Mapping the French Novel

This strand of the project (overseen by Angus Martin) explores the nature of leisure reading, charting the diffusion of novels and entering into the world of imaginative reading. This research will be facilitated by the integration into the FBTEE-2 database of the MMF-2 database of the French novel, prepared by Martin and his collaborators, Richard Frautschi and the late Vivienne Mylne. Because the bibliographic data on French novelesque works contained in MMF-2 is comprehensive, the publication of the MMF-2 data will make it feasible to crowd-source further research on the disemination of the French novel using volunteers from within the international academic community.


Catalogue and manuscript data form for sale of C-J-B Herissant stock, 4 Dec 1775, (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ms. Fr. 21,823)

Australia is a world leader in crowd-sourced research on humanities data through Trove, while in Book History this approach has been successfully used in the Reading Experience Databases. Because the MMF-2 database contains bibliographic data on all known editions of French novels published between 1700 and 1800 (including re-editions of earlier works), rapid and accurate data entry from structured sources, such as bookseller and library catalogues will be possible.

Drawing on the enthusiasm of over 9,000 scholars and students who have used FBTEE-1, this research-strand will seek to recruit scholarly volunteers to enter data from scanned private and trade catalogues in order to plot the dissemination of the novel and its various sub-genres across Europe.

The visualisation and mapping tools developed for this strand of the project will allow our crowd-source researchers to explore trends in the production and dissemination of French novels worldwide, both by genre and subject matter, allowing new and nuanced insights into cultural trends and preferences, including cross cultural transfers of themes, settings and texts.