Professor Martyn Cornick BA, MA, PhD, FRSA, Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques

Photograph of Martyn Cornick

Department of Modern Languages
Emeritus Professor of French Cultural History

I hold a Personal Chair in French Cultural History. My main research areas are 20th-century Cultural History (especially Jean Paulhan and the Nouvelle Revue française), the life and work of Armand Petitjean, and Franco-British Inter-Cultural Studies, with a particular focus on the French presence in London.



I was born and brought up in Dorchester, Dorset, in the south of England. After school I spent a time working outside academia before returning to take a degree in French Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick, where I also studied for an MA in the 20th-century French Novel and my PhD on the Nouvelle Revue française, France’s leading cultural review, and representations of contemporary history and politics. Before coming to Birmingham, in 1995, I worked at the universities of Nanterre (Paris-X), Warwick, and Loughborough.



Most of my teaching is focused on lectures for Year 2 courses, Final-Year Translation, and my Y4 option, ‘From Dreyfus to Vichy’.



My research falls into two areas. In the area of French Cultural History, my work has focused principally on the monthly cultural review, La Nouvelle Revue française, in particular under the editorship of Jean PAULHAN (1925-1940; 1953-1968). After a first book, Intellectuals in History, The NRF under Jean Paulhan, Rodopi, 1995, I have published numerous essays both on Jean Paulhan and on the cultural and political status of the NRF. My most recent publication is the edition of Jean Paulhan–Armand Petitjean, Correspondance 1934-1968, Gallimard, 2010.

Following the publication of this correspondence, I am continuing to publish research on aspects of the life of Petitjean, including this discussion of his contribution – with Roger Caillois – to the rejuvenation of the Nouvelle Revue française:

My other area of research is Franco-British Cultural Studies. In numerous essays and articles, I have investigated,for example, how the British reacted to the Dreyfus Affair, how the British were perceived in areas of French popular fiction, and I’ve also worked extensively on how the BBC helped to prosecute the Radio War with Occupied France, using the papers of Emile  Delavenay.

I am a founder-member and participant in Culture F-B, an AHRC-founded group of scholars from both sides of the Channel working on Franco-British Cultural History. Apart from rediscovering the importance of the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908, I have edited a collection of papers for the international journal Synergies,based on a conference we hosted here at Birmingham on the theme of the “War in the Inter-War”.

I have also worked recently on the life and achievements of Denis Saurat, former Director of the French Institute in London.

My latest venture is a British Academy-funded project, with Professor Debra Kelly,University of Westminster, on “The London French”, a historical and contemporary study of the huge French presence in the capital. In future we hope to be working with Birmingham’s Heritage and Cultural Learning Hub in an expanded version of this exciting project. 


Single-authored and edited books

  • Jean Paulhan-Armand Petitjean, Correspondance 1934-1968, Édition établie, présentée et annotée par Martyn Cornick, Cahiers Jean Paulhan no 15 (Paris: Gallimard, 2010), 737pp. (ISBN 978-2-07-013177-8)armand-book
  • Problems of French History: Essays in Honour of Douglas Johnson (co-editor with Ceri Crossley), Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000.
  • Intellectuals in History. The Nouvelle Revue française under Jean Paulhan, 1925-1940, Amsterdam & Atlanta: Editions Rodopi, 1995, 224 pp. ISBN 90 5183 797 6.
  • The French Secret Services (with Peter Morris), Oxford : Clio Press, 1993, 115 pp. ISBN 1 85109 146 7
  • Beliefs and Identity in Modern France, Loughborough: ASMCF-European Research Centre, 1990.

Essays and articles


The Nouvelle Revue française, Jean Paulhan, and French Cultural History

  • ‘« Un Juif, celui-là… »: Benjamin Crémieux, La NRF et l’antisémitisme des années 1930’, La Revue des revues, no. 44, 2010, 56-77 [ISSN 0980-2797]
  • ‘Une institution française : La Nouvelle Revue française de Jean Paulhan’, article in Études littéraires, Québec, Canada, Hiver 2009, 77-96. [ISBN 2 920949 39 X]
  • ‘Jean Paulhan and the NRF: Modernist Editor, Modernist Review?,’ The Romanic Review, vol. 99, no. 1, 2008, 9-26.
  •  ‘Jacques Chardonne et La Nouvelle Revue française (La NRF), 1920-1940’, article in Roman 20-50, no. 45, juin 2008, 1-15. ISSN: 0295-5024
  • ‘La Nouvelle Revue française de Jean Paulhan et le modernisme’, in Jeanyves Guérin (dir.), La Nouvelle Revue française de Jean Paulhan (1925-1940 et 1953-1968), Editions Le Manuscrit, 2006, p. 19-44. ISBN 2-7481-7142-X
  • ‘Writers into Intellectuals, Culture into Politics: Grappling with History in the NRF, 1920-1940’, article in Special issue of E-REA, French Internet journal of English Studies, autumn 2006, 17-27. Published online
  • ‘In search of the Absolute: the Nouvelle Revue française and uses and meanings of the Orient (1920-1930)’, in special issue of Modern & Contemporary France, February 2006, 15-32.
  • ‘Juste milieu, extrême milieu? La critique politique de La Nouvelle Revue française dans les années 1930’, in B. Curatolo and J. Poirier (eds.), La chronique littéraires (1920-1970), Éditions universitaires de Dijon, 2006, p. 83-98. ISBN 2 9155 5230 4
  • ‘Jean Paulhan and the Nouvelle Revue française: Literature, Politics and the Power of Creative Editorship’, article in special number of Yale French Studies, ‘The Power of Rhetoric, The Rhetoric of Power’, no. 106, 2004.
  • ‘Marcel Arland, le « Nouveau Mal du Siècle » et la politique éditoriale de la Nouvelle Revue française de Jean Paulhan’, article in Australian Journal of French Studies, vol. XLI, no. 1, 2004, 85-100.
  • ‘La Nouvelle Revue française de Jean Paulhan: création et idées’, textes recueillis par B. Curatolo et J. Poirier, Les revues littéraires du XXe siècle, Presses universitaires de Dijon, 2002, 31-46.
  • ‘Jean Paulhan et la résurrection de La Nouvelle Revue française, 1953’, La Revue des revues, no. 29, juillet 2001, 30-53. ISBN 2 907702 25 4
  • ‘Reconciling France. Jean Paulhan and the Nouvelle NRF, 1953’, in South Central Review (Texas, USA ), Vol. 17, no. 4, Winter 2000, 26-44. 
  • ‘Intellectuals in Contemporary French Culture’, chapter in W. Kidd and S. Reynolds (eds), French Culture, French Identities, London: Arnold , 2000, 270-286.
  • ‘Une « voix de mémoire ». Jean Paulhan et la Nouvelle Revue française face à la guerre’, in Paulhan: Le Clair et l’obscur. Colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle 1998, Cahiers de la NRF, série Jean Paulhan 9bis, Paris: Gallimard, 1999, 245-264. 
  • ‘Left-Intellectuals in Mitterrand’s France ’, in M. McLean (ed.), The Mitterrand Years. Legacy and Evaluation, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998, 300-313. 
  • ‘Living Memory: French Intellectuals and the Experience of Phoney War, 1939-1940’, Journal of European Studies, vol. xxvii, October 1997, 261-80.
  • ‘French Intellectuals, Neutralism and the Search for Peace in the Cold War’, in B. Jenkins and A. Chafer (eds.), France from the Cold War to New World Order, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996, 39-52.
  • ‘Les années Paulhan à La Nouvelle Revue française’, in La Revue des revues, no. 18, 1995, 33-42.
  • ‘Resister and Knight of the Round Table: Jean Paulhan at the Liberation’, in H. R. Kedward and Nancy Wood (eds.), The Liberation of France: image and event, Oxford: Berg, 1995, 183-196.
  • ‘Resisting delusion: Jean Paulhan and the beginnings of intellectual resistance in the Nouvelle Revue Française during the drift to war, 1938-1940’, in Modern & Contemporary France, NS1, no. 3, July 1993, 265-76.
  • ‘Catalyst for intellectual engagement : the serialization of Julien Benda’s La Trahison des clercs in the Nouvelle Revue Française, 1927-1932’, in French Cultural Studies, February 1993, 31-49.
  • ‘Jean Paulhan et la censure: la Nouvelle Revue française à la veille de la guerre’, in ‘Cahier du centenaire, 1884-1984’, Cahiers Jean Paulhan no. 3, Paris: Gallimard, 1984, 219-227.

Franco-British Inter-Cultural Studies

  • ‘War, Culture, and the British Royal Visit to Paris, July 1938’, Synergies, Royaume-Uni et Irlande, no. 4, année 2011. Download pdf 
  • ‘Matilda Betham-Edwards: Franco-British cultural go-between’, Synergies, Royaume-Uni et Irlande, no. 2, année 2009, 55-68. [ISSN 1961-9464] Download pdf  
  • ‘L’engagement des intellectuels et l’affaire Dreyfus vus d’Angleterre’, in Jean-Philippe Genet and François-Joseph Ruggiu (dirs.), Les idées passent-elles la Manche? Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2007, 323-335.
  • ‘« Sceller l’Entente » : l’importance politique et internationale de l’Exposition franco-britannique, Londres, 1908’, in Diana Cooper-Richet and Michel Rapoport (dirs.), L’Entente cordiale. Cent ans de relations culturelles franco-britanniques (1904-2004), Éditions Créaphis, 2006, 245-260.
  • ‘Representations of Britain and British colonialism in French adventure fiction, 1870-1914’, in special issue of French Cultural Studies, 17(2), June 2006, 137-154.
  • ‘“Fraternity among listeners”: The BBC and French Resistance’, in H. Diamond and S. Kitson (eds), Vichy, Resistance, Liberation: New Perspectives on Wartime France, Oxford & New York: Berg, 2005, 101-113.
  • ‘Commandant Ferdinand Esterhazy’, entry for supplement of the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004 (also available via Internet)
  • ‘White City , 1908’, in R. Mayne, D. Johnson and R. Tombs, eds., Cross-Channel Currents. 100 Years of the Entente Cordiale, London: Routledge, 2004, 17-19.
  • ‘Putting the Seal on the Entente: the Franco-British Exhibition, London, May-October 1908’, Franco-British Studies, no. 35, Autumn 2004, 133-144.
  • ‘L’Exposition Franco-Britannique’, in J. Viot and G. Radice (eds.), L’Entente cordiale dans le siècle, Odile Jacob, 2004, 49-51.
  • ‘Fighting Myth with Reality. The Fall of France, Anglophobia and the BBC’, in V. Holman and D. Kelly (eds), France at War in the Twentieth Century. Propaganda, Myth and Metaphor, Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2000, 65-87.
  • ‘Distorting Mirrors: Franco-British Perceptions in the fin-de-siècle’, chapter in M. Cornick and C. Crossley (eds), Problems of French History: Essays in Honour of Douglas Johnson, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000, 125-148.
  • ‘Free France and the BBC’, chapter in A. Corbett and D. Johnson (eds), A Day in June. Britain and De Gaulle 1940, London: Franco-British Council, 2000, 43-46.
  • ‘The Dreyfus Affair — another year, another centenary. British Opinion and the Rennes Verdict, September 1899’, Modern and Contemporary France, vol. 7 no. 4, November 1999, 499-508.
  • ‘Perceptions of the Bicentenary of the French Revolution in Britain’, in Journal of Area Studies, no. 9, February 1997, 142-152.
  • ‘The Impact of the Dreyfus Affair in late-Victorian Britain’, in Franco-British Studies, no. 22, Autumn 1996, 57-82.
  • ‘La vue britannique de Paris à l’époque de la Commune’, in M.-C. Kok Escalle (ed.), Paris: de l’image à la mémoire. Représentations artistiques, littéraires, sociopolitiques, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996, 135-156.
  • ‘«La plus grande nouvelle depuis la Crucifixion!» Impact de l’affaire Dreyfus en Grande-Bretagne’, in P. Citti & E. Cahm (eds.), Les représentations de l’affaire Dreyfus dans la presse en France et à l’étranger, Numéro spécial de Littérature et nation, Tours: Littérature et nation, 1996, 109-118.
  • ‘The myth of perfidious Albion and French national identity’, in D. Dutton (ed.), Statecraft and Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: essays presented to P.M.H. Bell, Liverpool University Press, 1995, 7-33.
  • ‘The BBC and the propaganda war against occupied France: the work of Émile Delavenay and the European Intelligence Department’, French History, September 1994, 316-354.
  • ‘Les Grandes Revues victoriennes et l’affaire Dreyfus’, La Revue des revues, no. 17, 1994, 53-74.
  • ‘La réception de l’Affaire en Grande-Bretagne’, in M. Drouin (ed.), L’Affaire Dreyfus de A à Z.  Histoire et Dictionnaire, Flammarion, 1994, 441-446.
  • ‘The rôle of the BBC European Intelligence Department in the Propaganda War against occupied France’, in J. Gotovitch (et. al. eds.), La Résistance et les Européens du Nord, Brussels: Centre de recherches et d’études historiques de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, 1994, vol. 1, 86-96.
  • ‘Faut-il réduire l’Angleterre en esclavage? French Anglophobia in 1935’, in Franco-British Studies, special number, January 1993, 3-17.

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