Books to Look out for in March 2023

Welcome to March and a preview of new titles from Boydell & Brewer. Highlights this month include a new translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s work; the first feminist analysis of some of the most performed works in the American-opera canon; turbulent times in the mid-seventeenth century inspired scholars to produce some of the most famous landmark texts in early Old English studies; Sir Roy Strong offers an expert and engaging new look at portrait painting in Stuart England, and much more!

Below you will find a small selection of new titles published this March.

The Stuart Image

English Portraiture 1603 to 1649
by Roy Strong

Though portraits are permanent records of how their subject wished to be seen by posterity, art historians have tended to obsess instead over the painter. What Sir Roy Strong offers here is a look at portraits from the courts of James I and Charles I with a focus on the sitters and their changing attitudes: from the still medieval aesthetic of the Elizabethan age to the ambiguity of one based on the Catholic baroque of European art.

Melody in the Dark

British Musical Films, 1946–1972
by Adrian Wright

In the immediate post-war world, British film studios sought to reflect changing social attitudes as they struggled to create inventive diversions that rivalled American competition. Studios occasionally attempted adaptations of British stage musicals, but it was the minor studios that acknowledged the impact of rock’n’roll in three early films. Through the sixties, British cinema seemed intent on flooding the market with entertainments promoting pop singers and rock groups. Towards the end of the period, the industry aspired to more grandiose projects such as Oliver! and Oh! What a Lovely War.

Old English Scholarship in the Seventeenth Century

Medievalism and National Crisis
by Rebecca Brackmann

England in the 1640s and 1650s experienced civil wars, regicide, and unprecedented debate over religious and social structures, but it also saw several milestones in the field of early medieval English studies. The volume suggests that the crises through which these scholars lived and worked spurred them to engage with both the past and present, using Old English texts as a lens through which to understand and contribute to contemporary debates about the English church and state.

Orchestral Masterpieces under the Microscope

by Jonathan Del Mar

Nobody is perfect – and virtually every orchestral score has mistakes in it.
This book is the essential survival guide for conductors, librarians and scholars, examining problems, misprints and controversies in a wide variety of works across the orchestral repertoire. It enables readers to make informed choices, and it offers much-needed clarity on the latest scholarship for musicologists and music librarians alike.

The Spiritual Consciousness of Carmen Martín Gaite

The Whole of Life has Meaning
by Anne-Marie Storrs

For Martín Gaite, a truly religious, or spiritual, perspective requires conscious attention to the products of the unconscious (dreams, images, memories, premonitions), followed by reflection and action, as well as a similar attentiveness and responsiveness to external events both large and small. This reconnection of the supernatural and day-to-day worlds also involves descent to the unconscious – the way to wholeness – as depicted in so many myths and fairy tales, including those which Martín Gaite used to retell or enhance the works analysed in this book: Sleeping BeautyThe Little MermaidAmor and PsycheDemeter and Persephone, and the Descent of the Goddess Inanna.

Women in American Operas of the 1950s

Undoing Gendered Archetypes
by Monica A. Hershberger

In the 1950s, American opera composers and librettists latched onto the age-old paradigm of woman as either virgin or whore, with no middle ground; women thus appeared poised to become opera’s inevitable victims once again. With chapters on The Tender Land, Susannah, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Lizzie Borden: A Family Portrait, this book acknowledges Catherine Clément’s famous assertion of opera as “the undoing of women.” At the same time, it illuminates how singers like Beverly Sills and Phyllis Curtin worked to resist that seemingly inevitable “undoing,” years before the official resurgence of the American feminist movement.

Duino Elegies

A New Translation and Commentary
by Rainer Maria Rilke
a new translation and commentary by Martin Travers

Rilke is the most read and discussed modern German poet, and the Duino Elegies are among his greatest achievements. Commentators have often treated the poetic features of the elegies as mere formal devices that we can somehow see through to get to what really matters: what Rilke has to say about the human condition or the meaning of life. But they are constitutive of meaning in the elegies, and understanding them is crucial. This book, the first one in English devoted to the elegies in three decades, and including a new translation and detailed commentaries, aims to facilitate that understanding.

Composing Myself – A New Edition

Collected Writings, Volume One
by Andrzej Panufnik

Composing Myself and Other Texts presents the collected writings of the Anglo-Polish composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik (1914-91). The book consists of four parts: a new edition, generously annotated and illustrated, of his thrilling autobiography Composing Myself, which dates from 1985. Part II presents the detailed programme notes he wrote to shed light on the impulse behind, and design of, his music, complete with the often visually striking diagramshe drew to articulate their formal logic. A third section includes his few other articles, including a 1955 report to the unsuspecting west of the true nature of Polish intellectual life under Communism, an insightful radio broadcast on Szymanowski and a brief tribute to Bartók. Finally, Part IV collects the more important of the interviews Panufnik gave over the course of his career. With a Preface by Simon Callow.

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