French Renaissance Texts in Translation (FRENTT)

The French Renaissance Texts in Translation (FRENTT) series, edited by Phillip John Usher, publishes quality English translations of Renaissance French texts (c.1480-c.1610) that are also scholarly editions.

The series is long overdue and aims to meet various needs. The primary reason for the series’s existence is straightforward: many of the period’s most important texts have simply never been translated, or else exist only in aged and sometimes inaccessible translations. Despite their canonical status, only selections of Joachim du Bellay and Pierre de Ronsard are available in English. The same can be said for many others (Clément Marot, Etienne Jodelle, Hélisenne de Crenne, André Thevet, etc.). Although certain works of Guillaume de Salluste du Bartas and Robert Garnier were translated in the sixteenth century, no modern translators have completed the task. And as the canon of sixteenth-century French literature widens and diversifies in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere, this trend has not been matched by similar efforts to make those texts available to an Anglophone readership, seriously limiting the extent to which scholarship on the French Renaissance can hope to find a wider audience, either within or beyond the academy. Moreover, critical attention focused on the French Renaissance continues to reveal just how vital this period is for understanding modernity and for making sense of genealogies of modern concepts such as sexuality, otherness, ecology, national identity, etc. While much of such scholarship is in English, many of the primary texts are still unavailable to students, scholars, teachers, and the general reader. The present series, then, aims to fill these various gaps, to contribute to the dissemination of primary texts, and to help open up a wider public for scholarship in the field.

It is hoped that the series will reflect the vitality and diversity of scholarly pursuits in the field and thus that it will include both canonical literary texts, lesser-known works, as well as texts that some might classify as non-literary or para-literary (travel narratives, treatises of various kinds, discours, etc.). The main criterion is that any given title must be “important” historically, aesthetically, politically, and/or theoretically. Several audiences will be served, from the undergraduate to specialists in different branches of the Humanities.

For more information or to propose a volume for the series, please contact Professor Phillip John Usher –