This volume sets Marcel Proust's masterwork, A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time, 1913-27), in its cultural and socio-historical contexts. Essays by the leading scholars in the field attend to Proust's biography, his huge correspondence, and the genesis and protracted evolution of his masterpiece. Light is cast on Proust's relation to thinkers and artists of his time, and to those of the great French and European traditions of which he is now so centrally a part. There is vivid exploration of Proust's reading; his attitudes towards contemporary social and political issues; his relation to journalism, religion, sexuality, science and travel, and how these figure in the Recherche. The volume closes with a comprehensive survey of Proust's critical reception, from reviews during his lifetime to the present day, including assessments of Proust in translation and the broader assimilation of his work into twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture.