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Month: May 2018

Michele K. Troy. Strange Bird. The Albatross Press and the Third Reich

Michele K. Troy. Strange Bird: The Albatross Press and the Third Reich. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017. xiv, 423p., ill. ISBN 9780300215687. US$ 40.00.

In the 1930s, Albatross Press was simultaneously the largest provider of English-language paperbacks in Europe and a publishing enigma. Their output was modern books, printed in English, in Nazi Germany, and distributed throughout Europe by a firm based in Hamburg and Paris with British funding and Jewish ties. No wonder Michele K. Troy’s interest was piqued when she first encountered an Albatross edition at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.

Robert Dance. Illustrated by Lynd Ward

Robert Dance. Illustrated by Lynd Ward. Norwich and New York: Impermanent Press and The Grolier Club, 2015. 164p., ill. ISBN 9781605830629. US$ 500.00.

Lynd Ward was one of the most prolific and creative illustrators of the twentieth century. Oftentimes remembered for his seminal “novels in woodcuts,” which gave birth to bona fide graphic narratives, considered by many as forebearers to modern-day graphic novels, and at other times cited for his work in book cover illustrations for children’s literature, Ward is a permanent fixture in any discussion on the relationship between image and text in the literary landscape of the twentieth century.

Caroline Wigginton. In the Neighborhood: Women’s Publication in Early America

Caroline Wigginton. In the Neighborhood: Women’s Publication in Early America. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2016. 240p., ill. ISBN 9781625342225. US$ 25.95.

In August 1749, Creek diplomat and trader Mary Bosomworth (also known as Coosaponakeesa) led a march of her tribesmen to Savannah. She had spent many years helping the English to establish a settlement in Georgia, and now she sought recompense for her services. Her march culminated in a meeting with Georgia’s council where she declared herself an “empress” representing her people. Bosomworth produced letters and petitions, but this scene of procession, spectacle, and conversation equally served as an embodiment of her authority and was meant to maintain her status within her neighborhood.

Coosaponakessa’s march is just one example from Caroline Wigginton’s ambitious In the Neighborhood. The book seeks to expand our understanding of early American women’s publications and to provide an analytical framework for them.

Michael Broomfield. His Place for Story: Robinson Jeffers: A Descriptive Bibliography

Michael Broomfield. His Place for Story: Robinson Jeffers: A Descriptive Bibliography. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2015. xxvi, 318p., ill. ISBN 9781584563389. US$ 75.00.

The bleak poetry of Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) is an acquired taste. At its best, it attains a stoic lucidity in its lyrical evocations of the coastline of central California – an elemental landscape of rock, wave, wind, and cypress – yet the long narrative poems, violent and tragic, are too often prolix and strained. Jeffers’ readers have been served exceptionally well during the last 30 years by Stanford University Press, which has gradually published spectacular critical editions of his poems and correspondence: Tim Hunt edited the Collected Poetry (five volumes, 1988-2001) and a generous volume of Selected Poetry (2001), and James Karman edited the Collected Letters (three volumes, 2009-15).

Michael Eamon. Imprinting Britain: Newspapers, Sociability, and the Shaping of British North America

Michael Eamon. Imprinting Britain: Newspapers, Sociability, and the Shaping of British North America. McGill-Queen’s Studies in the History of Ideas. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015. xxii, 263p., ill. ISBN 9780773544918. CAD$ 34.95 (paperback).

In Imprinting Britain, Michael Eamon “delves into the multivalent relationship that existed between the nascent English-language press in Halifax and Quebec City and its provincial audience” (xiii) to show how colonial print productions – above all a periodical press, broadly understood – served as a medium within which a British North American identity separate from that of the 13 colonies was shaped. On this promise, he largely delivers.

Marie Elena Korey, ed. A Long Way from the Armstrong Beer Parlour – A Life in Rare Books: Essays by Richard Landon

Richard Landon, ed. with an introduction by Marie Elena Korey. A Long Way from the Armstrong Beer Parlour – A Life in Rare Books: Essays by Richard Landon. New Castle, DE and Toronto, ON: Oak Knoll Press and The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 2014. 440p., ill. ISBN 9781584563303. US$ 49.95 (hardback).

As Marie Elena Korey notes in the introduction to this volume, Richard Landon grew up in rural Armstrong, British Columbia, and intended to study agriculture at university, only to discover that his interests actually lay in the humanities. After his graduation from college in 1965, a year spent working in a serials position at the University of British Columbia Library led him to pursue a degree in library science, and not long after completion of that programme, in 1970, Landon made a trip to New York City to visit the Grolier Club and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America.