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Dr Marine Ganofsky, Lecturer

Dr Marine GanofskyContact Details
Phone: 01334 462947
Office: Buchanan 404

Module surgery hours:
Tuesday, Thursday 2-3pm

Full research profile


My research focuses on the French eighteenth century, but I am especially interested in the pleasure-seekers of the period from its philosophes to its rakes. I have written on Casanova and on Condillac, on Fragonard and on Laclos. I have investigated the libertine art of love as well as its erotic ceremonies, rococo architecture as well as voluptuous clairs-obscurs, frivolity as well as ‘ivresses’.

There are currently two main strands to my research:

  • Libertine nights: My first book, Night in Eighteenth-Century French Libertine Fiction (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, forthcoming 2018), explores the erotic pleasures enjoyed under cover of darkness during the Age of Enlightenment. Beyond the indulgences they represent for their readers, the nocturnes of libertine fiction offer an amplified echo of the socio-cultural changes that were transforming the understanding and experience of night for a growing number of men and women in the French eighteenth century. These fearless, happy nocturnes capture the period’s emancipation from superstitions and traditions. They illustrate its conquest of night-time in favour of both social encounters and erotic intimacy. Most importantly, they also reflect the eighteenth-century’s re-invention of darkness less as a limit than as an exciting repository of mysteries waiting to be discovered.
  • L’Illusion au Siècle des Lumières: My current research project revolves around the idea of illusion in the French Age of Enlightenment. Although the long eighteenth century is best remembered as an era searching for truth, I argue that it was also characterised by an awareness that illusions and delusions often hold the key to happiness, or at least to pleasure. This project examines the eighteenth century’s discourse of notions such as magic, superstitions, errors, doubt, dreams, ‘sens trompeurs’, madness, and ‘God’s delusion’ (to quote Richard Dawkins). It also addresses the questions of fiction and artistic representation, whilst analysing what I call the period’s ‘aesthetics of illusion’ (palpable in elements as diverse as politeness, masquerades, wit, galanterie, landscape gardening, rococo interiors, and even fashion—think wigs and powder, mouches and corsets). This reflection on illusions is an invitation to think differently about the reality/fantasy divide, as a closer look at the Siècle des Lumières reveals that it is often from the realm of illusions (dreams, fantasies, ‘ivresses’, lies, or masks) that unsuspected—and sometimes disturbing—truths can emerge.

My research aims at highlighting the fact that the French Age of Enlightenment, which found its paradise in the here and now (“Le paradis terrestre est où je suis.” Voltaire), was also the age of happiness. I am very happy to have had the chance recently to share some of my most exciting discoveries with a wider audience by editing a collection of little known but wonderful libertine short stories: Petits soupers libertins (Dix-huitième Siècle, 2016) and by contributing to the documentary Casanova Undressed (Sky Arts Production, 2016).

I was interviewed to appear in the Sky Arts documentary Casanova Undressed. Aired 20th September 2016 on Sky Arts.



After lecturing at New College at the University of Oxford and at the University of Kent, I joined the University of St Andrews in January 2014. I teach French literature, history, and language at all levels. My own classes revolve around the early modern period, whether it is to address the notion of classicism from Ronsard to Laclos, study journeys in Voltaire’s Candide, or examine literary revolutions in eighteenth-century France.

I have also created three modules inviting students to explore some of the most fascinating elements of the French eighteenth century: FR4123: Libertinage and libertine literature, FR4125: The French Age of Enlightenment, and FR4128: A Semester with Casanova: myths and afterlives of ‘Histoire de ma vie’. In these modules, the emphasis is put on the students’ independent research and interpretation of the material, as indeed they are encouraged to explore the topic under scrutiny from the perspective of their choice.

I would be delighted to supervise students on any topic relating to: the long eighteenth century, erotic literature or ‘romans d’amour’, nights or gardens in arts, as well as, more widely, discourses on, and representation of, pleasure.

PhD Supervision

Cecilia Ascoli


Night in French Libertine Fiction
Ganofsky, M. Jun 2018 (Accepted/In press) Oxford: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment.
Research output: ResearchBook

Petits soupers libertins: Meusnier de Querlon, Les Soupers de Daphné (1740) Bastide, Le Souper (1758) Mercier, Les Petits Soupers (1781) Restif de la Bretonne, Le Souper fin (1789) Cailhava, Le Souper des petits-maîtres. Ouvrage moral (vers 1770) Bernard, À la volupté. Épître à M. *** (vers 1775)
Ganofsky, M. 2016 Paris: Publications de la Société Française d’Étude du Dix-huitième Siècle. 280 p. (Collection Dix-huitième siècle, dirigée par Hélène Cussac et Marcel Dorigny)
Research output: ResearchAnthology


‘The libertine novel’
Ganofsky, M. 2019 (In preparation) The Cambridge History of the Novel in Frencht. Watt, A. (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Research output: Research - peer-reviewChapter (peer-reviewed)

Sensations, sensuality, and voluptuousness: Materialism and petites maisons in Enlightenment France
Ganofsky, M. 2017 The Early Modern Villa: Senses and Perceptions versus Materiality. Arciszewska, B. (ed.). Warsaw: Wilanow Palace Museum, p. 211-222
Research output: ResearchChapter

‘Virtue and invisibility: libertine variations on the myth of Gyges’
Ganofsky, M. 2016 (Submitted) Virtue and the Enlightenment. Fowler, J. & Ganofsky, M. (eds.).
Research output: Research - peer-reviewChapter (peer-reviewed)

‘Le paradis artificiel de la légèreté dans les arts libertins : l’exemple d’Angola de La Morlière’
Ganofsky, M. 2016 (Submitted) , in Le Siècle de la légèreté : émergences d’un paradigme du XVIIIe siècle français. Ganofsky, M. & Perras, J-A. (eds.).
Research output: Research - peer-reviewChapter (peer-reviewed)

À la faveur de la nuit: Figures féminines de la nuit dans l’Histoire de ma vie de Casanova
Ganofsky, M. 2016 Casanova «Écrire à tort et à travers». Brin, R. (ed.). Paris: Classiques Garnier, p. 69-84 15 p. (Série Le dix-huitième siècle, dirigée par Jacques Berchtold et Catriona Seth)
Research output: Research - peer-reviewChapter (peer-reviewed)

‘L’Histoire de ma vie de Casanova: le libertinage comme rencontre entre le profane et le sacré ?’
Ganofsky, M. 2011 Amour divin, amour mondain, dans les écrits du for privé, de la fin du Moyen Age à 1914. Daumas, M. (ed.). Pau: Editions Cairn, p. 111-126
Research output: ResearchChapter

‘Pandore et les désirs: Le mythe d’Hésiode conjugué dans Les Liaisons dangereuses
Ganofsky, M. 2011 Pandora und die mythische Genealogie der Frau / Pandore et la généalogie mythique de la Femme, ed. by Heinz-Peter Preuβer, Françoise Rétif and Juliane Rytz. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, p. 105-118
Research output: ResearchChapter

‘Don Juan et les séducteurs: présence et absence de Don Juan dans le roman libertin du dix-huitième siècle’
Ganofsky, M. 2010 Don Juan, ed. by Florence Fix and Laurence LeDiagon-Jacquin. Paris: Murmure, p. 248-259
Research output: ResearchChapter (peer-reviewed)


Dominique Vivant Denon: Point de lendemain [No Tomorrow], 1777
Ganofsky, M. 9 Mar 2017 In : The Literary Encyclopedia.
Research output: ResearchArticle

Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon: Les égarements du cœur et de l’esprit [The Wayward Heart and Head], 1736-1738
Ganofsky, M. 9 Mar 2017 In : The Literary Encyclopedia.
Research output: ResearchArticle

La suspension du temps dans Point de lendemain: lecture sensualiste d’un nocturne libertin
Ganofsky, M. 2017 In : Dix-huitième siècle. 49, p. 311-327
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Sacred or profane pleasures? Erotic ceremonies in eighteenth-century French libertine fiction
Ganofsky, M. Jul 2015 In : Religion in the Age of Enlightenment. 5, p. 231-258
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Illustrating narrative seduction: the example of Choderlos de Laclos's Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the illustrated edition of 1796
Ganofsky, M. Mar 2015 In : Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 38, 1, p. 1-27 27 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Libertine clairs-obscurs: the enticement of the shadows
Ganofsky, M. Dec 2014 In : Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 37, 4, p. 499-515 17 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle


Cyril Francès, Casanova: la mémoire du désir, Europe des Lumières, 29 (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014)
Ganofsky, M. 2015 In : French Studies. 69, 3, p. 392 393 p.
Research output: ResearchBook/Film/Article review

Daniel Brewer ed.,The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Ganofsky, M. 2015 In : Forum for Modern Language Studies. 51, 3, p. 351
Research output: ResearchBook/Film/Article review

Sarah Tindall Kareem, Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
Ganofsky, M. 2015 In : Forum for Modern Language Studies. 51, 3, p. 354
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Françoise Lavocat ed., Le Mariage et la loi dans la fiction narrative avant 1800 (Louvain: Peeters, 2014)
Ganofsky, M. 2015 In : Forum for Modern Language Studies. 51, 2, p. 235
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Nicolas-Edme Rétif de la Bretonne, Ingénue Saxancour ou La Femme séparée, ed. Mary S. Trouille (London: MHRA, 2014)
Ganofsky, M. 2015 In : Forum for Modern Language Studies. 51, 1, p. 87
Research output: ResearchBook/Film/Article review

Madame de Souza, Eugénie et Mathilde, ou Mémoires de la famille du Comte de Revel, ed. Kirsty Carpenter ( London: MHRA, 2014)
Ganofsky, M. 2015 In : Forum for Modern Language Studies. 51, 1, p. 87-88
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Angelica Goodden, Rousseau’s Hand: The Crafting of a Writer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)
Ganofsky, M. Oct 2014 In : Forum for Modern Language Studies. L, 4, p. 506 507 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Cian Duffy, The Landscape of the Sublime, 1700-1830: Classic Ground (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
Ganofsky, M. Oct 2014 In : Forum for Modern Language Studies. L, 4, p. 504 505 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Nina Kushner, Erotic Exchanges: The World of Elite Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013)
Ganofsky, M. 2014 In : French History. 28, 4, p. 565 566 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Nicholas D. Paige, Before fiction, the Ancien Régime of the Novel (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011)
Ganofsky, M. 2013 In : Modern Language Review. 108, 4
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Jacques Berchtold ed., Espaces, objets du roman au XVIIIe siècle: Hommage à Henri Lafon (Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2009)
Ganofsky, M. 2012 In : French Studies. LXVI, 1, p. 93-94
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Shane Agin ed., Sex Education in the Eighteenth Century, SVEC 2011:09 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2011)
Ganofsky, M. 2012 In : French Studies. LXVI , 4, p. 567
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review