Monthly Releases

Books to look out for in December 2018

Looking for that special something to slip under the tree for a loved one this year? Why not take a look at our latest releases coming out this month. From the limits of enlightenment to the Medieval churches of the 15th century there could be that special something for a loved one (or yourself). We round up the best books to put on your reading list this December.

Until next time!

Herder’s Essay on Being

A Translation and Critical Approaches

Edited by John K. Noyes

In recent years, Johann Gottfried Herder has been the focus of much interest in the English-speaking world. While he was long disregarded, current scholarship in both German and English is revisiting his importance as an early theorist of the limits of Enlightenment. Noyes presents the first English translation of Herder’s foundational essay along with critical responses to it by today’s leading Herder scholars.

Debussy’s Resonance

Edited by François de Médicis and Steven Huebner

The music of Claude Debussy has always been widely beloved by listeners and performers alike, more perhaps than that of any of the other pioneers of musical modernism. The book treats a large swath of the composer’s music, from previously unexplored mélodies of his early years to late pieces such as the ballet Jeux and the Douze Études, and takes into consideration the numerous contexts that helped shape the works and the different ways that musicologists and critics have explained them.

The Fifteenth Century XVI

Examining Identity

Edited by Linda Clark

The vitality and diversity of research into the late medieval period are exemplified by the contents of this volume. “This series pushes the boundaries of knowledge and develops new trends in approach and understanding.” A central theme of the book is the medieval Church: examinations of the process of ordination, the parishioners of Dartford in Kent and the influence of their learned vicar, how monastic chroniclers changed their focus as the century progressed, the perhaps unjustified reputation of Bishop Ayscough of Salisbury, and the significance of Edward IV’s charter of ecclesiastical liberties.


Reflections on his Life of Writing

Edited by Simon Gikandi and Ndirangu Wachanga

This collection of essays reflects on the life and work of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, who celebrated his 80th birthday in 2018. Drawing from a wide range of contributors, including writers, critics, publishers and activists, the volume traces the emergence of Ngugi as a novelist in the early 1960s, his contribution to the African culture of letters at its moment of inception, and his global artistic life in the twenty-first century.

Renaissance Papers 2017

Edited by Jim Pearce and Ward J. Risvold

Renaissance Papers collects the best scholarly essays submitted each year to the Southeastern Renaissance Conference. This year’s volume offers many contributions on early modern drama alongside essays probing identity, iconography, and devotional imagery in religious spaces and artworks.

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Books to look out for in November 2018

Looking for a new Boydell book this month? From the musical culture of the Low Countries, to the debt owed by Shakespeare to Ovid, we round up the best (and most eclectic range of) books to put on your reading list this November.

Until next time!

Piety and Polyphony in Sixteenth-Century Holland

The Choirbooks of St Peter’s Church, Leiden

By Eric Jas

The musical culture of the Low Countries in the early modern period was a flourishing one, apparent beyond the big cathedrals and monasteries, and reaching down to smaller parish churches. Unfortunately, very few manuscripts containing the music have survived from the period, and what we know rests to a huge extent on six music books preserved from St Peter’s Church, Leiden. This book describes the manuscripts, their provenance, history and repertory, and the zeven-getijdencollege, the ecclesiastical organisations which ordered the music books, in detail.

Shakespeare’s Ovid and the Spectre of the Medieval

By Lindsay Ann Reid

The debt owed by Shakespeare to Ovid is a major and important topic in scholarship. This book offers a fresh approach to the subject, in aiming to account for the Middle English literary lenses through which Shakespeare and his contemporaries often approached Greco-Roman mythology. Drawing its principal examples from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Lucrece, and Twelfth Night, it reinvestigates a selection of moments in Shakespeare’s works that have been widely identified in previous criticism as “Ovidian”, scrutinising their literary alchemy with an eye to uncovering how ostensibly classical references may be haunted by the under-acknowledged, spectral presences of medieval intertexts and traditions.

Sir John Fortescue and the Governance of England

By Margaret Kekewich

Sir John Fortescue was arguably the most important political thinker of fifteenth-century England. Rising from relative obscurity to become Chief Justice of the King’s Bench he progressively assumed a political role as a partisan of the Lancastrian cause during the Wars of the Roses. As Chancellor-in-exile to Henry VI he wrote on the lawful succession and in praise of the common law of England. This book provides the first comprehensive biography of Fortescue, reassessing his career and thought, challenging earlier views about his life, and discusses his work as a lawyer and political thinker in the light of modern scholarship.

A Critical Companion to John Skelton

Edited by Sebastian Sobecki and John Scattergood

John Skelton is a central literary figure and the leading poet during the first thirty years of Tudor rule. Nevertheless, he remains challenging and even contradictory for modern audiences. This book aims to provide an authoritative guide to this complex poet and his works, setting him in his historical, religious, and social contexts. Beginning with an exploration of his life and career, it goes on to cover all the major aspects of his poetry, from the literary traditions in which he wrote and the form of his compositions to the manuscript contexts and later reception.

Punishment and Medieval Education

By Ben Parsons

“What meanys shall I use to lurne withoute betynge?”, asks a pupil in a translation exercise compiled at Oxford in 1460s. One of the most conspicuous features of medieval education is its reliance on flogging. Throughout the period, the rod looms large in literary and artistic depictions of the schoolroom: it appears in teaching manuals, classroom exercises, and even in the iconography of instruction. As a whole, this study not only exposes the impressive rigour with which beating was defined, but also some of the doubts, paradoxes, and even anxieties that surrounded its usage.

ALT 36: African Literature Today

Queer Theory in Film & Fiction

By Ernest N. Emenyonu

Debates on the future of the African continent and the role of gender identities in these visions are increasingly present in literary criticism forums as African writers become bolder in exploring the challenges they face and celebrating gender diversity in the writing of short stories, novels, poetry, plays and films. Controversies over the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ) communities in Africa, as elsewhere, continue in the context of criminalization and/or intimidation of these groups. ALT 36 is also avaiable in (Africa Only) paperback.

The Annals of Dunstable Priory

Translated by David Preest and edited by Harriett R. Webster

Told with humour, outrage, and truthful detail, the Annals of Dunstable Priory are a valuable witness to thirteenth-century England, offering a lively and accessible account of an important and turbulent period of English history. Giving insights into many facets of medieval life, they perhaps most importantly offer detailed accounts of key events on an national and international stage, including the crisis of the Second Barons’ War in the reign of Henry III, and the conquest of Wales under Edward I. This new translation makes them available to a wider audience for the first time.

With Mornefull Musique: Funeral Elegies in Early Modern England

By K. Dawn Grapes

What was the musical culture of death in early modern England? K. Dawn Grapes examines musical funeral elegies and the people related to commemorative tribute – the departed, the composer, potential patrons, and friends and family of the deceased – to determine the place these musical-poetic texts held in a society in which issues of death were discussed regularly, producing a constant, pervasive shadow over everyday life.

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Books to look out for in October 2018

Looking for a new Boydell book this month? From the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to the various stages of the European Romantic period, we round up the best (and most eclectic range of) books to put on your reading list this October. Until next time!


Nasty Women and Bad Hombres

Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election

Edited by Christine A. Kray, Tamar W. Carroll and Hinda Mandell

Gender and racial politics were at the center of the 2016 US presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This collection of essays looks at the often vitriolic rhetoric that characterized the election: “nasty women” vs. “deplorables”; “bad hombres” and “Crooked Hillary”; analyzing the struggle and its result through the lenses of gender, race, and their intersections, and with particular attention to the roles of memory, performance, narrative, and social media.

Material Enlightenment

Women Writers and the Science of Mind, 1770-1830

by Joanna Wharton

Women writers played a central, but hitherto under-recognised, role in the development of the philosophy of mind and its practical outworkings in Romantic era England, Scotland and Ireland. This book focuses on the writings and lives of five leading figures – Anna Barbauld, Honora Edgeworth, Hannah More, Elizabeth Hamilton and Maria Edgeworth – a group of women who differed profoundly in their political, religious and social views but were nevertheless associated through correspondence, family ties and a shared belief in the importance of female education.

Birds in Medieval English Poetry

Metaphors, Realities, Transformations

by Michael J. Warren

Birds featured in many aspects of medieval people’s lives, not least in their poetry. But despite their familiar presence in literary culture, it is still often assumed that these representations have little to do with the real natural world. Warren presents the first full-length study of birds and their metamorphoses as treated in a wide range of medieval poetry, from the Anglo-Saxons to Chaucer and Gower.

Township Violence and the End of Apartheid

War on the Reef

by Gary Kynoch

A powerful re-reading of modern South African history following apartheid that examines the violent transformation during the transition era and how this was enacted in the African townships of the Witwatersrand. This book studies, for the first time, the conflicts between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party that took place in South Africa’s industrial heartland surrounding Johannesburg.

Stages of European Romanticism

Cultural Synchronicity across the Arts, 1798-1848

by Theodore Ziolkowski

Romanticism was a truly European phenomenon, extending roughly from the French Revolution to the 1848 revolutions and embracing not only literature and drama but also music and visual arts. Because of Romanticism’s vast scope, most treatments have restricted themselves to single countries or to specific forms, notably literature, art, or music. This book employs an innovative approach by “stages” to offer a unified vision of European Romanticism over the half-century of its growth and decline.

The Music of Joseph Joachim

by Katharina Uhde

Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) was arguably the greatest violinist of the nineteenth century. But Joachim was also a composer of virtuoso pieces, violin concertos, orchestral overtures and chamber music works. Uhde’s book will be the standard work on the music of Joseph Joachim for many years to come, following Joachim’s compositional path through a changing cultural milieu.

Ludwig Leichhardt’s Ghosts

The Strange Career of a Traveling Myth

by Andrew Wright Hurley

After the renowned Prussian scientist and explorer Ludwig Leichhardt left the Australian frontier in 1848 on an expedition to cross the continent, he disappeared without a trace. Andrew Hurley’s book complicates that view by undertaking an afterlife biography of “the Humboldt of Australia.” A fascinating cultural studies account of the “afterlife” of Leichhardt, revealing both German entanglement in British colonialism in Australia, and in a broader sense, what happens when we maintain an open stance to the ghosts of the past.

Late Medieval Heresy: New Perspectives

Studies in Honor of Robert E. Lerner

Edited by Michael D. Bailey and Sean L. Field

From the Gregorian reforms to the Protestant Reformation, heresies and heretics helped shape the religious, political, and institutional structures of medieval Europe. This volume takes the history of heresy in late medieval Europe (1300-1500) on its own terms. From Paris to Prague and from northern Germany to Italy and even extending as far as Ethiopia, the essays shed new light on a vibrant world of audacious beguines, ardent Joachites, Spiritual Franciscans, innovative mystics, lay prophets, idiosyncratic alchemists, daring magicians, and even rebellious princes locked in battles with the papacy.

Art and Political Thought in Medieval England, c.1150-1350

by Laura Slater

Images and imagery played a major role in medieval political thought and culture, but their influence has rarely been explored. From the examination of the writings of late twelfth-century courtier-clerics to events such as the Thomas Becket conflict, the making of Magna Carta, the Barons’ War and the deposition of Edward II, Slater explores how power and political society were imagined, represented and reflected on in medieval English art.

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Books to look out for in September 2018

Looking for a new Boydell book this month? From the conception of English identity, to the beautiful watercolour illustrations of English Medieval church towers, to the literary contributions to Ghana’s broadcasting system, we round up the best books to put on your reading list this September. Until next time!


Bernhard Heisig and the Fight for Modern Art in East Germany

by April A. Eisman

One of the first books to extend the currently burgeoning scholarship on East Germany to the visual arts, revealing that painting, like literature and film, was a space of contestation. This book focuses on one of East Germany’s most successful artists as a point of entry into the vibrant art world of the “other” Germany. In the 1980s, Bernhard Heisig (1925-2011) was praised on both sides of the Berlin Wall for his neo-expressionist style and his commitment to German history and art. After unification, Heisig was a focal point in the Bilderstreit, a virulent debate over what role East German art should play in the new Germany.

English Medieval Church Towers

The Northern Province

by W.E. David Ryan

Church towers are a prominent feature of the English landscape and stand as a testament to the skill and ingenuity of medieval masons. Every medieval church tower within the Northern Province is beautifully illustrated here by a watercolour painting and is accompanied by detailed information relating to its location and date and an architectural description. Provided with an index and a glossary of terms, this book can be used both as a visitor’s guide and as a reference work for the study of medieval church architecture.

Voices of Ghana

Literary Contributions to the Ghana Broadcasting System, 1955-57

Edited by Victoria Ellen Smith

Annotated, scholarly edition of the original landmark anthology, Voices of Ghana, containing poetry, plays, stories and essays first broadcast on radio in the years leading up to Ghana’s independence. The context of Ghana’s independence, the singularity of the anthology’s history, and the significance of many of the writers all contribute to the importance of this text. This second edition is a timely intervention into recent debates within postcolonial studies and world literature on the importance of broadcast culture in the dissemination of “new literatures” from the colonial world.

Composing History

National Identities and the English Masque Revival, 1860-1920

by Deborah Heckert

A study of the ways in which topics of English history were central to conceptions of English identity, musical and otherwise, during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Its focus is on the masque, an early modern English musico-dramatic genre that was reinvented during the Victorian period as a vehicle for nationalistic, historically inflected popular entertainments.

An American in Warsaw

Selected Writings of Hugh S. Gibson, US Minister to Poland, 1919-1924

Edited by Vivian Hux Reed, M. B. B. Biskupski, Jochen Böhler, Jan-Roman Potocki

This book presents the writings of Hugh S. Gibson, who served from 1919 to 1924 as the first US Minister to the new Second Polish Republic. Crucially involved with world-shaping events, Gibson faithfully recorded his eyewitness impressions and interactions with the nascent Polish state, bickering Allies, and increasingly isolationist Americans. With a flair for pertinent analysis, Gibson records the rocky first years of Polish statehood. His words are prophetic, accurately assessing the need for strong state structures to protect all citizens and predicting the danger posed especially to minority groups should such structures fail.

And the Shark, He Has Teeth

A Theater Producer’s Notes

by Ernst Josef Aufricht, Translated by Benjamin Bloch and Introduction by Marc Silberman

First English translation of the memoirs of the great German-Jewish theater producer Ernst Josef Aufricht, providing an inside account of the late Weimar theater scene in Berlin. The title alludes to Brecht and Weill’s Threepenny Opera, the premiere of which was produced by Aufricht at his Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin in 1928, launching Brecht and Weill to worldwide fame.

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