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French Studies is published for the Society for French Studies by Oxford University Press. In the fifty years since its first publication, the journal has been a leading forum for the publication of ground-breaking work and for critical debate. Some twenty articles are published each year, as well as around 250 reviews. These notes are provided for the guidance of reviewers.


The review


The preparation of reviews for inclusion in French Studies is greatly facilitated by the co-operation of contributors, who are requested to use the following guidelines in preparing their copy for printing. Our house style is MHRA style, a detailed version of which can downloaded by clicking here. For preferred forms of spelling and of abbreviations, see The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981). Pressure on space in the journal remains severe. Care and economy in the presentation of copy will help the Editors to maintain as swift as possible a schedule for the publication of reviews. Contributors are requested to:

  • write reviews in French or in English, using where practicable the native language of the reviewer
  • adhere strictly to the upper word-limit (500 words), write less if this seems appropriate and contact the General Editor in advance if the work under review is thought to deserve fuller discussion than was originally suggested
  • write reviews in a single paragraph
  • give page references for quoted passages from the book under review
  • refer to the author or editor by surname only (except on first mention where a first name, or a personal or professional title, may be used in addition to the surname);
  • refer to works with which readers of French Studies may be expected to be familiar by their generally agreed short title, e.g. Grammaire générale, Dialogues sur l'éloquence, De la littérature (but A la recherche du temps perdu);
  • give references wherever possible to earlier French Studies reviews in which relevant bibliographical information may be found
  • exercise special restraint in reviewing conference proceedings and other collective publications (attempts at complete ‘coverage’ can easily produce unnecessarily lengthy reviews)
  • exercise special restraint in reviewing conference proceedings and other collective publications (attempts at 'coverage' can easily produce unnecessarily lengthy reviews);
  • avoid repeating in the body of the review information already given in the heading (e.g. 'This work, the latest in the series "Perspectives littéraires" . . .');
  • avoid expressions of the type 'it is impossible in a short space to do justice to . . .', 'it is important to note that . . .', or 'it is the opinion of the present reviewer that . . .';
  • avoid listing chapter or section titles, except in cases where such a list provides a concise summary of the contents of the work
  • type or print copy using double spacing, with an unjustified right-hand margin
  • ensure that all copy submitted is clear, correct and definitive
  • give the title of the institution of the reviewer at the end of the review on the left-hand side of the page and the name of the reviewer on the right-hand side
  • use the form of the title which the institution itself favours, e.g. University of Manchester, Université de Caen (but Université Blaise-Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand), University College London (but Trinity College, Dublin), omitting as a rule the definite article (but The Queen’s University of Belfast)
  • provide an accurate word count for each review submitted (excluding heading and reviewer’s name and institution)
  • include your e-mail address at the top of the review (the proofs will be sent out in pdf format to this address)
  • submit the review as an email attachment to Liz Skalka at


The following forms of heading indicate the style followed in French Studies, and should be used as models of punctuation and for the provision of bibliographical information:

  1. AGRIPPA D’AUBIGNÉ: Histoire universelle. Éditée avec une introduction et des notes par ANDRÉ THIERRY. Tome ix. 1594-1602. (Textes littéraires français, 458). Geneva: Droz, 1995. 434 pp. Pb 85 SwF.
  2. Lines of Thought: Discourse, Architectonics, and the Origin of Modern Philosophy. By CLAUDIA BRODSKY LACOUR. Durham, NC - London: Duke University Press, 1996. ix + 164 pp. Hb £43.95. Pb £14.95.
  3. Notable Encyclopedias of the Late Eighteenth Century: Eleven Successors of the 'Encyclopédie' Edited by FRANK A. KAFKER. (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 315). Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1994. 424 pp. HB £64.00; $116.00.
  4. The Plight of Emulation: Ernest Meissonier and French Salon Painting. By MARC J. GOTLIEB. (The Princeton Series in Nineteenth-Century Art, Culture and Society). Princeton University Press, 1996. xvii + 255 pp., 73 b&w ills, 4 colour plates. Hb £33.50; $45.00.
  5. L’Esprit du chiffon: le vêtement dans le roman français du XIXe siècle . By SHOSHANA-ROSE MARZEL. Bern: Peter Lang, 2005. x + 384 pp. Pb £40.20; $68.95; €57.40.

The title of the book and the name of the author or editor should be given as they appear on the title page. Titles within the title of the book should be given in single quotation marks (see example (c)). The title of a series should not as a rule be italicized or underlined. The place of publication should be given in English (see example (a)); the place of publication and the name of the publisher should be separated by a colon. The names of American states should be included only where necessary to eliminate ambiguity, and should be given according to the two-letter postal abbreviations (see example (b)); these abbreviations are to be found in the Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors.


Copyright of all material published in French Studies is assigned to the Society for French Studies. Contributors will be required to complete an assignment of copyright form on submission of their review.