A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found
'A severed head can be many things: a loved one, a trophy, scientific data, criminal evidence, an educational prop, a religious relic, an artistic muse, a practical joke.' Larson surveys all these fates of human heads in a strange and often gruesome history that ranges from primitive tribes' shrunken heads to bizarre experiments in bringing guillotined heads back to life, and discusses issues such as the spectacle of public execution, the human face and the act of decapitation.
Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today
For over two centuries, Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet has been the pride of Russian culture, a source of national prestige under tsars and communists alike; yet the shocking acid attack on its artistic director Sergei Filin in 2015 was but the latest in a long line of scandals. Here, the musicologist Simon Morrison charts the Bolshoi’s history of political manipulation and artistic rivalry, with the focus always on the ballet, ‘the cruellest and most wondrous of the arts’.
A Lonely Life
Growing up in a humble shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley dreamed that success would free him from poverty. So how did he become dependent on bank loans even after achieving huge worldwide fame, and why did he despise his own movies and songs, even fearing that he would be forgotten after his death? This biography focuses on identifying the origins of the contradictions and frailties that lay behind Elvis’s charming, confident onstage persona. Slightly off-mint.
Deciphering a Memory
Although Jesus’ conversation with Pilate was a moment of enormous political and theological significance, the Roman governor of Judaea is a shadowy figure in the Gospel accounts. Schiavone takes the reader on a ‘journey within early Christian memory’ to investigate what can be learned from those narratives and their intersection with Judaeo-Roman historiography: who was Pilate, what was he thinking during his questioning of Jesus and how did he become a figure of such controversy and ambiguity? American-cut pages.
Nefertiti in the Flak Tower
Collected Verse 2008–2011
Clive James describes these poems as combining ‘American cultural information with a British range of tones’, and they deal with intriguing subjects, including the fate of Nefertiti’s statue in Nazi Germany, Whitman’s final moments and the Iliad, Hollywood-style. Off-mint.
The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams
A prototype tragic hero for the rock generation to follow, Hank Williams struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse and died before he was 30 on New Year's Day, 1953. This new biography of the country legend describes his childhood of rural poverty, tracing his musical roots to the street corner bluesman he befriended in Alabama, and explores the powerful influence in his life and career of his domineering mother, Millie, and fiery wife, Audrey. Off-mint.
Dreams to Remember
Otis Redding, Stax Records and the Transformation of Southern Soul
Otis Redding (1941–1967) made a seismic impact on American popular culture, and his recordings for the STAX label during the 1960s helped to define the sound of soul music and bring it to the mainstream. Based on interviews and extensive archival research, this chronicle of his life traces his rise from an unknown rural gospel singer to a superstar capable of selling out huge venues across the world. American-cut pages.
How to Be a Tudor
A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life
Historians trawl through documentary records to reveal how people lived in the past, but few actually experience it first-hand. Ruth Goodman, presenter of the BBC TV series Tudor Monastery Farm, has done just that, eating, sleeping, working, dressing and dancing like a Tudor. Drawing on these adventures with characteristic wit and humour, she describes a day in the life of an ordinary person, from dawn to dusk, during one of the most vibrant periods of English history.
Confronting the Classics
Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations
Comprising updated versions of 31 essays published over the past two decades, this volume takes the reader on 'a provocative tour of what is happening now in Classics'. Professor Beard reassesses old answers in scholarly debates concerning Greco-Roman antiquity; offers fresh interpretations of heroes and antiheroes, from the Greek poet Sappho to the emperor Hadrian; explores the evidence for ordinary Romans' worries and ambitions; and asks what our modern responses to the ancient world say about us.