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Essai périodique et modernité

The reviewers reviewed”: Criticism in Eighteenth-Century Letters to the Editor

Samuel Baudry
p. 301-312

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  • 1  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1770) 608. The primary source (...)

To the editor of The London Magazine:
Sir, Finding you appropriate a part of your publication to criticism on the Monthly Review, I take the liberty to send you my thoughts concerning it.
That the work has had some share of reputation, is certain; but that it loses it daily, is no less so [...]. I am of opinion, Mr. Editor, that although the proprietor might formerly employ two or three fanatical persons in the manufacture of it, he may have found it necessary to dismiss those journeymen, and to take on some old woman to be his assistant; for who but an old woman could write such remarks as the Monthly Review abounds with? [Signed “X.Y.Z.”]1

1A letter like this one would be a fairly common ingredient in a British monthly periodical of the second half of the eighteenth century. One of the numerous testimonies to the public debate going on in newspapers, coffee-houses, pamphlets; a standard mixture of civic concern, sarcastic censure, and commercial infighting spiced up, in this case, with a dash of misogyny and ageism. In this article I simply want to focus on one specific aspect of such a letter: the fact that it is a letter – not a self-standing or anonymous essay, but one moment in an ongoing debate between personalised speakers. And from this perspective I would like to suggest some perspectives to reconsider the constitution of the Habermasian public sphere which seems so perfectly exemplified here.

  • 2  The shifting personalities of the journalists were also discussed in the second part of his doctor (...)

2This study aims at pursuing the research accomplished by Alain Bony on the earlier periodical like the Spectator. I will rely, in particular, on the theoretical approach presented in Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, “Characters in Tatler, Spectator and Guardian” (241-61).2

  • 3  The link between periodicals and the rise of a public sphere is introduced in Habermas, 14-26.
  • 4  For the classical formulation of this idea, see Langford in particular, “The Progress of Politenes (...)

3Periodical publications have – nearly from the start – welcomed contributions from their readers. The Observator, founded by Sir Roger L’Estrange in 1681, The Universal Historical Bibliotheque, created in 1687 by Jean de la Croze, asked their readers to send them letters and questions. The Athenian Gazette: or Casuistical Mercury (launched in 1691 by John Dunton) was entirely made up of readers’ questions and the journal answers: Whether the torments of the damn'd are visible to the saints in Heaven? & vice versa? Whether Negreos shall rise also at the last Day? Why is the sea salt? Whether is happier a Married or an Unmarried State?; Whether it is proper for Women to be Learned? (Quoted in Demaria 530). This formula eventually evolved into the essay periodical of the early eighteenth century, of which the Spectator is the finest example. The letters published by Steele and Addison have been amply studied and have been the ground on which Habermas founded his history of the public sphere of debate3 and on which rests our vision of eighteenth century England as a polished society.4

  • 5  See for example Bossis.

4Polished debate was of course not confined to published letters; correspondence as a genre is an essential component of the eighteenth-century culture – private letters, open letters, newsletters, epistolary novels have been rightly given a central place in literary and historical studies.5

5What this research initiated here ultimately aims at, is to look at these theories and histories from a unified point of view, from the common ground that they share; I do not want to inquire once again into the public discussions of Jacobite threats, economic reforms or fashionable plays – but I would like to explore what it means to discuss these questions in a written form that is at the same time public and private, addressed to one person and to many, critical and ironic, signed and secret.

6And, as I have hinted at the beginning of this article, my aim here is even narrower: I only want to look at those letters, purportedly sent by readers, which comment on reviews published in periodicals such as the Monthly Review or the Critical Review between 1770 and 1774. This contribution intends to be no more than a sort of meta-critical examination which will, eventually, and hopefully, allow us to uncover the basic structure and rhetoric of letters in periodicals.

7The phrase “the Reviewer reviewed” was something of a cliché in the monthly of the 1770s. Correspondents in the Gentleman’s Magazine and in the two London Magazines, in the Town and Country and the Court and City magazines thus (or with the equivalent expression “the Reviewers contrasted”) introduce the meta-critical letters in which they analyse, contest, ridicule or laud the reviews they have read. The letters vary in length but can become full-fledged essays. What identifies them as correspondence is their textual referentiality: they refer to a precise article or previously published letter; they are not self-standing but they reply to a prior text.

  • 6  The Town and Country Magazine; or Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainmen (...)

8A perhaps extreme example can be found in the Town and country for January 1770.6 In a 6-page-long letter, “G.B.” endeavours to analyse the reviews, which appeared in the Critical and the Monthly of the “three Oxonian prize-poems.” The imposed theme was the conquest of Quebec and General Wolf’s death. This letter was motivated by a feeling that the reviews, in particular that of the Monthly, had not been fair. So G.B. “determined to examine, at [his] leisure, all the pieces published on this subject, with a resolution to do strict justice [...] to the several authors.” He begins with Mr. Howard’s Conquest of Quebec, which received the first prize by the university. G.B. on the whole agrees with the judgements of both the Critical Review, which finds it is a “decent performance for an academical exercise” and the Monthly Review which calls it “a spirited, elegant, and correct performance.” But G.B.’s annoyance begins to rise when he realises, “that this encomium is to be supported at the expense of the other young candidates for the Academical Prize.” He observes that Mr Howard’s poem is indeed very fine but “by no means the correct performance which it is represented to be”. Some of its lines “have indeed that ease, harmony, and expression which cannot fail to excite pleasure”, but G.B. is far less satisfied with a simile imperfectly modelled on Homer: “a simile is not commonly allowed that does not correspond in every part. In which respect this first allusion is faulty.” Nevertheless, and very generously, G.B. confesses that “[y]et, with this impropriety, the lines are the best in the whole poem.”

9Some more serious failures are then examined:

His next paragraph needs an explanation. The general is represented as battering Quebec without intermission, whose solid walls nevertheless stand unshaken [...]. Whereas it appears by the printed accounts that his batteries at Pont Levi entirely destroyed the lower town [...].

10Verisimilitude has been forsaken; Mr Howard has deviated from historical truth. This is, for G.B., a serious shortcoming, and one the Monthly did not even notice.

11The same analytical pattern is applied to the next two poems. First G.B. confronts the Monthly’s review to the actual text; finds it wanting; and then proposes his own balanced account. To introduce his own review of the second poem, G.B. first quotes the Monthly: “This performance (proceeds the Monthly Reviewers) is a tissue of frigid narratives, and absurd or trifling conceits.” G.B. then rectifies this appraisal: “On the contrary, the narrative is greatly enlivened, and of absurd or trifling conceits only one instance is produced”. The original review is wrong not only in its assessment of the poem but also in its demonstration; the Monthly Review lacks both taste and honesty: “this pitiful remark bespeaks a want of honesty or common sense.” At times the reviewer is depicted as a gross forger, modifying the original lines or inventing examples.

What pity [exclaims G.B.] it is that so much wit should want a meaning! For this too is a piece of original nonsense, of the gentle critic’s own composition, to which there is nothing analogous in the lines. [...] Only the critic has been, as usual, a little disingenuous in his quotation, having enervated the line, by altering the words [...].

12And G.B. concludes “Such are the improved arts of modern criticism! [...] Such is the integrity and candour of this egregious critic, who sets up for a director of the public taste.” This ultimate remark focuses on a recurring theme: the public good. The incoherencies of the poems, their lack of verisimilitude or of correctness is nothing compared to the dishonesty of the reviewers whose responsibility to the public is here grievously ignored. G.B.’s position is in fact rather paradoxical, but is not original; it is the position of much critical writing of the second half of the eighteenth century. He claims for himself what he refuses others: as a part of the public he joins in the critical discussion and he rejects arguments he disagrees with; but as a guardian of the public he worries that the public might be unable to do same. He is at the same time with the public and over the public.

13As I have argued, this paradoxical point of vantage is certainly not unique; it is re-enacted, sometimes more explicitly, in many letters I have read; it is a stumbling block in many critical theories. It is part of a series of paradoxes, all interconnected, at the core of the rising public sphere. The thorough exploration of all their ramifications letters published in periodicals remains to be undertaken; in the meantime, I will point out an instance of their significant and complex effects.


14It begins with the surprised realisation by a reader of the London Magazine that

  • 7  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (November 1771) 552-53.

It rarely happens that the manufacturers of the Monthly and Critical Reviews take notice of the same articles in the same month. The reason is obvious. They are afraid of exposing themselves by passing two sentences that will be diametrically opposite.7

15The article then explains what happens when “such mighty criticks”, as the author calls them, do pick up the same books for reviewing.

If the subject of a new book should happen to be political, their opinions seldom coincide; because the Critical Review is conducted by enemies to liberty, and the Monthly by trimmers in utrunque paratis [that is, “ready for both eventualities”]. The former condemn with all the rage and impotence of hair-brained enthusiasts, and the latter talk about and about it without saying anything decisive on either side.

16And when they choose works not connected with politics they differ even more widely. The London Magazine quotes the reviews of The Unfortunate Lovers by William Renwick. The Critical Review speaks thus: “Whether the distresses of Damon and Celia be genuine or not, we will not pretend to affirm; [...] It is not easy for us to conceive that the publick can be interested in the piece before us [...].” Whereas the Monthly Review says: “[...] as far as the distresses of our fellow-creatures are interesting to humane and generous minds, they will not fail to engage the reader’s attention [...].” From these two opinions the London Magazine concludes:

What can be more diametrically opposite than these two determinations? Were the criticks possessed of any judgment, were they any how qualified for the task which they undertake, could they so widely differ? This contrast might be extended to volumes; but we must beware of exhausting the patience of our readers, who may perhaps think such criticks unworthy of notice.

17The conflicting aspirations, the contradictory demands seem here impossible to untangle. They illustrate the paradoxes and the tension inherent to acts of criticism in the eighteenth century: on the one hand, differences of opinion are extolled (each reader can judge for himself or herself, opinions on a book might be different). On the other hand, the conclusions reached by good readers must be the same; good readers are better than reviewers. But readers can be badly influenced by bad reviewers; the reviews are concerned by the public, the reviews of reviews are worried for the public – and yet no one admits to being the public.

  • 8  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (September 1771) 435.

18The starting point of these remarks is the different conclusions reached by the reviewers: serious, credible criticism should not fluctuate in its inferences; useful books should always be recognised as such and consequently recommended; dangerous works should always be identified and vehemently rejected. This necessary congruence of opinion is taken again in another letter published in The London Magazine and signed “HYPERCRITICUS.”8 It acquaints readers with “New canon of criticism extracted from the Monthly Review.

19There are four of them: the principal canon, and that on which most of the rest are founded, is “[t]o employ little or no attention on the subject to be criticised”; to illustrate this the London Magazine points out that the Monthly fails to notice a syntactical error in a sentence they quote from the book on language they are reviewing.

20Another canon of general use is “[t]o blame in others what we practice ourselves.” In conformity to this canon, the Monthly Reviewers condemn Mr. Baker’s ignorance, for his using the barbarous phrase some few; yet in the same number they themselves use that expression.

21The third canon is seldom to hazard a positive sentence on a work which is likely to divide the opinions of the public.” The problem here is that the criticism of the Monthly fails to prevent readers from reading the wrong books because the reviewers are unable to see the errors and use smokescreen rhetoric to hide this failure

22The fourth canon is “[t]o take no thought about being consistent.” This sums up the most common argument raised by readers against reviewers: they do not follow logical steps, they do not respect empirical procedures, they are not scientific enough. Behind this nickpicking, this quibbling, these complaints of unfairness and political bias, what the “hypercritical” readers request is a criticism modelled on the Newtonian method (itself partly wishful thinking): reviewers should be no more and no less than purely experimental physicists. They should start with the facts and consistently, patiently induct their conclusions. The unsus­tainability of this requirement is the source of the tension we observed. It should be noted that all the faults detected in the reviewers (inconsistency, unfairness, biased points of views...) are just as much visible in the letters of the hyper-reviewers.


  • 9  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (May 1771) 255.

23The “Friend to the poor,” another case of hypercritical reader, follows the same righteous route, faces the same analytical obstacles, and founders in the same theoretical mire.9 The London Magazine, to whom the letter is addressed, is actually rather humble here, as the letter is a rebuke of the Magazine itself:

Sir, It was with much concern I saw in your review for January, the following remark upon Mr. Robinson’s poem, entitled, The Village oppressed, ‘That he had created a number of misfortune, for the sake of showing his abilities in lamenting them.’

24Our reader then disapprovingly compares this kind of judgment to those passed by the Monthly Review, where the reviewers usually “commend as truths the mere chimaeras of fancy, and to condemn the vigorous shoots of imagination as absurdities”. The “Friend to the poor” then explains why this criticism in the Magazine was false and unfair:

But give me leave to observe, who have resided several years in a country distant from the metropolis, that there is not a complaint in Mr. R’s performance, which is not as experimentally true as poetically just.

25Here can be found the same obsession with experimental truth: Robinson’s poem is good because it can be proved to reflect the truth. The letter goes on with this kind of empirical demonstration for some time and concludes with an appeal to the public good. But with the signatures a doubt emerges: the hyper-critique accusing the Magazine, which has the good grace to publish his letter, is a very poor speller – indeed he signs “a Frend” to the poor. Another reading of the letter backs up this doubt but does not confirm it decisively; the letter might be meant to be read ironically, as a parody of hypercritical readers or of pretentious busybodies; but here this possibility remains entirely uncertain. Other letters will be more openly ironic or parodic.


26Irony is, in any case, a crucial and fascinating device in letters of readers. It is more or less obvious but it should always remain a reading option. It significantly changes the role of the readers of periodicals and transforms the evaluation of epistolary public debate. Many theoretical questions are raised by such a pervasive use of irony (in particular undecidable irony) and I will not attempt to solve them now; I will content myself with pointing out a few problematic occurrences.

Its gentle bosom, undisturb’d with foam
Reflects the image of my peaceful home;
There, pleas’d with thee, my ducks in idle freak,
mark the trembling shades with silver streaks

  • 10  George Smith, Six Pastorals. London: 1770.
  • 11  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1770) 608-09.

27This pastoral description of a country house by a river, an extract of a poem by Smith,10 was reviewed by the Monthly who gave a rather ungenerous and scatological interpretation of the last line by paraphrasing it as “the ducks marking the grass with small silver streaks of water”. In a letter addressed to the London Magazine,11 “CLODIO”, in the obviously parodic tone of a precious and pretentious critique, reviews the Monthly’s account, defends their interpretation of the poem and uses it as an example of the Monthly’s superior reviewing skills over those of the London Magazine, to whom the letter is addressed:

To the Author of the London Magazine. Often have I thought, thou editor of the London Magazine, that thou must be an enemy to learning and sound criticism, or thou wouldst not continue thy malicious attacks on the writers of the Monthly Review.

28And to emphasize this supremacy, Clodio suggests another interpretation, less damaging for Smith, that the London Magazine might have, erroneously, proposed:

Now thou, perhaps, wilt venture to assert, that the ducks mark the trembling shades in the water with silvers streaks, and that these criticks know nothing of what they are criticising. Poor Mr Editor, how I pity thee!

29Let me try and order the various levels of criticism at work here: Smith published a pastoral with a number of infelicitous lines; the Monthly published an ironic review of it, underlining its ludicrous aspects (defecating ducks as the ultimate picturesque); the London published a parodic letter (by an actual reader or by a more perennial contributor of the magazine) defending the Monthly, therefore – as the letter is obviously parodic – suggesting that the Monthly’s reading was wrong. But ultimately the ludicrous reading of the poem is not erased – if anything it is even emphasised and spread by the magazine – and we are left with undecidable conclusions: who parodies whom? Who thinks what of the poem?

  • 12  The Town and Country Magazine; or Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainmen (...)

30The problem is here purely rhetorical; a second example will tackle more ideologically charged issues: “You will infinitely oblige me, I protest, by inserting this letter of mine in your next Maggy; because I wish extremely to have it sail into the hand of a young lady to whom I intend to make my addresses.”12 This letter, addressed to the editor of the Town and Country Magazine relies on one of the admitted functions of eighteenth-century periodicals: they have a social responsibility. Starting with the Spectator, many letters have been sent to journals and magazines asking for advice or practical help in marital matters. Here, the author wants his letter published so that it can reach a female reader, influence her, and prepare her for marriage (with the author of the letter). The problem is that young lady’s “violent passion for bold riding” of which she should be cured. This looks like one of those many articles and letters advocating a greater control over increasingly emancipated women. The argument here is against her unnatural masculinisation: she is a “female Nimrod,” riding like man – too much and without decorum.

31Once again the signature sets off the alarm: the author of this letter is “Billy Gentle” and he lives on “Maiden-Lane”. So who is having a joke, and at whose expense? Is this letter an attempt to regain control over deviant female behaviours; or an attack on effeminate men? Are sentimentality and over-sensibility parodied? And if so what are the consequences on the magazine and on letter-writing, whose raison d’être is precisely to encourage sentiments and sociability?


  • 13  On the questions of authenticity and adaptation see Bond “Introduction: V. Letters from correspond (...)

32To these questions I will add a further level of undecidability. So far I have purposely avoided a nagging question in this study: were the letters written by the journalists themselves or were they freely sent by genuine readers? The question can be answered with some precision only for a few periodicals. For the majority we can only guess. Most of them did receive many unsolicited contributions; but journalists wrote many of their own contributions in the form of letters, and most of the authentic contributions were to a lesser or greater extent re-written before publication, which makes it difficult (and probably meaningless) to distinguish between a professional writer and an occasional corre­spondent.13 Even more disconcerting is the fact that these readers and journalists used various, changing and conflicting personae for their letters: the same person could write from different perspectives – sometimes as a man, sometimes as a woman; sometimes a Tory, sometimes a Whig.

  • 14  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1770) 608.

33Let me return to the first letter I have quoted: “for who but an old woman could write such remarks as the Monthly Review abounds with?”14 The author of the letter then mentions some lines from the Review and concludes:

Observe, Mr Editor, the wit, the keenness, of this remark; read it over and over, and admire it; doubtless it must strike the readers of the Monthly Review with surprise, that the pen of mortal man, or of mortal old woman, should ever convey such elegant instruction.

34More sarcastic comments follow, on the Review’s attempted (or successful) manipulation of its reading public: “Truely a fine subject for the public to bestow their attention upon, and they are, no doubt, highly obliged to their Reviewers for finding out that they have bestowed it!” The public of the Monthly has wasted its time with the publication – which nevertheless artlessly acknowledges the fact, and thus doubly humiliate its readers. Who is writing this? Who is pointing out to the public its limitations, its failings? The letter is signed “X.Y.Z.” He actually is no mysterious correspondent, as we happen to know that one of the contributors of the Town And Country Magazine, Vicesimus Knox, an English minister, used this signature. He also used (at least) two others: “Nemo” and “Titus Vespasian”.

  • 15  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1785) 652-53.

35“Nemo” wrote letters criticising Church policy, signed a letter telling the life of a “strolling player”, and usually complained that a good education brought little reward. More surprisingly – and unsettlingly – he also reappears as a character in a letter sent by “an occasional correspondent” (in 1785),15 who introduces him as a “talkative, unmeaning upstart.” The letter shows Nemo making a fool of himself during a literary conversation in which he compares the alphabet drawn by his younger child to the essays of Steele and “Dadisson”, maintaining that the former is “the finest piece of writing as ever was penned.” As to the initials “X.Y.Z.” they more memorably resurfaced in September and October 1821 in the London Magazine as the signature of De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. Signatures are thus inter­changeable masks, sometimes with an attached personality, as in this case, where these three letters conjured a highly critical and dissatisfied, but usually quite moral citizen.

36I take these instances as warnings: to understand the constitution of a public sphere of critical debate during the eighteenth century we should not take for granted the roles of the “journalists” and of the “readers;” we should be alert to the constant possibility of irony; we should take into account the systematic role-playing of the authors and the endless echoes they evoke. The letters are impersonations, more or less openly so, but you can never be sure: the effeminate “Billy Gentle” and the slow-witted “Old Woman” might be one and the same person – especially as this last epithet probably was a pique to the editor of the Monthly’s wife, Mrs. Griffith, a regular contributor, under various guises, to the review.

  • 16  For a study of reviewing practices in the late eighteenth century, see Roper. For an up to date di (...)

37The undecidable identity of the letter-writer, the impossibility to distinguish between journalists and actual readers, and the conflict they engage in, actually provide a potential key to understand the paradoxical critical position I have underlined. In the second half of the eighteenth century the reviews (like the Monthly or the Critical) progressively stopped publishing letters of readers; only the magazines retained this space of public debate. So that the progressive professionalization of the former, the “mighty criticks”, might have been perceived as a threat to common reading public, and thus fostered this amateur and vengeful meta-reviewing I have presented here – an ultimate opportunity of debate that the reviews of the next century, in particular the Edinburgh Review, would brutally suppress.16

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Addison, Joseph and Richard Steele. The Spectator. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 5 vols. Oxford : Clarendon, 1965.

Baudry, Samuel. “ ‘Everything conducive to the publick good’ : Les premières lettres de lecteurs dans la presse britannique au début du xviiie siècle.” Études Épistémè [Online], 26 | 2014, Online since 09 December 2014, connection on 27 November 2016.
< ; DOI : 10.4000/episteme.302>

Bony Alain. Joseph Addison et la Création Littéraire : Essai Périodique et Modernité. Lille : Atelier national de reprod. des thèses, Univ. de Lille III ; Lyon : C.E.R.A.N. diff., Univ. Lyon-2, 1985.

Bony Alain. Joseph Addison, Richard Steele : The Spectator et l’essai périodique. Paris : Didier, 1999.

Bossis, Mireille, ed. L'épistolarité à travers les siècles. Stuttgart : Franz Steiner, 1990.

Demaria, Robert Jr. “The Eighteenth-Century Periodical Essay.” John Richetti, ed. The Cambridge History of English Literature, 1660-1780. Cambridge: CUP, 2005.

Habermas, Jürgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Trans. Thomas Burger. Cambridge: Polity, 1989.

Heyd, Uriel. Reading Newspapers: Press and the Public in Eighteenth-Century Britain and America. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2012.

Langford, Paul. A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727-1783. Oxford: OUP, 1992.

Roper, Derek. Reviewing before the Edinburgh, 1788-1802. London: Methuen, 1978.

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1  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1770) 608. The primary sources are quoted from the ECCO database, published by Gale.

2  The shifting personalities of the journalists were also discussed in the second part of his doctoral thesis, Joseph Addison et la création littéraire: “Le Narrateur de l’Essai Périodique” (163-341).

3  The link between periodicals and the rise of a public sphere is introduced in Habermas, 14-26.

4  For the classical formulation of this idea, see Langford in particular, “The Progress of Politeness”, 59-121.

5  See for example Bossis.

6  The Town and Country Magazine; or Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainment (January 1770) 25-31.

7  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (November 1771) 552-53.

8  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (September 1771) 435.

9  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (May 1771) 255.

10  George Smith, Six Pastorals. London: 1770.

11  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1770) 608-09.

12  The Town and Country Magazine; or Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainment (Supplement, 1770) 703.

13  On the questions of authenticity and adaptation see Bond “Introduction: V. Letters from correspondents,” Addison and Steele I, xxxvi- xliii.

14  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1770) 608.

15  The London Magazine. Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (December 1785) 652-53.

16  For a study of reviewing practices in the late eighteenth century, see Roper. For an up to date discussion of the consequences of these mutations on the development of the Habermassian Public Sphere see Heyd 31-80. The professionalization of the letter-writer is further discussed in Baudry, “Everything conducive to the publick good”.

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Bibliographical reference

Samuel Baudry, The reviewers reviewed”: Criticism in Eighteenth-Century Letters to the EditorXVII-XVIII, HS3 | 2013, 301-312.

Electronic reference

Samuel Baudry, The reviewers reviewed”: Criticism in Eighteenth-Century Letters to the EditorXVII-XVIII [Online], HS3 | 2013, Online since 15 July 2016, connection on 15 May 2021. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Samuel Baudry

Samuel Baudry est Maître de conférences à l’Université Lumière-Lyon 2. Il est membre du laboratoire LIRE (UMR 5611) où il co-dirige un projet sur les lettres de lecteurs dans la presse du XVIIIe siècle. Il est l’auteur d’une édition traduite et commentée des poèmes de James Macpherson (chez Classiques-Garnier) et il publie cette année un article sur les traductions en français des poèmes d’Ossian (Translation and Literature, Vol. 22, Part 3, dirigé par Howard Gaskill, Edinburgh University Press) et un autre sur l’imitation et la traduction au XVIIIe siècle (dans le volume France, Great-Britain, Ireland: Cultural Transfers and the Circulation of Knowledge in the Age of Enlightenment, dirigé par Frédéric Ogée, Lise Andries, John Dunkley et Darach Sanfey, Oxford, Voltaire Foundation).

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