Books to Look out for in August 2022

A new month means new releases from Boydell & Brewer! Enjoy this preview of some of the books to look out for this month, and don’t miss the special offer at the bottom. Happy reading!

Poetry in Sagas of Icelanders
by Margaret Clunies Ross

Sagas of Icelanders, also called family sagas, are the best known of the literary genres that flourished in medieval Iceland. Modern critics often praise their apparently realistic descriptions of the lives, loves and feuds of settler families of the first century and a half of Iceland’s commonwealth period (c. AD 970-1030), but this ascription of realism fails to account for one of the most important components, the abundance of skaldic poetry, mostly in dróttkvætt “court metre”, which comes to saga heroes’ lips at moments of crisis. These presumed voices from the past and their integration into the narrative present of the written sagas are the subject of this book. It investigates what motivated Icelandic writers to develop this particular mode, and what particular literary effects they achieved by it. It also looks at the various paths saga writers took within the evolving prosimetrum (a mixed verse and prose form), and explores their likely reasons for using poetry in diverse ways.

The Marlborough Mound
Prehistoric Mound, Medieval Castle, Georgian Garden
Edited by Richard Barber

Marlborough Mound, standing among the buildings of Marlborough College, has attracted little attention until recently. It was known to be the motte of a Norman castle, and later the centrepiece of a major eighteenth century garden. Neglected for over a century, restoration began in 2003. Seven years later, cores taken by English Heritage for a comparison with nearby Silbury Hill produced dramatic results showing that the two sites were of similar date. The Mound is now recognised as a major monument within the complex around Stonehenge. There are four essays by specialists in this book.

The Partimenti of Giovanni Paisiello
Pedagogy and Practice
by Nicoleta Paraschivescu
Translated by Chris Walton

Giovanni Paisiello, chosen by three different emperors to be in charge of the music in their respective courts, was, during his lifetime, more famous than Mozart.

Now, for the first time, the course of Paisiello’s career as a student, composer, and teacher is laid out for us, including a trove of his newly discovered lessons: two- and three-part worked-out realizations (disposizioni) over his own partimenti (figured and unfigured bass lines). By studying them, we sit in, as it were, with his royal pupils and learn what they learned.

The fifty-plus surviving manuscripts of William Langland’s Piers Plowman cast important light on the early public life of this central Middle English work, but they have been relatively neglected by scholarship. This first full study of the subject examines the textual variants, marginal rubrics and companion texts in the manuscripts. It illuminates a reception quite distinct from the reformist poems written by Langland’s imitators in “the Piers Plowman tradition”.

Transport Corridors in Africa
Edited by Hugh Lamarque and Paul Nugent

The image of the corridor, a central pathway of road and rail carving its way through Africa’s interior, has guided the coordination of transport and trade developments on the continent in recent decades. This volume interrogates the concept, exploring its heritage in colonial authorities and Bretton Woods institutions, its lineage in pre-existing infrastructure, and the politics that feed off it at regional and national levels. Offering perspectives from academics and policy-makers from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, the book explores the varied forms of the corridor concept, the multiplicity of actors, as well as the different permutations of the infrastructure itself. A piercing study that examines the dynamics of the ‘corridor’, the breadth of cases allows for a comparative perspective of East, West, and Southern Africa, as well as the basis of comparisons outside of the continent in Europe, South Asia and elsewhere.

Available as Open Access!

Grete Meisel-Hess
The New Woman and the Sexual Crisis
by Helga Thorson

Grete Meisel-Hess (1879-1922) was a feminist voice in early-twentieth-century modernist discourse. Born in Prague to Jewish parents and raised in Vienna, she became a literary presence with her 1902 novel Fanny Roth. Influenced by many of her contemporaries, she also criticized their notions of gender and sexuality. Moving to Berlin, she continued writing fiction and began publishing on sexology and the women’s movement. This book, the first on Meisel-Hess in English, combines a literary-cultural exploration of modernism in Vienna and Berlin with a biography of Meisel-Hess and a critical analysis of her works.

The Universe behind Barbed Wire
Memoirs of a Ukrainian Soviet Dissident
by Myroslav Marynovych
Translated by Zoya Hayuk
Edited by Katherine Younger
Foreword by Timothy Snyder

This memoir by Ukrainian Soviet dissident Myroslav Marynovych, a founding member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group who was imprisoned and later internally exiled for his involvement in the 1970s human rights movement, recounts the author’s childhood and coming of age under the Soviet regime; details the landscape of dissent in 1960s and 1970s Ukraine, emphasizing the emergence of a human rights movement; offers a rich portrait of daily life in a Siberian prison camp, including ongoing forms of resistance; and ultimately reflects on questions of culpability and justice in a post-Soviet context.

Now available in paperback!

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