When it comes to finding new books to dig your teeth into, there’s plenty to get excited about this March. Whether you consider yourself a devoted Game of Thrones fan or partial to a bit of Plato, we’ve got a little something for you. Take a look at some of our highlights to keep on your radar this March 2018.
The night is dark and full of terror. Shiloh Carroll brings us a wonderful exploration into George R.R. Martin’s high fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and by extension its HBO television adaptation, Game of Thrones. The author, the directors and producers of the adaptation, and indeed the fans of the books and show, all lay claim to Westeros, its setting, as representative of an authentic medieval world. But how true are these claims? Is it possible to faithfully represent a time so far removed from our own in time and culture? And what does an authentic medieval fantasy world look like?
Completed in 1482, Johannes Lecküchner’s Art of Combat with the “Langes Messer” (Messerfechtkunst) is among the most important documents on the combat arts of the Middle Ages. Lecküchner’s lavish manuscript consists of over four hundred illustrations with explanatory text, in which the author, a parish priest, rings the changes on bladework, deceits, and grappling, with techniques ranging from life-or-death escapes from an armed assailant to slapstick moves designed to please the crowd in public fencing matches. This translation, complete with all illustrations from the manuscript, makes the treatise accessible for the first time since the author’s untimely death less than a year after its completion that left his major work to be lost for generations.
A Selected Correspondence
Nadia Boulanger and Igor Stravinsky began corresponding in 1929 when Stravinsky sought someone to supervise the musical education of his younger son, Soulima. Published for the first time, Francis unveils a rich epistolary dialogue revealing one master teacher’s power to shape the cultural canon and one great composer’s desire to embed himself within historical narratives. Their words touch upon matters professional and personal, musical and social, with the overall narrative reflecting the turmoil of life during the twentieth century and the fragility of artists hoping to leave their mark on the modernist period.
The Temples of Stowe and Burton Dassett, 1570-1656
In the seventeenth century the Temples of Stowe were one of the wealthiest and most prominent local families in the Midlands leaving behind voluminous records. Based on very extensive research in these records, this book provides a detailed picture of the family life of the early Temples. It examines household, financial and estate management, discusses social networking and the promotion of family interests, and considers the legal disputes the family were engaged in. O’Day provides a full, detailed picture of the life of an aristocratic family in early modern England.
Political Philosophy in Plato’s “Parmenides”
Plato’s Parmenides is regarded as one of the most enigmatic of Plato’s dialogues. The dialogue recounts an almost entirely ficticious conversation between Parmenides (the Eleatic Monist) and a youthful Socrates. Priou argues that the dialogue is, in actuality, a reflection on politics. The conversation consists of two discrete parts — a critique of the forms, followed by Socrates’ philosophical training — but finds a unity to the dialogue yet to be acknowledged. Priou rigorously investigates Socrates’ early education, pinpointing the thought that led Socrates to turn from natural science to the study of morality, ethics, and politics.