Recent reviews: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu & George MacDonald editions

A lovely review of Roderick McGillis and John Pennington’s edition of George MacDonald’s At the Back of the North Wind recently appeared in VII: An Anglo-American Literary Review. Daniel Gabelman writes:

“In addition to the text of At the Back of the North Wind and the seventy-six original illustrations by Arthur Hughes, the Broadview edition is packed with material such as a preface by Stephen Prickett, a lengthy introduction, footnotes, and a host of appendices on everything from “the Serial Publication of At the Back of the North Wind” to “Children’s Literature and the Victorian” to “Victorian Fairy-Tale Debate” to maps of London and a diagram of the parts of a horse…[I]t will undoubtedly become the new standard text for scholarly discourse on the novel and is also an outstanding choice for classroom use.”

—Daniel Gabelman, Teacher of English, Eastbourne College, reviewed in VII: An Anglo-American Literary Review, Volume 29

Also reviewed this month in the Times Literary Supplement was Teresa Heffernan and Daniel O’Quinn’s new edition of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Embassy Letters. The reviewer, Norma Clarke, offers an interesting overview of Montagu’s travels to the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century and the impact of her written accounts of the Ottoman culture; about the Broadview edition, Clarke writes:

“Immediately popular, the Letters retain their freshness. The voice is distinctive, and the personality commanding; some of the adventures are hair raising (the “frightful” precipices dividing Bohemia from Saxony were worse than anything in the Alps) and some of the individuals are curious and engaging. …A generous supply of appendices and notes situating the manuscript in the context of Orientalist debates, descriptions of Ottoman governance and society, eighteenth-century accounts of Islam, women and the harem, and the smallpox controversy makes this edition ideal for student use.”

—Norma Clarke, Times Literary Supplement, May 3, 2013

For more information on these editions, please visit

Posted on May 21, 2013