Books to Look Out for in September 2021

Welcome to September! Some of the new releases this month include the fascinating life of Frances Jennings, elder sister of Sarah the Duchess of Marlborough; a wide-ranging history of the geography and communities of Kent from the earliest times to the present day; an analysis of hundreds of art works from the 1800-1920 provides insights into forgotten landscapes and hidden geographies of north-west Italy and three new volumes in the German Film Classics series!

Don’t forget that you can enjoy 35% off any of these volumes using code BB897!

The Jacobite Duchess

Frances Jennings, Duchess of Tyrconnell, c.1649-1731
by Frances Nolan

This book depicts the life of Frances Jennings, elder sister of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, and influential wife of Richard Talbot, earl of Tyrconnell, Catholic viceroy of Ireland under James II. Covering Frances Jennings’ early life, her marriage to George Hamilton, an Irish Catholic officer who served in the French army, her marriage to Richard Talbot and her role as vicereine of Ireland, and her subsequent exile and return to Dublin, the book portrays an interesting and complex character, her ambition, political manoeuvring and sincere piety.

Maritime Kent Through the Ages

Gateway to the Sea
Edited by Stuart Bligh, Elizabeth Edwards and Sheila Sweetinburgh

Setting Kent’s coastline within its geological and geographical context, the essays in this volume consider the strategic role Kent has played in the defence of the country. This book shows how erosion and sediment deposition have contributed to the changing nature of maritime activities and populations, and how industries supplying raw materials and agricultural products grew in the area. Using detailed case studies, these essays explore a wide variety of diverse Kent communities and how they have changed in response to the demands of defence, trade, and changing population and migration patterns.

Rediscovering Lost Landscapes

Topographical Art in north-west Italy, 1800-1920
by Pietro Piana, Charles Watkins and Rossano Balzaretti

After the Napoleonic wars many wealthy British women and men settled along the coast in Liguria and travelled in Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta in search of warmth and health, establishing English-speaking colonies at places such as Alassio, Bordighera, Sanremo and Portofino. Many were keen artists.

This book assesses hundreds of topographical drawings, paintings and photographs of north-west Italy produced by these British visitors and residents in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Through the identification and analysis of these works, scattered today in private and public collections in Italy and Britain, it provides insights into the way Italian landscapes were understood and appreciated. Considered in conjunction with historical photography, maps, archives and fieldwork , they deepen our knowledge of past land management traditions and recover how the contemporary landscape looked. Different chapters assess the main subjects depicted, including mountains, seascapes, rivers, agriculture, trees and woodland, castles, churches, villages, industries and landscapes of luxury.

Composing Myself and Other Texts

Collected Writings
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.

The Patriot

by Richard Langston

Alexander Kluge’s 1979 film The Patriot (Die Patriotin) was the first feature that embodied the great heights his storytelling could reach. Titled after its heroine, the history teacher Gabi Teichert, The Patriot is not just a story about a headstrong pedagogue intent on teaching kids a version of German history that does not end in war and death: it is one of the finest examples of Kluge’s exploration of the poetic force of Frankfurt School Critical Theory. This book pursues The Patriot‘s conception as a cinematic extension of the Frankfurt theoretical agenda just as the school’s first generation was ending. It will guide twenty-first-century English-language readers past superficial interpretations of the film’s engagement with German history, in so doing revitalizing Kluge’s film for the new millennium.

Warning Shadows

by Anjeana K. Hans

Artur Robison’s Warning Shadows is the gripping story of a flirtatious wife, her jealous husband, and their guests who are entertained by a traveling illusionist dealing in shadow play and hypnosis. Extolled by one critic upon its premiere in 1923 as superior to now-canonical Weimar-era films including Nosferatu and Caligari, it nevertheless was long unknown: only with the recent restored version on DVD has it begun to get its due. A rare silent movie that eschews intertitles, it was an attempt to create a “pure film,” drawing on the qualities of cinema that made it not an heir to literature or theater, but a unique and autonomous art form.

Toni Erdmann

by Gerd Gemünden

Maren Ade’s tragicomedy Toni Erdmann, a 2016 Cannes sensation and Oscar nominee, is an internationally acclaimed classic of recent German cinema. By turns hilarious, cringeworthy, and heart-wrenching, the film revolves around Winfried, a retired music teacher and prankster trying to rebuild a relationship with his daughter Ines, a high-powered business consultant based in Bucharest. At its center, this unpredictable scenario pits one type of performance – Ines’s efforts to meet the unyielding expectations of the new economy – against another – Winfried’s anarchic role-play meant to disrupt the standardization of life. This book, the first in-depth analysis of the film, explores the many layers of this generational tug-of-war about the meaning of life, work, and death.