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Tag: material culture

Jamie Kamph. Tricks of the Trade: Confessions of a Bookbinder. Kristina Lundblad. Bound to be Modern: Publishers’ Cloth Bindings and the Material Culture of the Book, 1840–1914

Jamie Kamph. Tricks of the Trade: Confessions of a Bookbinder. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2015. viii, 136p., ill. ISBN 9781584563341. US $24.95 (paperback).

Kristina Lundblad. Bound to be Modern: Publishers’ Cloth Bindings and the Material Culture of the Book, 1840–1914. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2015. 336p., ill. ISBN 9781584563136. US $95 (hardback).

Two recent publications from Oak Knoll Press highlight some of the wide range of writing currently on offer about bookbinding. Jamie Kamph is a practicing bookbinder, and Tricks of the Trade consists of 27 personal essays that focus on technical information intended for bookbinders, as well as observations on book decoration and a bit of autobiography. Kristina Lundblad’s Bound to be Modern, in contrast, is a wide-ranging academic overview of nineteenth-century Swedish publishers’ bindings.

James Daybell and Andrew Gordon, eds. Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain

James Daybell and Andrew Gordon, eds. Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 2016. x., 336p. 36 ill. ISBN 9780812248258. USD 69.95 (hardcover).

In this exemplary collection of essays, James Daybell and Andrew Gordon provide an astute, comprehensive, and intellectually stimulating view on the early modern culture of correspondence. As the authors clarify in the introduction, “a fundamental aim of the book is the reconstruction of the material conditions and practices of the early modern letter” (8), which includes close readings of its content, careful analyses of its materiality, attention to its carrier networks, consideration of the relationships between writers and recipients, and explorations of the early modern letter’s classification and archival practices.

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.

Arni Brownstone. War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation

Arni Brownstone. War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2015. xii, 143p., ill. ISBN 9781772120523. CAD 35.00

War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation builds from the premise that during much of the nineteenth century, pictographic paintings on tipi liners and story robes functioned as the closest equivalent to written records for the Indigenous peoples of the North American Great Plains. Thus, for scholars with an interest in the histories of authorship and reading that extend beyond print and script, Brownstone’s study will be of particular interest.