Books to look out for in September 2019

Fake news is not a term you’d have heard often four years ago, but one that is now littered across political debates, newspaper headlines and endless social media statuses. But fake news is really nothing new. Explore the fake news and alternative reality of late Stuart and early Hanoverian political and literary culture, from the Popish Plot and the South Sea Bubble to the Dunciad, in John McTague’s Things that Didn’t Happen.

But what else is getting released by Boydell and Brewer this month?

Discover the first three volumes of our new German Film Classics series offering fresh perspectives on German-language films of the 20th and 21st Centuries. From Fitzcarraldo to Wings of Desire, we offer our selection of books to keep your eyes peeled for this June!

Don’t forget, you can get 25% off all of our titles featured in the post with promo code BB685.

Until next time!

Things that Didn’t Happen

Writing, Politics and the Counterhistorical, 1678-1743

by John McTague

James Francis Edward Stuart, the Prince of Wales born in 1688, was not a commoner’s child smuggled into the queen’s birthing chamber in a warming pan, but many people said he was. In 1708, the same prince did not quite land in Scotland with a force of 5,000 men in order to claim the Scottish crown, but writers busied themselves with exploring what would have happened if he had succeeded. Things That Didn’t Happeni> is an innovative exploration of fake news and alternative reality in late Stuart and early Hanoverian political and literary culture, from the Popish Plot and the South Sea Bubble to the Dunciad.

Joanna, George and Henry

A Pre-Raphaelite Tale of Art, Love and Friendship

by Sue Bradbury

Joanna, George and Henry tells the story of the intertwined lives of three young artists in the 1850s. When the transcript of the material on which this group portrait is based came to light ten years ago, no one could have imagined the drama within. They wrote to each other not just about art, but about their friends, their favourite books, their travels, their illnesses, their passions and their quarrels. In this book, they tell their story in their own vivid words – a story which portrays the age in which they lived and the powerful drama of their emotional and professional lives.


by Lutz Koepnick

When it was released in 1982, Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo was widely criticized for its demanding use of human and natural resources as well as its director’s uncompromising aesthetic vision. Critics and scholars saw little difference between the film’s protagonist’s obsession with hauling a ship over a mountain in the Amazon and Herzog’s own mode of cinematic production and storytelling. This book revisits Herzog’s tale of operatic entrepreneurialism from a decisively contemporary standpoint. It draws on recent writing on the Anthropocene to probe the relationship of art, civilization, and the natural world in Fitzcarraldo.

Wings of Desire

by Christian Rogowski

Filmed in 1986/87 in still-divided Berlin, Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire is both a utopian fairy tale and a fascinating time capsule of that late Cold War moment. Wenders’s groundbreaking film has been hailed as a paean to love, a rumination on the continued presence in Berlin of the troubled German history, as well as an homage to the life-affirming power of the cinematic imagination. Christian Rogowski guides the reader through the film’s many aspects, using archival research to bring out new insights into its making and its meanings.


by Brad Prager

Christian Petzold’s Phoenix (2014), a masterpiece from one of Germany’s leading contemporary filmmakers, portrays a death-camp survivor’s return to occupied Berlin just after the war has come to an end. Petzold’s film, which he scripted together with his frequent collaborator Harun Farocki, was an international success that has been widely compared with works by Alfred Hitchcock and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This study explores the film’s unique array of influences including the vast range of films, novels, and memoirs on which its screenwriters drew.

Doctrina pueril

by Ramon Llull; Translated by John Dagenais

Ramon Llull wrote the Doctrina pueril between 1274 and 1276 to provide minimum knowledge to those people—children, but also adults—who did not have the opportunity to acquire a sufficient doctrinal and intellectual education.

Bach and Mozart

Essays on the Enigma of Genius

by Robert L. Marshall

Interpretive and biographical essays by a major authority on Bach and Mozart probe for clues to the driving forces and experiences that shaped the character and the extraordinary artistic achievements of these iconic composers. Author Robert L. Marshall draws on a diverse range of interpretive strategies including both textual and musical criticism. Life and work are treated together, just as they were intermingled for the composers.

Realities and Fantasies of German Female Leadership

From Maria Antonia of Saxony to Angela Merkel

Edited by Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson

The Western tradition of excluding women from leadership and disparaging their ability to lead has persisted for centuries, not least in Germany. Even today, resistance to women holding power is embedded in literary, cultural, and historical values that presume a fundamental opposition between the adjective “female” and the substantive “leader.” Focusing on the German-speaking countries, this volume works to dismantle the prevailing disassociation of women and leadership across a range of disciplines.

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