The Human Tide
How Population Shaped the Modern World
In this study of the role of population in history, Paul Morland approaches demography as one among many causal factors, including technological innovation, economics and ideology, driving historical change. He describes the demographic revolution that began in Britain as the country industrialized and its population surged, and follows the changes in the numbers, lives and migrations of people in Europe and Russia, China and East Asia, the Middle East and Africa, up to the present day.
How the World We Made is Remaking Us
The diet, conditions and sedentary nature of modern life places stresses on our bodies that we are not designed for. Explaining how humans have evolved and adapted from the earliest hominins, this study explains how today’s environment causes many medical complaints and suggests habits to adopt that are more in line with our physiological design.
How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World
Since their export trade was reestablished with tin toys in the 1950s, Japan has steadily built a global reputation for creating goods that offer entertainment and quality. From anime to the Walkman, emojis and the recent resurgence of Pokémon, Matt Alt explores the ingenuity of the people behind the country’s products, and how, over the last six decades, Japanese pop culture has become so widespread.
Vault of Frankenstein
Since Frankenstein’s publication, the monster at its heart has become an almost universally recognised figure. This volume recounts how the monster developed from the novel’s initial reception in 1818 through its first film adaptation in 1931 to comics, toys and derivatives such as Edward Scissorhands and The Munsters. Contains removable replica memorabilia including movie posters and Shelley’s manuscript pages.
Religion and the Demographic Revolution
Women and Secularisation in Canada, Ireland, UK and USA Since the 1960s
In his second volume on the history of religious decline, Callum Brown argues that there is an intimate and causative interconnection between the three great social and cultural changes that began in the 1960s: the secularisation and the decline of Christianity; the revolution in family structures; and the transformation in women’s identities and the social construction of gender. Studies in Modern British Religious History. Volume 29.
A Visual History of Frankenstein
Mary Shelley’s horror story has inspired numerous adaptations since its publication in 1818. Designed to accompany an exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, this book provides a rich visual record of the ways her creation has been represented over the past two centuries. After exploring the novel’s background in the Gothic tradition, it examines the early stage adaptations, book illustrations, the classic film starring Boris Karloff, and more recent cinematic versions.
Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death and Gore
Peter Laws, a Baptist minister, has a personal fascination with horror culture. In this personal odyssey he attempts to understand why people like to be scared or disgusted, journeying to Transylvania and hunting werewolves in Hull. He also discusses whether embracing the gothic and gruesome is actually the healthiest way for us to confront our fear of death. Slightly off-mint.
Back to the Garden
Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present
In a deep ecological history of the Mediterranean cultural region since the Palaeolithic era, McGregor argues that the present environmental crisis has its origins in the late 18th-century abandonment of a harmonious working relationship with Nature. American cut pages.
The Feminist Revolution
The Struggle for Women's Liberation 1966–1988
This celebration of the women’s liberation movement, its battles and achievements and the creativity that came with them, focuses on the period from the 1960s to the 1980s during which feminist campaigns achieved landmark political victories and transformed the lives and opportunities of women. The highly illustrated volume contains interviews with leading figures, first-hand accounts and a range of photographs, posters, campaign literature and other ephemera.
The Written World
The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization
This survey examines the role of literature in the development of the world’s politics, philosophical ideas and spiritual beliefs. Discussing 16 key texts that span 4,000 years, Martin Puchner explores the ways in which the works have shaped social and cultural identity, from the Epic of Gilgamesh in c.2100 BCE to the Harry Potter novels in the 2000s. Puchner concludes by reflecting on the future of the written word’s influence upon human civilization.
Heart Beguiling Araby
The English Romance with Arabia
For certain Englishmen, the Arabian desert and its inhabitants exerted a powerful fascination. This book examines the lives of four Victorian Arabists – Richard Burton, Gifford Palgrave, Wilfrid Blunt and Charles Doughty – and explores the legend of TE Lawrence, who followed in their footsteps.
Dinner with a Cannibal
The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo
In this thorough examination of human cannibalism, a palaeoanthropologist analyses the evidence, from ancient fossils to recent genetic findings, that marks us all as descendants of cannibals. Investigating when and why humans have eaten their own kind, she identifies cannibalism as an ancient, natural strategy used by early humans to survive periods of food scarcity, but also considers the religious and culinary contexts in which it has been practised in historical times.
The Dandy at Dusk
Taste and Melancholy in the Twentieth Century
Dispelling the notion that dandyism can be defined as an extravagance of dress, and seeing it more as an art form, this social history explores its relationship to modernity and issues of identity. Through profiles of six 20th-century dandies, including the Duke of Windsor, Quentin Crisp and the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Philip Mann shows how their dedication to style is linked intrinsically to their aesthetic values and attitudes.
A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature
Once a mark of royalty designed to shield pharaohs from the sun, umbrellas have also been used to signal class distinctions and as status symbols, talismans and defensive weapons. This illustrated volume explores their history and cultural significance, and examines their treatment in literature, art and film, including 120 appearances in the works of Dickens.
The Portable Renaissance Reader
During the 15th and 16th centuries Europe rediscovered the ancient world and underwent a revolution in scientific knowledge. This classic anthology, first published in 1953, brings together selections from a range of Renaissance texts illustrating ‘characteristic tendencies, themes and seminal forms of the self-expression of the age’. It features the words of more than 100 writers including scientists and scholars (Erasmus, Copernicus), poets and artists (Petrarch, Michelangelo), and prelates and saints (Pius II, Teresa of Avila). Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Indispensable Chomsky
Offering an overview of Chomsky’s political thought, this compilation features transcripts derived from discussions at seminars and public talks held across a period of 11 years following the dawn of the post-Cold War era in 1989. They illustrate his revolutionary perspective on the politics of power and the workings of institutions, with topics including globalization, the military-industrial complex, US foreign and domestic policy, the strategies of activists and the media’s role in popular struggle.
Clearing a Space
Reflections on India, Literature and Culture
In the essays assembled in Clearing a Space, the novelist, musician and critic Amit Chaudhuri draws on his own experience as an Indian writer of fiction in English to reflect on what it means to be a modern Indian in relation to history, and on aspects of Indian culture and literature.
The Human Age
The World Shaped By Us
Diane Ackerman may rue the destruction of the natural world, yet she is thrilled by human ingenuity and here contemplates nascent technologies – including those for body heat recycling, 3D-printed human tissue and carbon capture – that may yet save our planet and our species. Slightly off-mint.
A Companion to Mexican Studies
With its unique fusion of the Aztec tradition, Christian iconography and modernism, Mexican art is powerful, distinctive and immediately recognizable. This scholarly but readable history traces its development from pre-Columbian times through the Spanish colonial period and revolution to the present day. Covering not only the visual arts but writing, theatre, music and dance, it takes in such great artists and writers as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Octavio Paz. With colour plates, maps, a chronology and extensive bibliography.
Prophecy and Power in the Ancient World
The female prophets known as sibyls were renowned across the Greco-Roman world and their pronouncements were considered a source of authoritative wisdom. Guillermo focuses on the stories that were told about four prominent sibyls, at Erythrae, Cumae, Delphi and Tibur. He also reflects on the wider cultural associations between women and prophecy and asks how the ancient pagan tradition was later fused with Christianity so successfully that sibyls feature in Michelangelo’s decoration of the Sistine Chapel.
Life and Culture in the West, 1918–1938
Europe emerged from the First World War broken and traumatized, its beliefs shattered by four years of carnage. This wide-ranging history charts the social, political and intellectual climate of the age, as citizens of the West turned their energies towards the hedonism of the Jazz Age while artists, scientists and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live without certainties, and sinister new ideologies emerged from the wreckage of the old order.
Violent jealous reactions make newspaper headlines, but Peter Toohey explains how ‘jealousy’s daily life is much quieter’ and ‘surprisingly beneficial’. Dealing with all kinds of jealousy – including that of infants, animals, families and academics – he explains its biological and evolutionary basis, its relation to humans’ socialization and how it protects and strengthens relationships. As well as its place in our lives, the study discusses jealousy in artistic creativity and the psychological study of the emotion.
Enlightenment and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Europe
This volume brings together Beales's essays, articles and lectures on 18th century Europe and, in particular, his research on Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor 1765-1790 and ruler of the Austrian Monarchy 1780-1790, and his 'revolution from above'. The book covers an area as wide as Joseph's rule and reforming influence, from the Austrian Netherlands in the West to Galicia and Transylvania in the East, and explores his ideas, aims and achievements through topics ranging from enlightened despotism to Mozart, and from the suppression of the Jesuits to Maria Theresa.
The Art of the Jewish Marriage Contract
The custom of illuminating the traditional Jewish marriage contract, the ketubbah, developed over the past four centuries into a rich and varied folk art throughout Northern Europe, Italy and the Near East. Produced in conjunction with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, this beautiful volume contains full-colour plates of 61 examples from its outstanding collection, and offers a vivid and fascinating account of the marriage customs and daily life of diverse Jewish communities.
The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen
How would you achieve invisibility? If you could become invisible, what would you do? What challenges would you face? These are perennially fascinating questions, raising moral dilemmas and prompting scientific investigations as well as inspiring many myths and legends about magic rings and cloaks of invisibility. This wide-ranging cultural history of the concept of invisibility embraces Plato and HG Wells, medieval occultism and quantum theory, zebras' stripes and the optical camouflage used on military ships.
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West 1830–1890
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
The Mechanical Smile
Modernism and the First Fashion Shows in France and America 1900–1929
In a richly illustrated study of the early fashion shows in France and America between the 1880s and 1929, Caroline Evans brings ‘economic and design history together in a new formation’ as she explores topics including fashion and modernism; the innovations of designers such as Worth, Lucile and Poiret; the body and the fashion mannequins (as models were known); the international garment and fashion trade; and commercial and cultural relations between America and France.
The Athlone History of Witchcraft and Magic in Europe
Volume 3: The Middle Ages
This third part of a modern, scholarly survey of supernatural beliefs in Europe demonstrates how a common European concept of magic emerged in the Middle Ages; it also examines the lore of pagan Scandinavia; and discusses the response of the medieval Church.
The Poetry of a People
Over many centuries, from Caedmon to Carol Ann Duffy, Britons have recorded their joys and sorrows, their loves and losses, in verse. In this anthology, which accompanied Radio 4's celebration of National Poetry Day in 2015, Andrew Marr tells the story of the country through the words of its poets. Alongside the work of such acclaimed writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Wordsworth are many lesser-known gems, offering us a glimpse of people's lives and experiences in every era.
Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards
The extravagant whiskers of prominent Victorians such as Charles Darwin and WG Grace seemed impossibly archaic until the recent 'hipster' fashion reinvented the wearing of long beards for young men for the first time since the hippies of the 1960s. This book traces the history of fashions in facial hair from the ancients to the present day.
The Best of Jackie
What to wear to get a date with a Bay City Roller (stripy socks from Mary Quant, 75p); how to tell if you're in love; where to buy those bell-bottomed dungarees... This shamelessly nostalgic compilation of facsimile pages from Jackie magazine, 1970–76, includes Cathy and Claire agony aunt pages, quizzes, readers' letters, fashion and make-up tips, and lots of advice on the burning issue – going out with boys.
Influence, Infection and the Image of Rome 1700–1870
With reproductions of many unfamiliar works, this book takes a novel approach to artists’ and travellers’ experience of the eternal city between 1700 and 1870: it revisits the history of Rome in terms of the city’s environment and pervasive mal’aria.
Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs
Marijuana was part of the scene for the early jazzmen of New Orleans, and the arrival of heroin in Harlem in the 1940s hooked the bebop players and helped create the culture that influenced writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. This social history examines the connection between drug use and the evolution of jazz music and discusses its influence in shaping American culture in the 20th century. Slightly off-mint with a felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
On the Seven Deadly Sins
Drawing on his experience in politics, former MP Kenneth Baker examines how the Seven Deadly Sins have been depicted in art and literature through the ages. Using excerpts from plays, poetry and fiction, he discusses the sins, reflects on their continuing presence in today’s more secular society, and concludes that life would be banal and unchallenging without them. The extensive illustrations include works by old masters such as Botticelli and Bosch, press photographs, and cartoons by Gillray, Rowlandson, Bateman, Peter Brookes and Dave Brown.
A City in the Jazz Age
Cathy Ross describes London in the 1920s as a city ‘shot with diversity and criss-crossed with nervous energy as it stared at an uncertain future’. Her book explores the cultural currents that circulated in the city, drawing on the Museum of London’s collections to examine the influence of America and Russia, trends in art, design and fashion, and the architecture and character of the city itself, while also discussing the social and political ideas of the decade.
Living with the Gods
On Beliefs and Peoples
In this book accompanying his BBC radio series, the former director of the British Museum explores the role of shared beliefs in the life of human communities around the globe. Rather than focusing on religious doctrine, he concentrates on practices, objects and places, tracing how societies from the Ice Age onwards have used stories and rituals to mark their identity and strengthen cohesion: ‘for in deciding how we live with our gods we also decide how to live with each other’.
A Brief History of the Freemasons
In the popular imagination the Freemasons are often regarded as a sinister secret society practising arcane rituals: Jasper Ridley’s reassessment traces the origins of Freemasonry in the medieval craftsmen's guilds and its spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Dispelling the more lurid misconceptions, Ridley sheds new light on the organization's beliefs, activities and current role in society.
Stranger in a Strange Land
Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem
Gershom (born Gerhard) Scholem was one of the leading intellectuals of pre-war Germany, and a close friend of Walter Benjamin. In 1923 he emigrated to Palestine and became the world’s foremost scholar of the Kabbalah. This study traces the evolution of his ideas from his disillusionment with European materialism and his discovery of Jewish mysticism, to his unease at the politics of Israel, where he found himself ‘a stranger in a strange land’. Off-mint.
The Jewish World
100 Treasures of Art and Culture
The Magnes Collection was founded in Berkeley, California, in 1962 and dedicated, in the words of its director, Alla Efimova, to ‘salvaging the floating remnants of the post-Holocaust Jewish world’. This volume, reflecting Dr Efimova’s personal view of the museum’s global mission and the range of artefacts within the collection, includes ritual objects and manuscripts from far-flung Jewish communities, past and present, and paintings, photographs and ephemera that represent the history of Californian congregations since the gold rush era.
A Visual Atlas from Ancient Greece to Artificial Intelligence
Examples of automata copying human actions date back to the ancient world and the idea of artificial or mechanical humans has had a particularly notable influence on art and the popular imagination since the early 20th century. This celebration of robots in visual culture explores their use in film, music, art, fashion and commerce, from the paintings of Fernand Léger and movies such as The Forbidden Planet to Kraftwerk and Transformers toys.
Women's Hairstyles and Culture from 1920 to 1980
Illustrated with vintage photographs, contemporary images and sketches, this visual history explores how the coiffeurs of western women evolved as social expectations gradually relaxed. The author considers the rise of fashions such as the kiss curls favoured by the dancers of the Folies Bergère, Jacqueline Kennedy’s signature bouffant, rock-n-roll beehives and anarchic punk spikes, and closes with a section dedicated to iconic hairstylists, past and present.
Style and Perfume from Chanel to Madonna
Illustrated with vintage advertisements and photographs, this examination of olfactory trends from the 1920s to the 1980s considers the key historical events and iconic female figures of each decade in turn and goes on to analyse in detail the scents most associated with it, such as Joy in the 1930s and Opium in the 1970s.
Maud Allan and the Myth of the Femme Fatale
In 1918 the dancer Maud Allan brought a libel case against Noel Billing MP for claiming in print that she was a lesbian. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Wendy Buonaventura explores Allan’s controversial career, and examines the way the case embodied early 20th-century attitudes to ‘dangerous’ women, whose independence, freedom from convention, and erotic allure were seen as a threat to the fabric of society, and even a cause of the First World War.
The Cambridge Companion to European Modernism
Contributors to this study of Modernist literature were asked to consider what ‘this cosmopolitan movement in the arts can teach us about life as a citizen of Europe and of the world’. The 15 essays examine Modernism within national and regional literatures – including studies of the former Habsburg Empire and pre-revolutionary Russia – but also discuss the movement across borders of ideas and forms and of writers such as Rilke, Joyce, Svevo and Maiakovskii. Off-mint.
Constellation of Genius
1922 Modernism Year One
January 1922: TS Eliot is in Paris working on The Waste Land with Ezra Pound; in Hollywood, Douglas Fairbanks decides to film the story of Robin Hood; insulin is first successfully used to treat diabetes; and Vaughan Williams's Pastoral Symphony is premiered in London: month by month, Jackson presents that spectacular year through the diaries of writers, artists, anthropologists and actors, philosophers, playwrights, politicians and scientists at work during the heyday of modernism.
How Religion Deprives Us of Happiness
In this appeal for us to reject religion’s ‘chimeras’, the businessman and philanthropist Vitaly Malkin argues that the adoption of monotheistic doctrines slowed down the progress of human civilization and has failed to make people happier. Examining the big questions of evil, death, suffering and ‘the great battle against pleasure’, he encourages the reader to question what benefit religious practices offer and to live in the present rather than wait for life after death. Slightly off-mint.
A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick
David Frye explores the historical significance of walls and barriers, especially the way they separate and subdivide cities, empires and nations. There have been ‘Great Walls’ throughout history, from Persia, Rome and China to Central America, while mysterious labyrinthine complexes have been discovered in remote deserts. As the role of borders comes under increasing scrutiny today, Frye suggests the symbolism of walls has become an integral part of human understanding.
The Mysterious Science of the Sea
Natascha Adamowsky presents a study of the ‘wondrous science of the sea’, arguing that – contrary to popular belief – post-Enlightenment discourse on the sea was still subject to mystery and wonder, and not wholly rationalized by science. From the History and Philosophy of Technoscience series.
A Cultural Study of Mary and the Annunciation
From Luke to the Enlightenment
In a cultural rather than theological study of a story that has exerted a powerful hold over the Western imagination, Gary Waller uses a variety of approaches to trace the history of the multiple stories of the Annunciation, from its late insertion into the Gospel of Luke and its elevation as the initiating historical event of Christian revelation, down to the Enlightenment.
Creating the Countryside
The Rural Idyll Past and Present
This exhibition catalogue offers a range of perspectives on the role and importance of the countryside in art and visual culture – from Gainsborough's landscapes to 21st-century video games. Essays explore themes such as the relationship between art and farming and how the concept of the rural idyll is exploited in advertising campaigns, while contemporary artists explain how rural places, communities and themes function in art practice today.
The Animal's Companion
People and their Pets: A 26,000-Year-Old Love Story
Starting with the earliest known evidence of ‘our role as an animal’s companion’ – the paw- and footprints of a boy and a dog walking in a cave 26,000 years ago – this is a history, not of pets, but of pet owners. Discussing individuals from aristocrats to rat-catchers, Harvey examines our relationship to the animals that we regard as pets, whether goldfish or wombats: how we name them, communicate and connect with them, care for them and mourn their deaths.
A Revolution of Feeling
The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind
In the 1790s Britain experienced what Edmund Burke called ‘a revolution in sentiments’: Hewitt shows how the French Revolution inspired British radicals to incorporate raw emotion into reformist ideals concerning sex, education, commerce and medicine. However, while this had enduring political effects, the aspirations of Enlightenment figures including Samuel Coleridge, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Wedgwood went unfulfilled as the ensuing Terror led to political crackdowns in Britain.
The End is Always Near
Apocalyptic Moments from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses
Dan Carlin is a broadcast journalist, best known for his Hardcore History podcasts. Here he explores the impact of major crises for humankind, including the fall of the Roman Empire, the Black Death, and the two world wars, considering issues such as whether hard times make people more resilient, and why some civilizations, such as the Assyrian Empire, showed greater longevity than others.
The Mammoth Book of Skulls
Skull iconography has come to occupy a central place in modern art and culture, from children’s sweets and ankle tattoos to street art. Graphic artist Ilya Illkillya curates and annotates this lavishly illustrated compendium of examples from many different art forms, while referring back to historical precedents such as medieval ossuaries and the Mexican Day of the Dead.
100 Years of Tattoos
Over the past century, tattoo culture has gradually emerged from the underground and reached the mainstream. This comprehensive visual history of the art offers analysis in the context of changing fashions and subcultures, from the designs favoured by sailors during the First World War to those of contemporary celebrities.
1968 in America
Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation
First published in the 1980s, this classic account of the impact of the 1960s counter-culture revolution in America focuses on a climactic year of student strikes, civil rights protests and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
Animals in Art From the Ice Age to Our Age
Drawing on the British Museum’s collections, Christopher Masters presents a survey of animals in art across time and cultures, from the ancient Egyptian jackal-headed god Anubis to Beatrix Potter’s drawings of the Flopsy Bunnies. The gallery of over 260 images is in sections on wild, domestic, exotic and symbolic animals and mythical creatures and presents a great diversity of artefacts, including drawings by Dürer, Meissen porcelain pug dogs, a Chinese iron sculpture of a carp, and a sleeping rat netsuke.
Why the Dutch are Different
A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands
Married to a Dutch woman and living in Rotterdam, Ben Coates sets out to understand his adopted homeland, exploring the history that created a prosperous, peaceful state and how its citizens are beginning to question the future of its liberal culture.
Our Human Story
Exploring the human experience through the representation of the face in art, Debra Mancoff presents over 360 artefacts ranging from prehistoric figurines to Renaissance drawings, and from 16th-century African masks to 20th-century photographs, all selected from the British Museum’s collections. The book is arranged by theme, from birth and childhood, through love and beauty, faith, power and identity to death – the gallery of faces ending with an Aztec human skull covered in turquoise and lignite mosaic.
How Metal Changes the Way We See the World
Seeking to understand the influences and impulses that drive the heaviest and darkest of heavy metal music, this evaluation of the genre connects the style and lyrics to contemporary issues such as industrial collapse and the nuclear threat, tracing a line from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to Iron Maiden, Metallica and more recent groups including Slipknot.