Literature & Fiction
An Exceptional Woman
The Writings of Heather Tanner
Heather Tanner (1903–1993) is best remembered as an environmental campaigner and the author of four exquisite books about Wiltshire and its countryside, illustrated by her husband, the artist Robin Tanner. This selection of her work, chosen by her friend Rosemary Devonald, draws on unpublished essays, letters and poems to offer new insight into the life of this remarkable woman, and into the ways and customs of a bygone rural society. Slightly off-mint.
Published by Sam Fogg, the renowned gallery dealing in ancient and medieval artefacts and texts, this catalogue describes 86 Chinese books ranging in date from the 1st to the 19th centuries and divided into sections of manuscripts from Dunhuang, sacred texts, works of literature and history, science, illustrated books and two books from Korea. Each work is represented by one or more reproductions of pages, together with descriptive details and a scholarly commentary.
Henry Cockburn (1779–1854) was a judge of the Court of Session and a leading personality in 19th-century Edinburgh, best remembered now for his posthumous literary works, Memorials of His Time (1856), Journal (1874) and Circuit Journeys (1888). This selection of 180 letters written by Cockburn provides new information about his career as judge, Whig activist, family man and pioneer of building conservation. With introduction, notes and index.
Shaw, Lady Gregory and the Abbey
A Correspondence and a Record
Bernard Shaw, who made his reputation in London, and Augusta Gregory, founder of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, are often seen as belonging to different worlds. But when Shaw’s play The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet was banned in England, it was to the Abbey that he turned. This complete edition of the witty, informal letters that passed between him and Lady Gregory sheds light on the politics of the day, and emphasises Shaw’s important yet unrecognized contribution to the Irish theatre.
Everyone seems to know a line or two from The Importance of Being Earnest: Wilde’s perennial favourite is joined here by Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and, with its original illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, Salomé, the inspiration for Strauss’s sensational opera.
Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest
The First Production
When Oscar Wilde's 'trivial comedy for serious people' opened in London on St Valentine's Day 1895, it was an instant success. Three months later, its author was in prison and the play would not be performed again until 1909. This edition includes the original, unrevised text, profusely annotated and illustrated with photographs of the first production. Setting the work in its historical context, it provides a wealth of detail about the acting and staging practices of the time.
Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe
No writer has been performed, adapted and translated in such a variety of languages and cultures as Shakespeare. This dazzlingly original book ranges across four continents and four centuries to show how Shakespeare was fascinated with the world, and the world became fascinated with Shakespeare. Blending travelogue and cultural history, it ranges from a troupe of English actors tramping the Baltic states in the early 1600s, via Bollywood and apartheid South Africa, to the skyscrapers of 21st-century Beijing.
Reading Chaucer's Poems
A Guided Selection
Chaucer is justly regarded as the father of English poetry for his wit, vivid characterization and narrative verve. This approachable selection includes The Parliament of Fowls, Troilus and Criseyde, The Legend of Good Women and generous extracts from The Canterbury Tales. A general introduction outlines what we know of his life and work, while each poem is preceded by an illuminating commentary and accompanied by a glossary explaining unfamiliar words.
The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries
This classic survey of tales about ‘the other-world of the Celtic race’ was first published in 1911; it is based both on Celtic literature and on oral traditions from the British Isles and Brittany, which Evans Wentz helped to record. As he seeks an ordering principle for these survivals of ancient beliefs he applies theories from anthropology, comparative religion and psychical research. This reprint features a new foreword by poet and Yeats scholar Kathleen Raine.
Lines in the Sand
The late AA Gill was widely acclaimed as one of the finest journalists of our time. This selection of recent pieces, made by Gill himself before his untimely death, shows him at his most perceptive, brilliant and funny. He tackles life-drawing, designs his own tweed, spends a day at Donald Trump’s university, and contemplates his cancer diagnosis. Above all, he addresses that most urgent of contemporary issues, the refugee crisis, reporting from Lampedusa, Lebanon and Calais with anger and compassion.
The Twentieth Century
The third book in the Reading and Studying Literature series for the Open University (module A230), this volume of essays, discussion topics and readings offers a fresh perspective on 20th-century writing in English. Part 1, on 20th-century cities, covers the period 1900–1950 in chapters on James Joyce’s Dubliners, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and poems and stories from New York’s Harlem Renaissance; Part 2, on migrant memory, discusses works by Sam Selvon, James Berry, Elizabeth Bishop, Brian Friel and WG Sebald.
Hugging the Shore
Essays and Criticism
‘Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea’, wrote John Updike in the preface to this collection of his essays. The novelist’s self-deprecating remark belies the range, depth and perception of these articles on his great predecessors Melville, Hawthorne and Whitman, and admired contemporaries such as Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and slightly off-mint.
On Further Reflection
60 Years of Writing
Actor, doctor, sculptor, TV personality, and director of film and opera, Jonathan Miller is a true polymath, yet his learning is worn lightly, his serious insights balanced by playful humour. All these qualities are evident in this collection of his writings from the past six decades, on subjects as diverse as drama, comedy, art history, mesmerism, neurology, psychology, how television changed after the Kennedy assassination, and how we see ourselves and the world.
The Rings Of Saturn
In the aftermath of a personal crisis Sebald, the celebrated German author, sets out on foot through the eerie, liminal landscape of coastal East Anglia. Deftly skirting the porous border between memoir, travelogue and fiction, the result is a haunting meditation on people and cultures past and present, on writers from Thomas Browne to Joseph Conrad, on fishing fleets, silkworms, a town that vanished beneath the sea, and the transience of human existence.
Adventures in the Strand
Arthur Conan Doyle and the Strand Magazine
In 1891, the first issue of The Strand magazine appeared; it was an immediate and massive success, mainly due to the debut of Sherlock Holmes in its pages. In this study of the relationship between Holmes's creator and the magazine, Mike Ashley first sketches the early career paths of Conan Doyle, the publisher George Newnes and editor Greenhough Smith before exploring their extraordinary achievement and Doyle’s subsequent 40-year association with The Strand up to his death in 1930.
The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing in Britain, 1660–1789
With 14 essays by leading scholars, this Companion introduces the range, significance and complexity of women’s writing during the long 18th century. The book is in two parts; the first discussing women in print culture, including a study of how geographical location shaped women’s writing; the second part examines a representative selection from the wide range of genres in which women wrote, including poetry, drama, fiction, history, satire and travel writing.
Spinsters, Lesbians and Widows in British Women's Fiction, 1850s-1930s
Emma Liggins’s study examines diverse representations of the woman outside of heterosexual marriage and the ‘New Woman’ in fiction and autobiography, from Charlotte Bronte’s Villette to works by Winifred Holtby and Virginia Woolf.
Abraham and his Son
The Story of a Story
The book of Genesis tells how Abraham obeyed God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac, a brief story that has profoundly influenced the theology and rituals of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as art, music and literature down the ages. In his history of this enigmatic tale, Goodman explores its many versions, from Syriac hymns to Sartre and Bob Dylan, showing how each rewriting has addressed worries about Abraham’s unquestioning faith and God’s reasons for requiring the sacrifice.
Hanz Kuechelgarten, Leaving the Theater and Other Works
Early Writings, Essays, Book Reviews and Letters
Nikolai Gogol is one of the geniuses of Russian comic prose. This compilation of uncollected and previously untranslated writings ranges from his debut in 1829 to 1842, the year of his great novel Dead Souls. It presents him in many guises – as poet, playwright, essayist and book reviewer – rounding out our understanding of this enigmatic master of dark humour. The translator’s introduction sets these early works in their biographical and historical context.
The Book of the Play
Playwrights, Stationers, and Readers in Early Modern England
Focusing on the publication, marketing and readership of plays in the early modern period, this collection of nine essays opens fresh perspectives on the relationship between the cultures of print and performance and more broadly between drama and the public sphere. The essay topics include women as readers of printed drama, closet drama and the case of Tyrannicall-Government Anatomized, play-reading and the book trade, and black-letter typeface.
The Essential Chomsky
'It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.' This powerful collection of Chomsky's writing, arranged chronologically from 1959 to 2006, brings together essays, lectures and whole-chapter extracts demonstrating the core themes of his critical and academic work, including US foreign policy and interventionism, propaganda and the media, and the theory of language. Shorter works on Watergate, Israel and 9/11 particularly resonate with our times.
Travels with John Steinbeck
In 1960 John Steinbeck and his dog Charley set out in their green pickup truck, travelling from New York to New Orleans to ‘see how the country looks and smells and sounds’. Half a century on, Dutch journalist and historian Geert Mak and his wife travel from Steinbeck’s home, retracing his journey through glistening suburbs, Midwestern prairies and rust-belt towns to see how Main Street, USA has changed, and what has become of the American Dream.
The Foucault Reader
An Introduction to Foucault's Thought
This selection of transcribed interviews and extracts from major works, including Discipline and Punish, The History of Sexuality and Madness and Civilization, introduces the key Foucauldian relationship between knowledge and power, and how it works to objectify and manipulate the individual. An authoritative introduction by editor Paul Rabinow tackles Foucault’s ‘three modes of objectification’: institutional isolation, scientific classification and self-objectification.
A tradition started by Leon Battista Alberti’s Apologi centum (1437), the philosophical Aesopic fable was an important genre in Renaissance literature. This volume presents Aesopic prose by Alberti, Bartolomeo Scala, Leonardo da Vinci and Bernadino Baldi, translated, with introduction and notes by David Marsh.
Rooms of One's Own
50 Places that Made Literary History
Virginia Woolf famously said that to write, a woman must have a room of her own. This book explores the rooms of writers of both genders over the past two centuries, and reflects on the way their surroundings may have influenced their work. The result is an entertaining and richly informative tour that ranges from Dr Johnson’s London house to the Brontë parsonage at Haworth; from Dorothy Parker’s room in New York’s Algonquin Hotel to Dostoyevsky’s St Petersburg apartment.
A Literary Anthology
Although they have been our domestic companions for millennia, cats still retain their air of inscrutability, intriguing and inspiring writers through the ages. This anthology brings together many of the best-loved literary depictions of our feline friends, including Edward Lear’s ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, Kipling’s ‘Cat that Walked by Himself’ and – of course – Lewis Carroll’s enigmatic Cheshire Cat. The book is illustrated throughout with scenes of cats at rest and at play.
A Literary Anthology
‘Histories’, wrote Alexander Pope, ‘are more full of the examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends’, and man’s best friend has a reputation for loyalty, companionship and playfulness. This collection of canine portraits from classic books will delight lovers of dogs and literature alike. Its vignettes range from Shakespeare to Dickens, from Mark Twain to Virginia Woolf, and from Dodie Smith’s Dalmatians to Jack London’s fearsome White Fang.
West African Literatures
Ways of Reading
This study interweaves the analysis of West African fiction, drama and poetry with an exploration of the broader political, cultural and intellectual contexts within which West African writers work. Anglophone literatures form the central focus of the book, with comparative comments on vernacular literature, francophone writing and oral literatures and detailed discussion of selected francophone texts in translation (eg. Senghor, Tadjo, Beyala, BÔ and Sembene).
This first full biography of Leonard Woolf (1880–1969) goes beyond his familiar role as husband of Virginia and member of the Bloomsbury set. Glendinning explores the many posts he filled during his long life, including colonial administrator, publisher, political writer and journal editor, and provides a full and lively portrait of a highly intelligent and complex man, who made significant contributions to the intellectual debates of his day.