A Valentine’s Blog

Every year, on February 14, Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the world and February has long been recognised as a month of romance. We want to wish everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day in the best way we know how: by collating some of our publications which focus on romance, in one form or another. Enjoy!

“Teaching Dumb Lips a Nobler Exercise”

The Poetry of Kissing in Early Modern Europe

From the Catullan Revival to Secundus, Shakespeare and the English Cavaliers

by Alex Wong

This book offers a critical account of the Renaissance kiss-poem, using an abundance of vivid and often racy examples. Presenting new readings of English writers including Sidney, Shakespeare and Donne, the study also reminds us how important Neo-Latin writing was to the literary culture of early modern Britain. A number of well known texts are thus placed in a context unfamiliar to most modern scholars, in order to show how deftly their kisses engage with an international tradition of humanist poetry.

Letters from a 39-year Relationship

My Beloved Man

The Letters of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears

Edited by Vicki P. Stroeher, Nicholas Clark & Jude Brimmer

The 365 letters written throughout their 39-year relationship are here brought together and published, as Pears intended, for the first time. While the correspondence provides valuable evidence of the development of Britten’s works, more significant is the insight into his relationship with Pears and their day-to-day life together. Entertaining to read, domestic and intimate, the letters provide glimpses of cultural and artistic life in the twentieth century. Above all, when read together, Britten and Pears’s letters allow the clearest possible look ‘behind the scenes’ of one of the most productive creative partnerships of the twentieth century.

Together Forever!

Stone Fidelity

Marriage and Emotion in Medieval Tomb Sculpture

by Jessica Barker

This is the first book to address the phenomenon of the medieval “double tomb”, drawing the rich history of tomb sculpture into dialogue with discourses of power, marriage, gender and emotion, and placing them in the context of ecclesiastical material culture of the time more broadly. It offers new interpretations of some of the most famous medieval monuments, such as those found in Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral, as well as drawing attention to a host of lesser-known memorials from throughout Europe. In turn, these monuments provide a vantage point from which to reconsider the culture of medieval marriage.

The Most Romantic City in the World?

The Companion Guide to Paris

by Anthony Glyn
Revised by Susan Glyny

Highly praised on its first appearance, this new edition of the Companion Guide to Paris, fully revised by Anthony Glyn’s widow, preserves his vivid evocation of Paris – its foundation and history, ancient churches, wide boulevards and narrow streets, architecture, and philosophy – while bringing the book up to date. Special attention is paid to the completed Grand Louvre with its Pyramid, the d’Orsay and Picasso Museums and the refurbished Centre Pompidou; the changes to the Eiffel Tower and the Panthéon; and the restoration of the footpaths along the Seine. Informed and amusing, the book captures the changing moods of this fascinating city.

Because Things Don’t Always Work Out…

Aristocratic Marriage, Adultery and Divorce in the Fourteenth Century

The Life of Lucy de Thweng (1279-1347)

by Bridget Wells-Furby

The Yorkshire heiress, Lucy de Thweng, was married as a child to her first husband but later divorced him, entered into an adulterous relationship with another man, was forced into marriage to a second husband, and then, after a period of widowhood, married for the third time to a congenial partner of her own choice. This sounds a remarkable and unusual story – but was it? This book uses the episodes of Lucy’s life to explore how far she was exceptional in her time and rank and highlights aspects of personality and personal relationships which are not often recognized.