Books to look out for in July 2024

Take a dive into our new releases this July: Medievalisms in a Global Age discusses contemporary medievalism in studies ranging from Brazil to West Africa, from Manila to New York; Music and Modernity in Enlightenment Spain connects music and the modern in eighteenth-century Spain within the context of Enlightenment thought; Print, Politics and Trade in the French Atlantic reveals the epic histories of the French Revolution, Enlightenment, and colonialism in the West Indies, told through the history of one family. Don’t miss out on our Proofed discount at the end of this article!

Edited by Angela Jane Weisl and Robert Squillace 

 The essays collected here, informed by approaches from Global Studies and the critical discourse on the concept of a “Global Middle Ages”, explore the many facets of contemporary medievalism: post-colonial responses to the enforced dissemination of Western medievalisms, attempts to retrieve pre-modern cultural traditions that were interrupted by colonialism, the tentative forging of a global “medieval” imaginary from the world’s repository of magical tales and figures, and the deployment across borders of medieval imagery for political purposes. 

Book jacket image: Medievalisms in a Global Age

Music and Modernity in Enlightenment Spain

by Ana P Sánchez-Rojo

Histories of modern Europe often present late eighteenth-century Spain as a backward place struggling to keep pace with modernity. During the reign of Charles III (1759-1788), Spain pushed for economic and cultural modernization, but encountered resistance from members of the public and the elite alike. They viewed the modern as a passing fad that would, in time, show its fragility, and believed Spain would withstand the collapse thanks to its firm grounding in the pillars of monarchy, religion, and traditional forms of knowledge. One source of this solid foundation was the long-established musical knowledge based on the rules of counterpoint. In contrast, modernizers argued that Spain could be true to its essence, yet simultaneously modern and cosmopolitan: they favoured cosmopolitan genres, such as Italian opera, and artistic expression over counterpoint rules. At times this led to more creative uses of music, such as reinterpreting pastoral and sentimental topics to accommodate reformist political trends.

Book jacket image: Music and Modernity in Enlightenment Spain

The Labottière Family as Eighteenth-Century Cultural Brokers
by Jane McLeod

The Labottières were the largest printing and bookselling dynasty in eighteenth-century Bordeaux. From the 1680s to the sale of their business in 1794 three generations of this family acted as major cultural brokers in this booming Atlantic port, serving the rapidly expanding commercial and legal sectors with books, pamphlets, and newspapers. The lives and businesses of this family are heavily entwined with the histories of the Enlightenment, French colonialism in the West Indies, and the French Revolution. Through this lively microhistory of the Labottières, Jane McLeod presents the important role played by the flourishing Atlantic port economy in supporting the expansion of printing and bookselling. 

Book jacket image: Print, Politics and Trade in the French Atlantic

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