Books to Look Out for in June 2020

Welcome to June! We have an exciting list of new publications this month, please see a preview below. Which one will you choose? Remember, you can get 35% off all of our titles featured in the post with promo code BB685. Until next time!

Jean de Bueil: Le Jouvencel

Translated by Craig Taylor & Jane H.M. Taylor

Le Jouvencel is one of the most important and revealing sources for the study of medieval warfare and chivalry. It tells the story of a poor young soldier whose skill at arms enables him to rise through the ranks and eventually marry a foreign princess. Jean de Bueil (1406-1477), the “plague of the English”, wrote the book around 1466, following his retirement from military service, drawing heavily upon his own experiences as one of the most prominent French soldiers of the fifteenth century. As a result, this remarkable chivalric narrative offers a window into the martial culture of French soldiers during the final stages of the Hundred Years War.This first English translation is presented with an introduction to the text and to Jean de Bueil, and explanatory notes.

Willa Cather

The Critical Conversation

Kelsey Squire

The ever-growing criticism on Willa Cather and her fiction is indicative of her enduring position as a pre-eminent author of twentieth-century American literature. Since the 1920s, her work has been praised by critics for its realism, innovative form, and diversity; simultaneously, it has been derided as nostalgic, anti-modern, and narrow. This book provides Cather scholars and students with an accessible overview of Cather’s critical reception through the first two decades of the twenty-first century. It not only provides a valuable resource for research and teaching on Cather, but also speaks to broader issues such as canon formation and historical trends in literary criticism.

‘A Marvel to Behold’: Gold and Silver at the Court of Henry VIII

Timothy Schroder

By the time of his death, Henry VIII had amassed one of the most spectacular collections of gold and silver of any British monarch. But nearly all of these holdings were destroyed over the following century, and no more than a handful have survived to modern times. This book makes use of the wealth of surviving documentation to explore this lost collection and the light it sheds on the monarchy. Starting with an assessment of the young king’s inheritance from his father, the book considers the role of plate at state banquets, in great church services and in the regular exchange of gifts between courtiers and ambassadors; the role of plate and jewels as a potent symbol of power; how the king used confiscation as an instrument of humiliation of those who fell from grace, including Cardinal Wolsey and Katherine of Aragon; and how Henry’s avaricious seizure of church plate towards the end of his life throws light on his changing character. While the focus is on plate and goldsmiths’ work, the context ranges from court ceremonial to rivalry between princes, the role of the church, the vulnerability of persons and institutions with covetable assets, and relations between the king and his own family.

Liszt and Virtuosity

Edited by Robert Doran

In the annals of music history, Franz Liszt has long dominated the discussion of virtuosity. This collection of new essays by an international group of preeminent scholars offers a reevaluation of the concept and practices of virtuosity in the works of Liszt and other major and lesser-known musical figures (including Czerny, Schubert, Paganini, Berlioz, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, and Marie Jaëll). Set in the context of larger trends within music history, analysis, and performance studies, these wide-ranging explorations show the significance of Lisztian virtuosity for the music world today.

West African Masking Traditions and Diaspora Masquerade Carnivals

History, Memory, and Transnationalism

Raphael Chijioke Njoku

A proper understanding of the masquerade traditions among the Igbo people along with their Bight of Biafra neighbors who played dominant role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade demonstrates that the reenactment of these traditions in the African Diaspora was a continuation of a process of change that began with the Bantu migrations, which themselves came several millennia before the trans-Atlantic exchanges. This work provides a close look at the interconnections among masquerade narratives, memory, reinventions, and transnationalism in the past four centuries, in the process showing that enslaved Africans were culture carriers who modeled vestiges of their inherited traditions in alien societies.

German in the World

The Transnational and Global Contexts of German Studies

Edited by James Hodkinson & Benedict Schofield

What happens when the geographic, linguistic, and temporal boundaries that are used to define German-language culture are questioned by global perspectives? German in the World considers the transformation of the German-language canon, the global value of German Studies as an interdisciplinary subject, and the impact of both on organizations beyond the academy. Placing German-language culture at the heart of debates on Transnational and World Literature, the contributions demonstrate how locating German Studies in its wider global context results not in a discipline undone, but in a discipline reinvigorated.

Financing Cotton

British Industrial Growth and Decline, 1780-2000

Steven Toms

Using a unique underlying data-set drawn from financial business records of over 100 cotton and textile-manufacturing firms based in Lancashire, and ranging from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first century, Financing Cotton analyses the dynamics of industrial capitalism by uncovering the interaction between financial systems and technological development and innovation. It offers new perspectives on business practices and their evolution, as well as decisions taken by entrepreneurs, managers and employees.

Aaron Copland’s Hollywood Film Scores

Paula Musegades

One of America’s most beloved composers, Aaron Copland played a critical role in establishing a recognizable “American sound.” He is widely recognized as achieving this in concert-hall works and ballets, but he did so also, and no less influentially, in his film scores for Hollywood films, including Of Mice and Men (1939), Our Town (1940), The North Star (1943), The Red Pony (1949), and The Heiress (1949). Through his work in the Hollywood film industry, Copland introduced the moviegoing public to modern musical styles, while also establishing a lasting impact on Hollywood’s sound.

Mountains and the German Mind

Translations from Gessner to Messner, 1541-2009

Edited by Sean Ireton & Caroline Schaumann

Mountains have occupied a central place in German, Swiss, and Austrian intellectual culture for centuries. This volume offers the first scholarly English translations of thirteen key texts from the Germanophone tradition of engagement with mountains. Spanning nearly five centuries, these texts encompass several discursive modes of the mountain experience including geographical descriptions, philosophical meditations, aesthetic deliberations, and autobiographical climbing narratives. Well-known figures covered in this translational sourcebook include Conrad Gessner, Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, G.W.F. Hegel, Alexander von Humboldt, Georg Simmel, Leni Riefenstahl, and Reinhold Messner.


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