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My research interests lie in the field of French literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. My research has focused in particular, and at different times, on the works of Voltaire, Stendhal, Zola, Maupassant, and Mallarmé. From 2009 to 2011 I held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for a project entitled 'Moses or Orpheus? The Poet as Lawgiver in Nineteenth-Century French Literature', in which I set out to examine how poets and writers envisaged the role of the poet and the nature and function of the 'poetic' during the period. My book Unacknowledged Legislators: The Poet as Lawgiver in Post-Revolutionary France: Chateaubriand-Staël-Lamartine-Hugo-Vigny was published by Oxford University Press in April 2016, and I am now working on a sequel, to include discussion of Nerval, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Laforgue, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé, among others.


Selected Publications

‘Mallarmé and Poetry: Stitching the Random’, in Christopher Prendergast (ed.), A History of Modern French Literature: From the Sixteenth Century to the Twentieth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017), pp. 495-513

Unacknowledged Legislators: The Poet as Lawgiver in Post-Revolutionary France: Chateaubriand-Staël-Lamartine-Hugo-Vigny (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

‘The Voice of the Unconscious: Laforgue and the Poet as Lawgiver’, Dix-Neuf, 20:1 (Feb. 2016), 1-20

‘Strategic Gaps: Poetry and the Sixth Sense from Chateaubriand to Mallarmé’, Dix-Neuf, 19:2 (July 2015), 113-29

‘Flaubert’s Style and the Idea of Literary Justice’, Dix-Neuf, 17:2 (July 2013), 156-82

 ‘White Magic: Voltaire and Galland’s Mille et une nuits’, in Scheherazade's Children. Global Encounters with the Arabian Nights, ed. Philip F. Kennedy and Marina Warner (New York and London: New York University Press, 2013), pp. 127-42

'Prophétie ou invention? Pour une problématique du poète législateur au XIXe siècle', in Les Religions du XIXe siècle. Actes du IVe Congrès de la Société des études romantiques et dix-neuviémistes (26-28 novembre 2009), ed. Sophie Guermès et Bertrand Marchal, SERD, 2011, 22 pp, at

Stéphane Mallarmé (London: Reaktion Books, 2010)

(Translator and editor) Voltaire, Candide and Other Stories, Oxford World's Classics, 2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom (London: Bloomsbury, 2005; paperback, 2006)

'"Les Chiffres et les lettres": Mallarmé's "Or" and the Gold Standard of Poetry', Dix-Neuf, 2 (April 2004), 44-60,  Article Weblink

'Mallarmé's Interior Designs', Romance Studies, 22 (2004), 3-15

(Translator and editor), Zola, Germinal, Penguin Classics (London: Penguin, 2004)

Mallarmé and Circumstance: The Translation of Silence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004)

(Translator and editor) Maupassant, A Life: The Humble Truth, Oxford World's Classics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)

(Translator and editor), Zola, La Bête humaine, Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press, 1996)

Unfolding Mallarmé: The Development of a Poetic Art (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996)

The Fables of Reason: A Study of Voltaire's 'contes philosophiques' (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993)

Stendhal's Violin: A Novelist and his Reader (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988)