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Author: Padminirm

Graham Thompson. Herman Melville Among the Magazines

Graham Thompson. Herman Melville Among the Magazines. Amherst & Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2018. 272p. ISBN 978-1-62534-324-6. US$ 32.95 (Paper). ISBN 978-1-62534-323-9. US$ 90 (Cloth). In an 1851 letter to Evert Duyckinck, Herman Melville describes taking a sleigh ride to the town of Dalton, Massachusetts to purchase fine paper from one of the five mills in operation there. He points to the watermark in the letter paper as proof of the journey, remarking “‘about 5 miles from here, North…

Nancy Stock-Allen. Carol Twombly: Her Brief but Brilliant Career in Type Design

Nancy Stock-Allen. Carol Twombly: Her Brief but Brilliant Career in Type Design. New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2016. 176 p. ill. ISBN 978-1-58456-346-4. $US49.95. Nancy Stock-Allen’s book is an unapologetic homage (“Her brief but brilliant career in type design” is the subtitle) to the work of type designer Carol Twombly, whose career bridged the critical moment that typography moved from cold type (photo-based creation and capture that never successfully found its legs) to digital. Adobe Systems, where Twombly worked,…

Juliette Wells. Reading Austen in America

Juliette Wells. Reading Austen in America. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. 256 p. ill. ISBN 978-1350012042. $US68 hardcover, $US22.95 paper. Juliette Wells’s Reading Austen in America considers Austen’s influence outside of Britain, and it serves as a prequel to her earlier book, Everybody’s Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination (Bloomsbury, 2011). It complements other recent works such as Paula Byrne’s The Genius of Jane Austen (2017), Devoney Looser’s The Making of Jane Austen (2017), and Deidre Lynch’s Janeites: Austen’s Disciples and…

Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, eds. The Broadview Introduction to Book History

Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, eds. The Broadview Introduction to Book History. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2017. 256 p., ill. ISBN: 9781554810871. $US31.95. The Broadview Introduction to Book History (2017) is an unusual textbook. It provides an informed introduction that is scholarly, concise and accessible to readers at different points in their education. At the same time, it is written in such an animated style and tone that I cannot wait to use it in class and follow through on…

Jonathan Rose. Readers’ Liberation

Jonathan Rose. Readers’ Liberation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. viii, 208 p. ISBN 9780198723554. $US20.95. Jonathan Rose has long excelled at finding an audience among the ordinary readers whose history he has spent a career tracing, and Readers’ Liberation should prove no exception. Engaging, accessible, and polemical, it is a perfect fit for Oxford’s Literary Agenda series and is likely to attract those drawn to his earlier works, from The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (2001) to The Literary Churchill (2014). Written for…

Amanda Laugesen. Taking Books to the World: American Publishers and the Cultural Cold War.

Amanda Laugesen. Taking Books to the World: American Publishers and the Cultural Cold War. Boston and Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2017. 192 p. ISBN 9781625343093. $US28.95. In Taking Books to the World: American Publishers and the Cultural Cold War, Amanda Laugesen maps out Franklin Publications’ global initiative, “a kind of American Cold War book empire, one that brought American books and the publishing industry to all corners of the globe” (2). She contends that Franklin is both typical of…

Peter Beal, ed. Discovering, Identifying and Editing Early Modern Manuscripts 1100-1700

Peter Beal, ed. Discovering, Identifying and Editing Early Modern Manuscripts. English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, vol. 18. London: The British Library, 2013. vi, 269p., ill. ISBN 9780712358934. £50.00 (hardback).

The great Restoration scholar Harold Love (1937-2007) looks out quizzically at us from the frontispiece of this issue of Peter Beal’s invaluable English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700 (EMS). In front of him is a large folio volume (print? manuscript?) whose pages are only apparently blank – the unintended effect, presumably of the camera’s exposure settings. An image of absent presence is apt, for this number of EMS in Love’s memory is, we learn in passing towards the end, the journal’s “final volume” (253).

James L. Baughman, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen and James P. Danky, eds. Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent Since 1865

James L. Baughman, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen and James P. Danky, eds. Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent Since 1865. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. 278p., ill. ISBN 9780299302849. US $39.95.

Like the conference from which these papers were collected, Protest on the Page brings together voices and perspectives that rarely converge. Indeed, the book features essays by more traditional book historians (scholars whose work focuses on questions of publishing, circulation, and/or the materiality of the book) alongside essays by scholars whose work is first and foremost concerned with the investigation of past and present social movements.

Naomi S. Baron. Words on Screen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World

Naomi S. Baron. Words on Screen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. vi, 304p. ISBN 9780199351765. US $24.95.

Book lovers have been worrying about the fate of reading in an age of computers since at least 1955, when the University of Chicago Library School convened a future-of-the-book conference under the shadow of cybernetics. In Words on Screen, Naomi S. Baron’s worries reside in the present (ca. 2014), and she addresses a general audience. SHARP members will be gratified to see the ways her book historicizes reading, writing, and information overload, making reference to Robert Darnton, Leah Price, Geoffrey Nunberg, Ann Blair, and others.

Greg Barnhisel. Cold War Modernists: Art, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy

Greg Barnhisel. Cold War Modernists: Art, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. xii, 322p., ill. ISBN 9780231162302. US $40.00.

Cold War Modernists argues that modernist affirmations of aesthetic freedom and autonomy were appropriated by a variety of state agencies in the service of cultural diplomacy during the Cold War. With chapters focusing on painting, literature, journalism, and radio, Greg Barnhisel comprehensively chronicles this process, showing how the more subversive and radical components of the interwar avant-garde were deliberately suppressed, making modernism safe for the ideological purpose it would serve as a potent weapon in the cultural Cold War.