Shades of Difference
Mythologies of Skin Color in Early Modern England
Sujata Iyengar’s term ‘mythologies of color’ refers to a complex of early modern beliefs surrounding the significance of skin colour, whether white, black, red, green, yellow or transparent. She explores these cultural mythologies in their historical, geographical and literary contexts during the period when colonial expansion and the slave trade introduced Britons to more dark-skinned persons than they had previously encountered.
John the Baptist's Prayer or The Descent into Hell from the Exeter Book
Text, Translation and Critical Study
In this critical edition of the Anglo-Saxon poem commonly known as The Descent into Hell, Rambaran-Olm provides a substantial introduction, including a review of comparative studies and analogous literature, and her commentary offers a fresh interpretation of the poem, arguing the case for renaming it ‘John the Baptist’s Prayer’ to better reflect its central theme. Anglo-Saxon Studies 21.
The Humanist Comedy
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, authors in the Western literary tradition have applied a sceptical or contrarian perspective to religious beliefs and practices by using the freedom ceded to comedy. This study, which ranges from Aristophanes through Erasmus and Molière to the Nobel Prize-winning José Saramago, charts the history of such humanist humour and its use as a means of making room for multiple points of view and easing the negotiation of differences.
Two Aelfric Texts
The Twelve Abuses and The Vices and Virtues
Mary Clayton presents new texts, with facing translations and full critical apparatus, of Aelfric’s vernacular versions of two highly influential early-medieval ethical treatises: De duodecim abusiuis (The Twelve Abuses), originally written in seventh-century Ireland; and De octo uitiis et de duodecim abusiuis gradus (The Eight Vices and Virtues and Twelve Abuses), partly based on Alcuin’s De uirtutibus et uitiis (ninth century). The book includes the Latin text of De duodecim abusiuis. Anglo-Saxon Texts 11.
Hail and Farewell!
Ave, Salve, Vale
In 1901, George Moore, the celebrated author of Esther Waters , returned to his native Dublin at the height of the Irish Literary Revival. First published in 1911, his monumental Hail and Farewell! profiles the movement’s leading figures, including WB Yeats, Lady Gregory and JM Synge, charts the development of the Abbey Theatre, and illuminates the literary, artistic and musical tastes of the period. This new edition provides notes explaining many references familiar to the book’s original readers but now obscure.
Robert Mannyng of Brunne
The Chronicle by Robert Mannyng of Brunne (fl.1288–1338) is a history of the British people in English verse; Part I is a translation of the French Roman de Brut of Wace (1155); Part II is from the Anglo-French chronicle of Peter of Langtoft. This scholarly edition of the text, with introduction, notes and glossary, aims to make the work more accessible and facilitate a reappraisal of Mannyng as an important translator of Anglo-French literature. No jacket.
Spirit of the Age
Gertrude Himmelfarb’s selection of 17 essays by eminent Victorians illustrates the vitality and variety of intellectual life in an age of earnest convictions and deep anxieties. From Carlyle to TH Huxley, the essays span the era and cover topics in religion, politics, science, art and feminism. Himmelfarb's introductory chapters set them in cultural context and examine the essay as an especially Victorian literary genre.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Michael Phillips presents a scholarly edition of Blake's illuminated book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: 'a work that deliberately unsettles and questions, prods and cajoles, challenging the way we think'. This volume comprises colour reproductions of the Bodleian Library copy, with a substantial introduction to the work's biographical, historical and intellectual background, a transcription and commentary elucidating the meanings and allusions of Blake's intriguing work of poetry, prose, song and satire.
The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany
Reflecting on the appeal of Sherlock Holmes in 1946, the editor of The Baker Street Journal described Conan Doyle's creation as 'Galahad and Socrates, bringing high adventure to our dull existences and calm, judicial logic to our biased minds'. For fans old and new, this little book is full of all things Holmesian – from Sidney Paget's original illustrations in The Strand to Benedict Cumberbatch's modern interpretation of the great detective.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In this book from the Critical Lives series, Stephen Hart provides new insight into the life and work of the Colombian Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez (1927–2014) and describes how the political struggles of Latin America influenced his writing, from One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) to Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004).
A Place in the Country
This collection of interlinked essays about place, memory and creativity captures the inner lives of five writers – Johann Peter Hebel, Rousseau, Eduard Mörike, Gottfried Keller and Jan Peter Tripp – and one painter, Robert Walser. Written in his characteristic creative prose – part critical essay, part memoir – these last essays by WG Sebald (1944–2001) offer what his translator, Jo Catling, describes in her introduction as 'an unprecedented glimpse into the writer's workshop'. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Sherlock Holmes Companion
An Elementary Guide
In an illustrated guide to the Great Detective as both literary character and cultural phenomenon, Smith provides synopses of all four novels and 56 short stories (without giving away the endings), and profiles Arthur Conan Doyle and other figures – real and fictional – in the history of Holmes. The book includes interviews with actors who have portrayed Holmes and Watson on film, radio and television and chapters on themes including the stories' original illustrator, Sidney Paget, and the detective's literary lineage.
Good Reading Guide
There is no better way to appreciate the spirit of a place than through its novels. Arranged by continent, country and city, this guide features more than 1,000 works by hundreds of the world's greatest writers. Follow the fictional footsteps of Leopold Bloom through Dublin and Miss Jean Brodie through Edinburgh; walk the mean streets of Brooklyn with Hubert Selby; savour the decadence of pre-war Berlin with Christopher Isherwood; and watch with Chinua Achebe as things fall apart in Nigeria.
The Kraus Project
Essays by Karl Kraus
Karl Kraus (1874–1936) was an Austrian satirist, the editor of the influential magazine Die Fackel (The Torch) and a central figure in the intellectual life of fin-de-siécle Vienna. For Franzen, he was a prophet whose writings, though notoriously difficult, speak to 'our own media-saturated, technology-crazed, apocalypse-haunted historical moment'. In this book, he presents the first English translation of Kraus' Heine and the Consequences (1911) and elucidates its context and meaning in copious footnotes.
The World of Raymond Chandler
In His Own Words
Despite his fame as an author of superlative crime fiction, Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) never wrote an autobiography. This volume fills the gap, setting passages of the novels and short stories alongside excerpts from Chandler's letters to friends, publishers and fellow authors. They reveal his insights on writing, language and style; his views on women, Los Angeles and his private eye Philip Marlowe; and his experiences in Hollywood working with such directors as Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. American-cut pages.
In Her Own Words
Her warm humour, sympathy, curiosity about human nature and eye for detail make the novels of Maeve Binchy (1940–2012) hugely appealing. These virtues are all shared by this selection of articles from The Irish Times, which chart her life from her early career as a waitress to the pains of old age. Whether meeting Samuel Beckett, reporting tragedies or recounting an amusing anecdote of small-town life, they are as compelling as her fiction. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and American-cut pages.
When she died in 1996, Marguerite Duras left four notebooks in a cupboard at her country home. Only now have their contents been published, including her account of her upbringing in Indochina, her gripping diaries of the war years in Paris, and a first draft of her novel The Lover. Written with unflinching clarity, they shed new light on the life and work of one of the great literary figures of the 20th century. Off-mint.
A Trifle, a Coddle, a Fry
An Irish Literary Cookbook
From the magnificent breakfast for four described in Ulysses to the custard puddings made to aid Samuel Beckett's convalescence following a near-fatal stabbing, this literary cookbook introduces 67 recipes inspired by or referred to in the works and lives of twelve Irish writers, and brought into being by Irish cooks Veronica Jane O'Mara and Fionnuala O'Reilly.
Ethics and Power in Medieval English Reformist Writing
In an in-depth study of the late medieval practice of fraternal correction of sin, Craun examines how it was constructed in pastoral writing and, looking particularly at Piers Plowman and The Book of Margery Kempe, how it was used by writers intent on reform.
The Country Diaries
A Year in the British Countryside
Described by the Daily Mail as 'a delightfully addictive treasury', this anthology features many of the great diarists who wrote about life in the countryside, among them Gilbert White, Beatrix Potter, John Evelyn and Roger Deakin. The book is arranged as a year, from 1 January 1779, when 'a most dreadful Storm of Wind and Hail & Snow' awoke James Woodforde, to Richard Jeffries counting 2000 peewits in a field in Surbiton on 31 December 1881.
The Digested Read of the Twentieth Century
A literary parodist whose weekly Digested Read column in the Guardian enjoys a cult following, John Crace has compiled his own list of 100 classic novels, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) to JM Coetzee's Disgrace (1999). The whole western literary canon is fair game for Crace's short, but mercilessly accurate parodies – not even EM Forster, Proust, James Joyce and William Faulkner escape.
Shakespeare: Staging the World
Staging the World
Shakespeare's plays still enthral us four centuries after they were written, but what fed his imagination? Beautifully illustrated with more than 200 paintings, sculptures, artefacts and documents, this catalogue of a joint British Museum-Royal Shakespeare Company exhibition explores the London of 1612, the Gunpowder Plot, English views of Venice, of Moors and of Jews, and the 'brave new world' beyond the Atlantic, bringing to life not just the texture of Shakespeare's times, but the ideas that were in the air.
WH Auden Prose
Volume Three: 1949-1955
The poet WH Auden was also a prolific and accomplished writer of prose. This volume includes every piece he wrote between 1949 and 1955 - more than 100 essays, reviews, introductions and lectures. Their variety of style and subject is almost inexhaustible, covering opera, ballet, cinema, poetry, cartoons, religion and politics, and writers as diverse as Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene and JRR Tolkien. Mendelson's introduction and notes place the pieces in their biographical and historical context.
Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby
A former Sunday Times Book of the Week, Careless People takes us back to the jazz age of the 1920s and tells the true story behind F Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Churchwell explores in detail the novel's relation to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's extravagant and chaotic lives in New York; but also to the gruesome Hall-Mills double murder of 1922 and the farcical police investigation into what was billed as 'the crime of the decade'. Off-mint.
Selected Writings 1993-2013
Amit Chaudhuri is one of India's finest novelists writing in English today. This collection of his non-fiction, written for publications such as Granta and the Times Literary Supplement, displays all his characteristic elegance and quirky humour. Endlessly curious, he ranges over topics from a plane hijack to playing 'Cowboys and Indians' as a child in Bombay, and from Leonard Cohen to the strange resemblance between Walter Benjamin and a familiar type of Bengali intellectual.
The Charleston Bulletin Supplements
The Sussex farmhouse of Charleston was home to the painter Vanessa Bell and her family, and a regular haunt of their Bloomsbury Group friends. In 1923, her sons Quentin and Julian founded a family newspaper to record the comings and goings there. Who better, then, to write for it than their aunt Virginia? Charming, gossipy, irreverent and funny, her contributions are transcribed here for the first time, along with some 40 of Quentin's illustrations.
Dante's Divine Comedy
Dante's great poem, the first book written in Italian, begins with his descent through nine circles of Hell to the lake of ice where Lucifer is trapped for all eternity. In this edition of Longfellow's verse translation, the Inferno's 34 cantos are each preceded by a brief introduction and illustrated with a selection of artists' representations of the Last Judgement, the landscape of Hell and scenes from Dante's infernal voyage of self-discovery.
The Missing Ink
The Lost Art of Handwriting (and Why it Still Matters)
'Handwriting is good for us', argues Philip Hensher, 'It involves us in a relationship with the written word which is sensuous, immediate and individual'. In his witty and highly entertaining defence of handwriting, Hensher discusses teachers of handwriting, theorists and graphologists, goose quills, nibs and the Cristal Bic, and he makes a passionate case for continuing to scribble notes, write letters, chew Biros, and 'enhance the quality of our lives by going for the slow option'.
A Practical Linguistic Guide
A unique and engaging approach to the study of Early Modern English, this book provides students with a solid grounding for understanding the language of Shakespeare and its place within the development of English. Johnson covers all aspects of the playwright's language – vocabulary, grammar, sounds, rhetorical structure, etc. – and gives illuminating background information on the linguistic context of the Elizabethan age. The book includes practical exercises and activities, including suggestions for further work.
As an actor Simon Callow has played the part of Dickens and performed Dickens's works; as a writer he focuses on the role of theatre in the life of the novelist, public speaker and self-styled 'Sparkler of Albion'. The result is an exuberant, passionate portrayal of Dickens and the 'abundant living' that he crammed into a relatively short life. 'Callow not only admires his subject', wrote David Edgar in the Guardian, 'but has got inside him'.
I Used to Know That: Literature
Beginning with unfinished books and the cliff-hangers left by Charles Dickens and Raymond Chandler, this book brings together the stuff they didn't tell you in English Lit. Among the topics are drunks and drug addicts (notably Dylan Thomas and Coleridge), literary put-downs such as Truman Capote on Kerouac's On the Road ('That's not writing, that's typing'), animals in fiction, literary hoaxes and books that changed the world.
My Brother's Book
Published in 2013, a year after Sendak's death, My Brother's Book is his tribute to his elder brother who died in 1995. Addressed to adults rather than children, the short and, at times, enigmatic text echoes themes from Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, while the watercolours, showing the influence of Blake and Chagall, evoke an uncertain world of danger and loss. With a foreword by Shakespearean scholar Stephen Greenblatt.
Stephen Spender: New Selected Journals 1939-1995
This new selection from Stephen Spender's journals reveals the private, even intimate face of the poet, but also documents his life as a public intellectual and his involvement in historical events from post-war reconstruction in Germany to the anti-Vietnam movement.