Books to look out for in October 2019

How much do you know about the Irish Service of Worcester Porcelain, or how about musicians Dora and Hubert Foss? This month’s new publications take us from spies in London to the making and remaking of Nairobi, with some music and battles in between.

Enjoy this list of books to look out for in October, and don’t forget: you can get 25% off all of our titles featured in the post with promo code BB685.

Until next time!

Birds, Bugs and Butterflies: Lady Betty Cobbe’s ‘Peacock’ China

A Biography of an Irish Service of Worcester Porcelain

By Alec Cobbe

The early years of the famous Worcester porcelain factory established by Dr Wall have always been a mystery, owing to the destruction of the records of the business for this period. Papers about the purchase of a very large service of first period Worcester porcelain by an Irish family, and the rediscovery of the actual pieces are used to give a vivid glimpse of how the factory interacted with its customers, supported by detailed photographs and an account of the historical context. The book also gives an important insight into Irish social life and patronage in the mid-eighteenth century.

Hidden Affliction

Sexually Transmitted Infections and Infertility in History

Edited by Simon Szreter

When did medicine begin to comprehend that not only gonorrhea but also chlamydia causes infertility? When and where did these diseases begin to afflict women–and men? What is the relationship between these two STIs and syphilis, or “the pox”? How have individuals and doctors in the past experienced and understood these often symptomless afflictions? In The Hidden Affliction: Sexually Transmitted Infections and Infertility in History, a multidisciplinary team of scholars of archeology, evolutionary biology, medicine, and ancient, modern and world history addresses these questions for the first time.

The Lawn Road Flats

Spies, Writers and Artists

By David Burke

New in Paperback!
The Isokon building, also know as Lawn Road Flats, in London was the haunt of some of the most prominent Soviet agents working against Britain in the 1930s and 40s. A number of British artists, sculptors and writers were also drawn there, among them the sculptor and painter Henry Moore and the crime writer Agatha Christie. The Isokon building boasted its own restaurant and dining club, where many of the Flats’ most famous residents rubbed shoulders with some of the most dangerous communist spies ever to operate in Britain.

Music in Their Time

The Memoirs and Letters of Dora and Hubert Foss

Edited by Stephen Lloyd, Diana Sparkes and Brian Sparkes

Hubert J. Foss (1899-1953) is best known for his work as the first music editor for Oxford University Press, while his wife, Dora, was a professional singer. Through the presentation of letters and memoirs, the book recreates a vivid picture of the musical world during the inter-war period, when there was a renaissance of English music. It includes letters sent to and received from such luminaries as Hamilton Harty, Constant Lambert, Edith Sitwell, Donald Tovey, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, Henry J. Wood, Arthur Bliss, Benjamin Britten, Roger Quilter, Percy Scholes, Leopold Stokowski, Michael Tippett, Thomas Hardy, James Joyce, and Walter de la Mare. Many of the letters presented here have never been published before.

Music in Vienna

1700, 1800, 1900

David Wyn Jones

New in paperback!

Vienna has long been associated with many of the most significant composers in Western music – from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, through the Strauss family, Brahms, Bruckner and Wolf, to Mahler, Lehár, Schoenberg and Webern. Today, venerable institutions like the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Staatsoper and the Vienna Boys’ Choir, together with the shared pride of residents and visitors in its musical inheritance, ensure that the image of a musical city is undimmed. This volume focusses on the political and social role of music in the city. Patronage, social function and audience are key considerations, set within wider political and cultural developments; and the volume is populated by emperors, princes, performers, publishers and writers as well as composers.

Neomedievalism, Popular Culture, and the Academy

From Tolkien to Game of Thrones

By KellyAnn Fitzpatrick

Medievalism – the ways in which post-medieval societies perceive, interpret, reimagine, or appropriate the Middle Ages – permeates popular culture. From Disney princesses to Game of Thrones, medieval fairs to World of Warcraft, contemporary culture keeps finding new ways to reinvent and repackage the period. This book examines recent evolutions of (neo)medievalism across multiple media, from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to the film Beowulf and medieval gaming.

Nairobi in the Making

Landscapes of Time and Urban Belonging

Constance Smith

What does it mean to make a life in an African city today? Nairobi, like many cities across the globe, is on the cusp of radical urban change. Yet as a city born of British colonialism, Nairobians also live amongst the dilapidated vestiges of imperial urban planning; spaces designed to regulate urban subjects. Focusing on life in a dilapidated, colonial-era public housing project now slated for demolition as part of state-led urban renewal, this book explores six intersecting challenges facing contemporary urban Africa: making a home amidst the remains of colonial urban planning; the management of urban decay and renewal; the politics of the past and the making of urban history; the generative relationship of the urban to the rural; terror and the construction of security; and how to belong to the future.

Published in association with the British Institute in Eastern Africa.

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