The Captain's Concubine
Love, Honor, and Violence in Renaissance Tuscany
In March 1578 cavalier Fabrizio Bracciolini alleged that he had been beaten up in a street in Pistoia by Mariotto Cellesi and four accomplices. At the trial that followed it emerged that Fabrizio was the lover of Mariotto's father's concubine. This dramatic history brings this long-forgotten incident to life, probing contemporary notions of honour, family and religion. Peopled by a rich cast of patricians, merchants, shopkeepers, weavers, priests and prostitutes, it presents a cross-section of society in Renaissance Italy.
Aesthetics and Sexuality in Britain, 1750–1832
Richard C Sha considers how contemporary theories of aesthetics and biology shaped notions of sexuality, reproduction and gender during the Romantic period, applying readings of scientific texts and the philosophy of Kant and Longinus to the work of such important writers as Blake, Byron, Shelley and Wollstonecraft. He argues that the Romantics advocated 'perversity' – here, liberated purposelessness – in both art and sex, and reconceptualized sexual pleasure as deriving from mutuality rather than the biological purpose of reproduction.
The Great Plague
The Story of London's Most Deadly Year
Between the death of Goodwoman Phillips in Saint Giles-in-the-Fields on Christmas Eve 1664 and January 1666, the Great Plague killed almost 100,000 people in and around London. In this engrossing study, historian A Lloyd Moote and microbiologist Dorothy C Moote describe the progress of the epidemic and investigate how people lived through the catastrophe, how they decided whether to leave or stay in the city, and what resources they drew on to survive amid so much death and disorder.
The Speed of Sound
Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution, 1926-1930
In a scholarly and entertaining study of the transition from silent movies to talkies, Eyman shows that many filmmakers were reluctant to embrace the new technology, despite audiences' fascination with this innovation which revealed what their favourite stars sounded like. He discusses sound's creative and economic impact on Hollywood, and how the popularity of early talkies such as Warner Brothers' The Jazz Singer laid the foundations for the modern movie industry.