He began to write for the Revue des deux mondes in 1847, contributing between 1851 and 1857 a series of articles on the English and American novel, and in 1857 he became chief literary critic of the review. Émile Montégut translated Essais de philosophie américaine (1850) from Emerson; Revolution de 1688 (2 vols. 1853) from Macaulay's History; and also produced the Œuvres completes (10 vols. 1868-1873) of Shakespeare.
Among his numerous critical works are Ecrivains modernes d'Angleterre (3rd series, 1885-1892) and Heures de lecture d'un critique (1891), studies of John Aubrey, Pope, Wilkie Collins and Sir John Mandeville.