by Susan Bordo
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne's life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination.
Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really even look like?! And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne's death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and popular culture Bordo probes the complexities of one of history's most infamous relationships.
In her inimitable, straight-talking style Bordo dares to confront the established histories, stepping off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the myths.
ed. by Kate Bernheimer
Fairy tales are one of the most enduring forms of literature, their plots retold and characters reimagined for centuries. In this elegant and thought-provoking collection of original essays, Kate Bernheimer brings together twenty-eight leading women writers to discuss how these stories helped shape their imaginations, their craft, and our culture. In poetic narratives, personal histories, and penetrating commentary, the assembled authors bare their soul and challenge received wisdom. Eclectic and wide-ranging, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall is essential reading for anyone who has ever been bewitched by the strange and fanciful realm of fairy tales.
by Tracy Borman
In Belvoir Castle, the heir of one of England’s great noble families falls suddenly and dangerously ill. His body is ‘tormented’ with violent convulsions. Within a few short weeks he will suffer an excruciating death. Soon the whole family will be stricken with the same terrifying symptoms. The second son, the last male of the line, will not survive.
It is said witches are to blame. And so the Earl of Rutland’s sons will not be the last to die.
Witches traces the dramatic events which unfolded at one of England’s oldest and most spectacular castles four hundred years ago. The case is among those which constitute the European witch craze of the 15th-18th centuries, when suspected witches were burned, hanged, or tortured by the thousand. Like those other cases, it is a tale of superstition, the darkest limits of the human imagination and, ultimately, injustice – a reminder of how paranoia and hysteria can create an environment in which nonconformism spells death. But as Tracy Borman reveals here, it is not quite typical. The most powerful and Machiavellian figure of the Jacobean court had a vested interest in events at Belvoir.He would mastermind a conspiracy that has remained hidden for centuries.
by Jen Campbell
Every bookshop has a story.
We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books. We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.
Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine.
And that’s just the beginning.
From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).
The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.
by Jasmine Donahaye
During a phone call to her mother Jasmine Donahaye stumbled upon the collusion of her kibbutz family in the displacement of Palestinians in 1948 - and earlier, in the 1930s. She set out to learn the facts behind this revelation, and her discoveries challenged everything she thought she knew about the country and her family, transforming her understanding of Israel, and of herself.
In a moving and honest account that spans travel writing, nature writing and memoir, Losing Israel explores the powerful attachments people have to place and to contested national stories. Moving between Wales and Israel, and attempting to reconcile her conflicted feelings rooted in difficult family history and a love of Israel's birds, the author asks challenging questions about homeland and belonging, and the power of stories to shape a landscape.
by Judith Mackrell
Glamorized, mythologized and demonized - the women of the 1920s prefigured the 1960s in their determination to reinvent the way they lived. Flappers is in part a biography of that restless generation: starting with its first fashionable acts of rebellion just before the Great War, and continuing through to the end of the decade when the Wall Street crash signal led another cataclysmic world change. It focuses on six women who between them exemplified the range and daring of that generation’s spirit.
Diana Cooper, Nancy Cunard, Tallulah Bankhead, Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Tamara de Lempicka were far from typical flappers. Although they danced the Charleston, wore fashionable clothes and partied with the rest of their peers, they made themselves prominent among the artists, icons, and heroines of their age. Talented, reckless and willful, with personalities that transcended their class and background, they re-wrote their destinies in remarkable, entertaining and tragic ways. And between them they blazed the trail of the New Woman around the world.
by Azar Nafisi
Every Thursday morning in a living room in Iran, over tea and pastries, eight women meet in secret to discuss forbidden works of Western literature. As they lose themselves in the worlds of Lolita, The Great Gatsby andPride and Prejudice, gradually they come to share their own stories, dreams and hopes with each other, and, for a few hours, taste freedom. Azar Nafisi's bestselling memoir is a moving, passionate testament to the transforming power of books, the magic of words and the search for beauty in life's darkest moments.
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