighteenth-Century Poetry and the Rise of the Novel Reconsidered
Edited by Kate Parker and Courtney Weiss Smith
"The contributors range from graduate students to the biggest names in the field, but all have produced learned, incisive, and original investigations into the points of contact between genres... This major collection from Bucknell, a leader in 18th-century studies, is required reading for scholars."
—J. T. Lynch, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark; Choice (August 2014)
"The author's demonstration of the exploration of inner space (both domestic and personal) by these three major writers who (in different respects) look forward to literary Modernism as much as they look back to the Realist tradition is a well-researched and original contribution to the understanding of their work."
—David Frier, University of Leeds; Bulletin of Spanish Studies (August 2014) vol. xcl no. 7
“In this superbly researched investigation, Wood (Scripps College) examines 11 Spanish women who traveled during a time when travel was facilitated by ever-improving transportation but was not so easy that it led to mass tourism… Wood achieves her goal of acquainting English-speaking readers with these women and their travel narratives by offering translated excerpts of their works, contextualized within a framework of relevant biographical information and accompanied by an image of each traveler. With this volume Wood makes a solid contribution to not only the study of travel literature but also the fields of women's studies, history, and anthropology.”
—R. Payne, University of St. Joseph; CHOICE (July 2014)
Anna Letitia Barbauld: New Perspectives
By William McCarthy and Olivia Murphy
“The contributors (among whom are many of the best critics of 18th- and early-19th-century literature, most notably Isobel Armstrong, Isobel Grundy, and Jocelyn Harris) write with a clarity and vigor that will appeal to nonspecialists and make this book genuinely useful for a broad range of readers.”
—D. L. Patey, Smith College; CHOICE (July 2014)
Feminism and the Politics of Travel after the Enlightenment
By Yaël Schlick
"In its depth, Schlick's text serves as both a survey of post-Enlightenment travel literature and a detailed analysis of gender in that context. Feminism and the Politics of Travel After the Enlightenment is undoubtedly a valuable resource for the specialist in the field, particularly those with prior knowledge of the period texts with which Schlick so masterfully engages."
—Emily Bailey, University of Pittsburgh; Nineteenth-Century Studies Association (June 2014)
Signs of Power in Habsburg Spain and the New World
Edited by Jason McCloskey and Ignacio López Alemany
"Jason McCloskey and Ignacio Lopez Alemany's volume offers a satisfying collection of essays addressing discursive intersections of power and authority and their representations in the early modern Spanish empire...Hispanists, especially those interested in the visual arts, will find Signs of Power worth investigating."
—Christopher B. Weimer, Oklahoma State University; Renaissance Quarterly, Summer 2014, vol. 67 issue 2
"This is a fascinating collection of essays by different authors who, by means of careful examinations of texts, shed light on the nature, status, and practice of power in sixteenth and early seventeenth-century Spain...the essays in this collection succeed in engaging the reader through their high level of scholarship on varied topics, all focused on the exercise and reception of Spanish Hapsburg power."
—Clara Bargellini, Universidad Nacional Auto'noma de Me´xico, Hispanic American Historical Review 94, no. 2 (May 2014)
"In addition to scholars of the novel, those interested in the French Revolution's impact on Britain and on the uses and abuses of history in political argument will find food for thought in Rooney's study."
—Marilyn Morris, University of North Texas; H-France Review Vol. 14 (April 2014), No. 60
John Galt: Observations and Conjectures on Literature, History and Society
Edited by Regina Hewitt
"Galt is elusive in the extreme, but this hypothesis is by far the most convincing description of the enigma so far."
—Andrew Monnickendam, Universitat Auto'noma de Barcelona; European Romantic Review 25:4, 496-502 (2014)
Reading 1759: Literary Culture in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain and France
Edited by Shaun Regan
"Reading 1759 calls attention to an interesting and pivotal moment in British and French history and reading culture by bringing together eleven essays on different aspects of the literature of that year."
—Leah Orr, Dickinson College; critiques de livres ECF 26, no. 3 © 2014 McMaster University
Yves Bonnefoy's Beginning and End of the Snow / Début et Fin de la Neige (translated by Emily Grosholz) was reviewed in The Sewanee Review:
"Snow - the recurring theme around which this beautifully haunting book of poems is principally organized - might be thought of, even more broadly, as a unifying emblem for Yves Bonnefoy's floating, fleeting, and sometimes vaporizing poetic words--the latter dissolution occurring especially when a word, like a fragile snowflake, dreams of attaining the limitless, the absolute...There have been a few other English translations since Bonnefoy published Début et Fin de la Neige in 1991...But no earlier attempts offer as much economical richness as the book now under review." — George Poe, The Sewanee Review, 122.1 (2014):157-160.
Jody Allen Randolph's Eavan Boland, part of the Contemporary Irish Writers Series, was reviewed on April 13, 2014 in the Irish Examiner:
"These chapters are singed with controversy and a great ferment in the public domain; the smell of a public burning comes off the pages. As scholar and theorist, Allen Randolph would eschew the poet Joseph Brodsky's warning that a writer has but a life and a work. The new scholarship has ensured that we now read poems through the highly glazed window of theory. In Allen Randolph's and Boland's cases, this is a happy match: this book is a monument to a long and scholarly relationship." — Thomas McCarthy
Michael Griffin's Enlightenment in Ruins: the Geographies of Oliver Goldsmith
"This volume, part of Bucknell's "Transits" series, devoted to 18th-century studies, offers a vital contribution toward understanding the work of an often underappreciated author. The extensive notes and bibliography support further study of Oliver Goldsmith by specialists in Irish and 18th-century literature." — Choice
"This book is a model of historically informed literary analysis, beautifully written and assiduously researched." — Norma Clark, in the February 5, 2014 issue of the Times Literary Supplement
Cintia Santana's Forth and Back: Translation, Dirty Realism, and the Spanish Novel (1975-1995) was reviewed in the January 2014 issue of Choice:
"Focusing on postdictatorship Spain, transition to democracy, and the meaning of "nation-ness," Santana (Stanford Univ.) takes a welcome look at the effervescent translations of US literature in Spain, in particular of "dirty realism... Expertly documented and soundly written, this book challenges how one reads across languages and how "nation-ness" is constructed vis-à-vis those readings." — Choice
Mother and Myth in Spanish Novels: Rewriting the Maternal Archetype
By Sandra J. Schumm
"...her study is extremely valuable in its focus upon female-authored novels of the early twenty-first century...it belongs in the libraries of all who value cogent arguments about the writers' efforts to transform and commemorate the figure of the mother through a process that 'focuses on remembering the mother...for self-knowledge and individuation, but [based as well in] another objective...to create a different world' (p. 160)"
—Teresa S. Soufas, Temple University; Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature (32.2/32.1) Fall 2013/Spring 2014