In terms of criticism, for the most part we stand by what has already been said in the Short introduction [link]. A considerable collection of essays displaying a pragmatic bibliographical approach is that by Jeanne Veyrin-Forrer, La lettre et le texte: trente années de recherches sur l’histoire du livre (Paris, École Normale Superieure de Jeunes Filles, 1987). Further mention is also deserved by a ‘French’, or rather ‘Belgian’, scholar, who has employed analytical method with interesting results, Jean-François Gilmont. See for instance ‘Description bibliographique et examen d’exemplaires multiples: à propos de deux éditions de Jean Crespin (1556 et 1560), Gutenberg Jahrbuch (1971), pp. 171-188, which describes an interesting case of multiple issue. He has also published the Bibliographie des éditions de Jean Crespin, 1550-1572 (Verviers, 1981) and, together with Rodolphe Peter, Les oeuvres de Jean Calvin publiées au XVIe siècle (Genève, Droz, 1991-1994).

There is however a distinct tradition of British scholars engaged in textual studies on French authors, who, in order to create an instrument for their own research, have produced important critical and descriptive bibliographies. For instance:

- R.. A. Sayce – Richard Maskell, A Descriptive Bibliography of Montaigne’s Essais 1580-1700 (London, the Bibliographical Society, 1983). Traditional rather than innovative, but certainly useful.

- Stephen Rawles – M. A. Screech, A New Rabelais Bibliography: Editions of Rabelais before 1626 (Genève, Droz, 1987). Building on and integrating the original work by P.-P. Plan, Bibliographie rabelesienne: les éditions de Rabelais de 1532 à 1711 (Paris 1904), this bibliography perpetrates one of Bowers’ pet heresies, i.e. the reproduction of title-pages rather than transcription. The debate has gone on for more than half a century, but in the present case the argument is not helped by the poor quality of some of the photographs (at least in the reproduction), so that a reader has to struggle to deceipher detail, though the authors are careful to provide detailed information about the physical structure of editions and features such as the numbering of the leaves. My personal bench-mark for judging the usefulness of a bibliography is whether it allows me to recognise which edition a mutilated copy belongs to, despite the eventual loss of the title-page and other elements necessary for identification, and I think that the present work performs the task more than adequately. Where the work is innovative is in the amount of attention it dedicates to the description and the history of single copies.

David Adams, Bibliographie des oeuvres de Denis Diderot, 1739-1900 (Ferney-Voltaire, Centre International d’Étude du XVIIIe Siècle, 2000), 2 vols. A solid piece of work.