Books to look out for in April 2018

It’s a big one! There’s a lot to look out for this month, from the landless younger son of a middle-ranking nobleman who became regent of England to a German political activist who later became the first Jewish head of a European state, our April releases dive in and out of various points in history. Take a look at some of our highlights to keep on your radar this April 2018.

History of William Marshall

Translated by Nigel Bryant

The career of William Marshal, who rose from being the penniless, landless younger son of a middle-ranking nobleman to be regent of England in the minority of Henry III, is one of the most extraordinary stories of the Middle Ages. His biography was completed shortly after his death by a household minstrel and we are fortunate that it survives to give a unique portrait of a twelfth-century knight’s life in the early days of tournaments and chivalry as well as his career in warfare and politics. Few other medieval biographies have the immediacy of this celebration of Marshal’s career, based not least on stories told by Marshal himself and those close to him, and it is made available here for the first time in a modern prose translation.

Medieval Life

Archaeology and the Life Course

by Roberta Gilchrist

The aim of this book is to explore how medieval life was actually lived – how people were born and grew old, how they dressed, how they inhabited their homes, the rituals that gave meaning to their lives and how they prepared for death and the afterlife. Medieval Life reveals the intimate and everyday relations between age groups, between the living and the dead, and between people and things.

Derek Jarman’s Medieval Modern

by Robert Mills

The artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994) had a lifelong appreciation of medieval culture. But with the possible exception of Edward II, Jarman’s films have not been identified to date as making a major contribution to the depiction of the Middle Ages in cinema. Derek Jarman’s Medieval Modern is the first exploration of Jarman’s engagement with the medieval, revealing its importance to his work.

Achebe and Friends at Umuahia

The Making of a Literary Elite

by Terri Ochiagha

The first in-depth scholarly study of the literary awakening of the young intellectuals who became known as Nigeria’s “first-generation” writers in the post-colonial period. The author meticulously contextualises the experiences of Achebe and his peers as students at Government College Umuahia and argues for a re-assessment of this influential group of Nigerian writers in relation to the literary culture fostered by the school and its tutors. Achebe and Friends at Umuahia is the winner of the ASAUK Fage and Oliver Prize 2016.

Lord Liverpool

A Political Life

by William Anthony Hay

Robert Banks Jenkinson (1770-1828), 2nd Earl of Liverpool, was Britain’s longest serving prime minister since William Pitt the Younger. Liverpool’s tenure in office oversaw a series of seismic events including the War of 1812 with the United States, the endgame of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Corn Laws, the Peterloo Massacre, and escalating contention over the issue of Catholic Emancipation. Shaped by eighteenth-century assumptions, Liverpool nonetheless laid the foundations for the nineteenth-century Britain that emerged from the Reform era.

Kurt Eisner

A Modern Life

by Albert Earle Gurganus

At the end of the First World War, German Jewish journalist, theater critic, and political activist Kurt Eisner (1867-1919), just released from prison, led a nonviolent revolution in Munich that deposed the monarchy and established the Bavarian Republic. Jailed for treason, the first Jewish head of a European state, and shot by a protofascist aristocrat; this is the first comprehensive biography in English of a man who embraced and embodied modernity.

A Companion to José Enrique Rodó

by Gustavo San Román

The first comprehensive intellectual biography of one of the greatest cultural figures of the Spanish-speaking world. Rodó is best known for his essay Ariel (1900), which marked the consolidation of modernity in Latin America in the wake of mass immigration and Spain’s crushing defeat at the hands of a United States. The book provides, in chronological order, a detailed and up-to-date assessment of Rodó’s writings, his context and legacy, both immediate (during the period of arielismo) and current, and draws widely on unpublished material from the extensive archives of his papers held in Montevideo.

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