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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Professor Mark Darlow

Photo of Mark Darlow
Professor of Eighteenth-Century French Literature and Culture
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 334947

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom




Mark Darlow specialises in eighteenth-century French theatre and music (especially opéra-comique), Rousseau, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre and the culture of the Revolutionary period. He is currently researching the posterity of French ‘classical’ theatre in the Enlightenment, with particular interest in material culture and book history. His work to date has sought to bring into dialogue approaches to eighteenth-century French theatre and musicology, most often from a cultural historical perspective (a methodology has has taught as part of the core course in theory for the Faculty’s MPhil course in European Literatures and Cultures).

He has served on the editorial boards of Nottingham French Studies (2000-2006), and Oxford University Studies in the Enlightement (2018), and was also French reviews editor for Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies (2004-7). He currently serves on the editorial boards of Coulisses (since 2010), Modern Languages Open (since 2014), Early-Modern French Studies (since 2016), and European Drama and Performance Studies (since 2018).

His interdisciplinary research has been supported by grants from the AHRC, the British Academy, the Owen Taylor research fund; and he was winner of a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2005, the first time the prize had ever been awarded to a modern linguist.

He has served as associate researcher of the Centre de la musique baroque, Versailles, and has acted as overseas correspondent of the French government-funded Registres de la Comédie-Italienne project spearheaded by Professor Françoise Rubellin. He has acted as advisory board member for Professor Katherine Astbury’s AHRC-funded Napoleonic Theatre Project (University of Warwick), as REF consultant for Swansea University, and as member of the AHRC peer review college. He has in the past acted as expert reviewer for the EHRC, the French Atelier National de la Recherche, and the European Research Council in Belgium. Among outlook and media activity, he has written for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for Opéra en Wallonie and for Linn records.

He is currently involved in international research collaboration with Prof. Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden (University of North Texas), and is himself currently completing a monograph concerning the reception of French classical theatre in the period of the Enlightenment. The translation into Chinese of his monograph Staging the French Revolution is also forthcoming in 2020. Other ongoing projects concern sources for the actors of the Comédie-Italienne in the Minutier central des notaires (Archives Nationales), the actress-entrepreneur Mlle Montansier, and eighteenth-century theatre women, on which he is also supervising a PhD thesis.

He is currently course contact for Fr10: Enlightenment and its limits, and welcomes enquiries from potential graduate students, in the areas listed above.


Published works: 


Books and edited volumes


1. Michel-Jean Sedaine, Théâtre de la révolution (MHRA critical texts, 2017), viii-181p.

2. Shadows in the Enlightenment: the concept of Chiaroscuro in early-modern France, co-edited with Marion Lafouge, special number of Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Dec. 2014, p.427-608.

3. Dissonance in the Republic of Letters: the Quarrel of the Gluckists and the Piccinnists (Oxford: Legenda, 2013), 229pp.

4. Staging the French Revolution: Cultural Politics and the Opéra de Paris, 1789-1794 (New York: OUP, 2012) [in series The New Cultural History of Music], 432pp. This book was runner-up for the Gapper prize of the Society for French Studies in 2012.

5. Laya, L’Ami des lois, co-ed. with Yann Robert (MHRA, 2011) [in series Phœnix: Critical texts], 374pp.

6. The Discursive Culture: Reaction and Interaction, Text and Context, ed. M. Darlow and C. Warman, SVEC, 2007:06, p.1-157. Part-volume of nine chapters, including co-authored introduction and one single-authored chapter

7. Revolutionary Culture: Continuity and Change, special number of Nottingham French Studies, 45.1 (Spring 2006), 116pp. Including single-authored chapter and introduction

8. Nicolas-Etienne Framery and lyric theatre in eighteenth-century France (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2003) [in series: SVEC, 2003:11], xii-400pp.

9. Maîtres et valets dans la comédie française du 18e siècle (Paris: Bréal, 1999), 128pp.


Journal articles and book chapters


1. ‘L'Opéra pendant la période révolutionnaire', edited selection of texts in La Réglementation de l'Opéra de Paris 1669-2019: Édition des principaux textes normatifs, ed. Vincent Giroud and Solveig Serre (Paris: Presses de l’Ecole des Chartes, 2019), p.89-167.

2. ‘Terror without pity: Tragedy and the French Revolution’, in Theatrale Revolten, ed. Agnes Hoffmann and Annette Kappeler (Leiden: Wilhelm Fink, 2018), 25-44.

3. ‘A “Stolen” Theatre on Rue de la Loi: The Opéra after Thermidor’, in Law and Opera, ed. Filippo Annunziata and Giorgio Fabio Colombo (Springer, 2018), p.283-95.

4. ‘La place des œuvres de Molière dans le répertoire du XVIIIe siècle’, Littératures classiques, 95 (2018), 151-65.

5. ‘‘Cris nouveaux’: the soundscape of Paris in Mercier’s Tableau de Paris and Nouveau Paris’, Early-Modern French Studies, 41.1 (2019), 88-103.

6. 'Nihil per saltum: eighteenth-century views of chiaroscuro in spoken and lyric theatre' in Sarah Hibberd and Richard Wrigley (eds.), Art, Theatre, and Opera in Paris, 1750–1850: Exchanges and Tensions (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014), p.37-51.

7. 'Discours et dynamiques progressistes : l’Académie Royale de Musique pendant la Querelle des Bouffons', in Revue d'histoire du théâtre, 261 (janvier-mars 2014), 55-65.

8. '"Malgre tous les Gluck du monde": Voltaire et la réforme de l'opéra', Revue Voltaire, 13 (2013), 79-94.

9. ‘Le ballet sous la Revolution’, in Mathias Auclair and Christophe Ghristi (eds.), Le Ballet de l'Opera: Trois siecles de suprématie depuis Louis XIV (Paris: Aubin Michel, 2013), p.66-69.

10. 'L'effritement du privilège théâtral: les débats de 1789-1790', in Solveig Serre, Denis Herlin and Sabine Chaouche (eds.), L'Opéra de Paris, la Comédie-Française et l'Opéra-Comique (1669-2010): approches comparées (Paris: Presses de l'école des chartes, 2012), 12pp.

11. 'Eighteenth-century French musical theatre: Etat présent', French Studies, 66 (2012), 68-77.

12. 'The repertory of the Paris Opéra, 1789-1799' in Solveig Serre and Michel Noiray (eds.), Le Répertoire de l'Opéra de Paris (1671-2009): Analyse et interprétation (Paris: Presses de l'école des chartes, 2011), p.117-40.

13. Diderot's voice(s) in New Essays on Diderot, ed. James Fowler (Cambridge: CUP, 2011), pp.203-19.

14. [13a. The above translated into German: ‘Diderots Stimme(n): Musik und Reform. Von der “Querelle des Bouffons” bis zu Neveu de Rameau’, in Aufklärung und Kritik, 4 (2013), 227-38 [special number: ‘Denis Diderot zum 300. Geburtstag’].

15. ‘History and (meta-)theatricality: The French Revolution’s paranoid aesthetics’, in Modern Language Review, 105 (2010), 385-400.

16. ‘Repertory reforms at the Paris Opéra on the eve of the Revolution’ in La Vie Théâtrale en France au XVIIIe siècle, ed. John Golder (special number of Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies), 32 (2009), 563-76.

17. ‘Les ballets dans Tarare, version de 1819’, in Musique et geste: de Lully à la Révolution: Etudes sur la musique, le théâtre et la danse, ed. Jacqueline Waeber (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009), pp.249-61.

18. ‘Le répertoire de l’Academie Royale de Musique pendante la Constituante’, in Le Théâtre sous la Révolution: Politique du répertoire (1789-1799), ed. Martial Poirson (Paris: Desjonquères, 2008), pp.90-102.

19. ‘Le vaudeville à la Comédie-Italienne, 1767-1789’ in Carlo Goldoni et la France: Un Dialogue dramatique de la modernité (Revue des Etudes italiennes, 53 [2007]), ed. A. Fabiano, 87-95.

20. ‘The role of the listener in the musical aesthetics of the Revolution’, in The Discursive Culture: Reaction and Interaction, Text and Context, ed. Darlow and Warman, SVEC 2007:06, 143-57.

21. ‘Vaudeville et distanciation dans l’opéra-comique des années 1750’, in La Querelle des Bouffons dans la vie culturelle française du XVIIIe siècle, ed. A. Fabiano (Paris: Editions du CNRS, 2005), pp.43-55.

22. ‘Représentations de la simplicité masculine dans l’opéra-comique français’, in Masculinités en France, 1700-1830, ed. K. Astbury and M.-E. Plagnol-Diéval (Bern: Peter Lang, 2004), pp.79-92.

23. ‘La parodie dans l’opéra et la notion de série musicale’, in Séries parodiques, edited by D. Quéro (Paris: Presses Universitaires de la Sorbonne, 2004), pp.179-92.

24. ‘“Apprendre aux hommes à mourir”: the theatrical adaptations of Paul et Virginie’, in Morality and Justice: The Challenge of European Theatre, special number of European Studies, 17 (2001), 129-42.

25. ‘Beaumarchais, Framery and the Société des Auteurs Dramatiques’, in P. Robinson (ed.), Beaumarchais: Homme de lettres, homme de société (Bern-New York: Peter Lang, 2000), pp.39-55.

26. ‘Theorising the “dramatic novella”: the case of Azémia’, in Enlightenment and Narrative: Essays in Honour of Richard Francis, ed. Philip Robinson, Nottingham French Studies, 48.3 (Autumn 2009), 125-36.

27. ‘Staging the Revolution: The Fait historique’, in Revolutionary Culture: Continuity and Change, ed. Darlow, Nottingham French Studies, 45.1 (Spring 2006), 77-88.

28. ‘Politique et opéra: Les reprises de Tarare (Beaumarchais, Salieri), de 1787 à 1819’, in Vives Lettres, 13 (2002), 11-28.

29. ‘Parody and the comédie mêlée d’ariettes, 1752-1789’, in D. Connon and G. Evans (eds.), Essays on French Classical Drama from the 1640s to the 1780s (Bern: Peter Lang, 2000), pp.185-203.

30. ‘Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s writings on ethics: from the Ecole Normale to the Institut de France’, in L. Duffy and C. Emerson (eds.), La Nature dévoilée: French Literary Responses to Science (Hull: Hull U.P., 2000), pp.39-58.

31. ‘Les parodies du Devin du village de Rousseau et la sensibilité dans l’opéra-comique français’, Bulletin de la société liégeoise de musicologie, 13-14 (1999), 123-41.

32. ‘Fonctionnement des timbres dans Les Amours de Bastien et Bastienne de Mme Favart et Harny de Guerville’, in H. Schneider (Hg.), Timbre und Vaudeville, zur Geschichte und Problematik einer populären Gattung im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, ‘Musikwissenschaftliche Publikationen’, Band 11, (Hildesheim-Zürich-New York: Georg Olms, 1999), pp.226-43.

33. ‘Music and the specificity of languages: Rousseau and the problem of translation’, in J. Proud and D. Bickerton (eds.), The Transmission of Culture in Western Europe, 1750-1850: Papers celebrating the bicentenary of the ‘Bibliothèque Britannique’ (1796-1815) in Geneva (Bern-New York: Peter Lang, 1999), pp.129-46.

34. ‘“Peindre sa voix pour soutenir son rôle”: The use of écriteaux in Lesage’s Théâtre de la Foire and the transgressionary nature of the aesthetic’, in L. Duffy and A. Tudor (eds.), Les Lieux interdits: Transgression and French Literature (Hull: Hull U.P., 1998), pp.114-45.