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Month: March 2017

Paul Valkema Blouw. Dutch Typography in the Sixteenth Century: The Collected Works of Paul Valkema Blouw

Paul Valkema Blouw. Dutch Typography in the Sixteenth Century: The Collected Works of Paul Valkema Blouw. Edited by Ton Croiset van Uchelen and Paul Dijstelberge. (Library of the Written Word 18; The Handpress World 12.) Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2013. xxii, 996p., ill. ISBN 9789004256545; ISSN 1874-834. US $353.00 (hardback).

“Bibliographical analysis can lead to results which range well beyond its original objective: the history of the book as a printed text and as the object of the book trade. […] It seems to me of some importance that this possibility should be more widely appreciated.” (113) With these words Paul Valkema Blouw (1916-2000), bibliographer, antiquarian book dealer and book historian, concluded a paper about a small Frisian chronicle in 1984. Working alone in the pre-digital age, using his meticulous analytical mind combined with a rare sensibility to the subtleties of sixteenth-century type design, he composed the Dutch national bibliography of books printed in the Northern Netherlands between 1540 and 1600.

Matthew Rubery. The Untold Story of the Talking Book

Matthew Rubery. The Untold Story of the Talking Book. Cambridge, MA; London, England: Harvard University Press, 2016. 369p., 39 halftones. ISBN 9780674545441. US $29.95 (hardcover).

Matthew Rubery’s latest monograph, The Untold Story of the Talking Book, is an item of both an exceptionally original thesis and impressively wide-ranging archival and scholarly research. One need not look far to see that in a short time it has achieved an impressive and positive reception from numerous high-ranking journals that have praised its wide scope of merits (here).

Lucie Storchová. Bohemian School Humanism and Its Editorial Practices (ca. 1550-1610)

Lucie Storchová. Bohemian School Humanism and Its Editorial Practices (ca. 1550-1610). Europa Humanistica: Collection Publiée par l’Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes; Bohemia and Moravia 2. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014. 369p., ill. ISBN 9782503551807. EUR 75.00 (hardback).

Besides a brief introduction in which Lucie Storchová explains her methodology and the volume’s origins, the text contains three chapters. The first of these gives a detailed description of Bohemian humanism practised in the University of Prague and in the town schools under its control during the second half of the sixteenth century and the first decade of the next.

Vanessa Guignery, ed. Crossed Correspondences: Writers as Readers and Critics of their Peers

Vanessa Guignery, ed. Crossed Correspondences: Writers as Readers and Critics of their Peers. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. 285p. ISBN 9781443886994. GBP £47.99 (hardcover).

This bilingual volume contains essays about a specific kind of correspondence between writers. A wide range of authors working in French and English is represented here – from Gabriel Harvey and Edmund Spenser to Paul Auster and J. M. Coetzee – but the essays come together in exploring what the volume’s editor, Vanessa Guignery, describes as “private literary criticism” passed between writers.

Meg Boulton, Jane Hawkes, and Melissa Herman, eds. The Art, Literature and Material Culture of the Medieval World: Transition, Transformation and Taxonomy

Meg Boulton, Jane Hawkes, and Melissa Herman, eds. The Art, Literature and Material Culture of the Medieval World: Transition, Transformation and Taxonomy. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015. xiii, 334p., ill. ISBN 9781846825613. £65.00 (hardcover).

This collected volume brings together 19 essays and explorations of cultural expressions in the medieval world. Its material presentation is enhanced by a beautiful design and numerous black-and-white and full-color images that support each chapter. From a purely aesthetic perspective, the book is both breathtaking and immediately appealing.

Echoing the subtitle of the book, the essays in the book are tied together by their focused discussion on transitions, transformations, and taxonomies of the Middle Ages.

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

Morgan Library and Museum, New York City

9 September 2016–2 January, 2017

“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you…it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,—as we are. ” Who can forget Jane Eyre furiously taking her stand against Rochester after he railed that she was behaving like a “wild frantic bird” in proto-feminist passages where Jane demanded equal recognition of the sexes in this eponymous novel? For the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth the Morgan Library and Museum presented American viewers for the very first time the bound manuscript of Jane Eyre, on loan from the British Library.

Rebecca L. Walkowitz. Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature

Rebecca L. Walkowitz. Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. 336p., ill. ISBN 9780231165945 (cloth). US $40.00.

Rebecca Walkowitz’s conceptually ambitious, provocative, and deftly argued book, Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature, examines the evolution of the novel genre, the global marketability of Anglophone writers, and the significance of acts of translation in the current production, distribution, and consumption of literature. Walkowitz frames the study in the long history of the novel and its global circulation.

Kelly Hogan. The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability

Kelly Hogan. The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist AccountabilityDurham: Duke University Press, 2016, 382p., ill. ISBN 9780822361299. US $24.95

Kelly Hogan’s The Feminist Bookstore Movement argues that feminist bookstores were an important mode of feminist theorizing. The central role of lesbians in this movement and their leadership in anti-racist activism and creating models of feminist accountability guide Hogan’s narrative about the rise and fall of this activist-based market intervention.

James Procter and Bethan Benwell. Reading Across Worlds: Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference

James Procter and Bethan Benwell. Reading Across Worlds: Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference. New York: Palgrave, 2015. xiv, 274p. ISBN 9781137276391. US $95.00.

Scholars and students of reading history and practices have a significant new resource in Reading Across Worlds: Transnational Book Groups and the Reception of Difference. An impressive large-scale, multi-year, and transnational study of book club talk, it provides us with a credible, intellectually rigorous account of reading reception.

‘Moments of Vision’: The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy

‘Moments of Vision’: The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

24 October 2016–24 February 2017

The Thomas Fisher Library’s latest exhibit, ‘Moments of Vision’: The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy, curated by the renowned Canadian Rare Book dealer Debra Dearlove, and with contributions from Keith Wilson, Deborah Whiteman, and Michael Millgate, celebrates what can be described modestly as one of the most substantial literary donations to the Library of the past 25 years: As Interim Director of the Fisher, Loryl MacDonald, writes in her Foreword to the catalogue, “[t]he basis…is the superb Millgate Thomas Hardy Collection, gifted to the Library by Jane and Michael Millgate in 2012 and in 2013…assembled by Michael Millgate over forty-five years” (4).