"The best (and the best written) book about Austen that has appeared in the last three decades."—Nina Auerbach, Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"By looking at the ways in which Austen domesticates the gothic in Northanger Abbey, examines the conventions of male inheritance and its negative impact on attempts to define the family as a site of care and generosity in Sense and Sensibility, makes claims for the desirability of 'personal happiness as a liberating moral category' in Pride and Prejudice, validates the rights of female authority in Emma, and stresses the benefits of female independence in Persuasion, Johnson offers an original and persuasive reassessment of Jane Austen's thought."—Kate Fullbrook, Times Higher Education Supplement
Jane Austen completed only six novels, but enduring passion for the author and her works has driven fans to read these books repeatedly, in book clubs or solo, while also inspiring countless film adaptations, sequels, and even spoofs involving zombies and sea monsters. Austen’s lasting appeal to both popular and elite audiences has lifted her to legendary status. In Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures, Claudia L. Johnson shows how Jane Austen became “Jane Austen,” a figure intensely—sometimes even wildly—venerated, and often for markedly different reasons.
Johnson begins by exploring the most important monuments and portraits of Austen, considering how these artifacts point to an author who is invisible and yet whose image is inseparable from the characters and fictional worlds she created. She then passes through the four critical phases of Austen’s reception—the Victorian era, the First and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the Austen House and Museum in 1949—and ponders what the adoration of Austen has meant to readers over the past two centuries. For her fans, the very concept of “Jane Austen” encapsulates powerful ideas and feelings about history, class, manners, intimacy, language, and the everyday. By respecting the intelligence of past commentary about Austen, Johnson shows, we are able to revisit her work and unearth fresh insights and new critical possibilities.
An insightful look at how and why readers have cherished one of our most beloved authors, Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures will be a valuable addition to the library of any fan of the divine Jane.
In Jane Austen’s works, a name is never just a name. In fact, the names Austen gives her characters and places are as rich in subtle meaning as her prose itself. Wiltshire, for example, the home county of Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, is a clue that this heroine is not as stupid as she seems: according to legend, cunning Wiltshire residents caught hiding contraband in a pond capitalized on a reputation for ignorance by claiming they were digging up a “big cheese”—the moon’s reflection on the water’s surface. It worked.
In Jane Austen’s Names, Margaret Doody offers a fascinating and comprehensive study of all the names of people and places—real and imaginary—in Austen’s fiction. Austen’s creative choice of names reveals not only her virtuosic talent for riddles and puns. Her names also pick up deep stories from English history, especially the various civil wars, and the blood-tinged differences that played out in the reign of Henry VIII, a period to which she often returns. Considering the major novels alongside unfinished works and juvenilia, Doody shows how Austen’s names signal class tensions as well as regional, ethnic, and religious differences. We gain a new understanding of Austen’s technique of creative anachronism, which plays with and against her skillfully deployed realism—in her books, the conflicts of the past swirl into the tensions of the present, transporting readers beyond the Regency.
Full of insight and surprises for even the most devoted Janeite, Jane Austen’s Names will revolutionize how we read Austen’s fiction.
The movement from tradition to modernity engulfed all of the Jewish communities in the West, but hitherto historians have concentrated on the intellectual revolution in Germany by Moses Mendelssohn in the second half of the eighteenth century as the decisive event in the origins of Jewish modernity. In The Jews of Georgian England, Todd M. Endelman challenges the Germanocentric orientation of the bulk of modern Jewish historiography and argues that the modernization of European Jewry encompassed far more than an intellectual revolution.
His study recounts the rise of the Anglo-Jewish elite--great commercial and financial magnates such as the Goldsmids, the Franks, Samson Gideon, and Joseph Salvador--who rapidly adopted the gentlemanly style of life of the landed class and adjusted their religious practices to harmonize with the standards of upper-class Englishmen. Similarly, the Jewish poor--peddlers, hawkers, and old-clothes men--took easily to many patterns of lower-class life, including crime, street violence, sexual promiscuity, and coarse entertainment.
An impressive marshaling of fact and analysis, The Jews of Georgian England serves to illuminate a significant aspect of the Jewish passage to modernity.
"Contributes to English as well as Jewish history. . . . Every reader will learn something new about the statistics, setting or mores of Jewish life in the eighteenth century. . . ." --American Historical Review
Todd M. Endelman is William Haber Professor of Modern Jewish History, University of Michigan. He is also the author of Comparing Jewish Societies, Jewish Apostasy in the Modern World, and Radical Assimilation in English Jewish History, 1656-1945.
The great English writer and gardener John Evelyn (1620–1706) kept a diary all his life. Today, this diary is considered an invaluable source of information on more than fifty years of social, cultural, religious, and political life in seventeenth-century England. Evelyn’s work is often overshadowed by the literary contributions of his contemporary and friend, Samuel Pepys. This new biography changes that.
John Dixon Hunt takes a fresh look at the life and work of one of England’s greatest diarists, focusing particularly on Evelyn’s “domesticity.” The book explores Evelyn’s life at home, and perhaps even more importantly, his domestication of foreign ideas and practices in England. During the English Civil Wars, Evelyn traveled extensively throughout Europe, taking in ideas on the management of estate design while abroad to apply them in England. Evelyn’s greatest accomplishment was the import of European garden art to the UK, a feat Hunt puts into context alongside a range of Evelyn’s social and ethical thinking. Illustrated with visual material from Evelyn’s time and from his own pen, the book is an ideal introduction to a hugely important figure in the shaping of early modern Britain.
More than any other person, Jack C. Ellis notes, John Grierson, a Scot, was responsible for the documentary film as it has developed in English-speaking countries.
While in the United States in the 1920s, Grierson first applied the term documentary to Robert Flaherty's Moana. In 1927, Grierson returned to Britain, where he was hired to promote the marketing of products of the British Empire. The first practical application of Grierson’s theory of documentary film was Drifters, a 1929 short feature about herring fishing in the North Sea. That success led Grierson to establish the Empire Marketing Board Film Unit (later the General Post Office Film Unit).
In 1939, Grierson moved to Canada, leaving behind a legacy of some sixty British filmmakers who spread his ideas and techniques to other countries. In Canada, he progressed beyond national concerns to global problems. The National Film Board of Canada stands as the largest and most impressive monument to Grierson's concepts and actions in regard to the use of film by governments in communicating with citizens.
Ellis examines Grierson's accomplishments in detail, probing the complexities of Grierson's motivations and personality. His subject, a true titan in the world of documentary film, was the first filmmaker to use public and private institutional sponsorship—not the box office—to pay for his films. He also employed nontraditional distribution techniques, going outside the movie theaters to reach audiences in schools and factories, union halls, and church basements. Essentially, Grierson created documentary film and established an audience for it.
This is an analysis of the first 10 post—Cold Warnovels of one of the most significant ethicists in contemporary fiction.
This book challenges distinctions between “popular” and “serious” literature by recognizing le Carré as one of the most significant ethicists in contemporary fiction, contributing to an overdue reassessment of his literary stature. Le Carré’s ten post–Cold War novels constitute a distinctive subset of his espionage fiction in their response to the momentous changes in geopolitics that began in the 1990s. Through a close reading of these novels, Snyder traces how—amid the “War on Terror” and transnationalism—le Carré weighs what is at stake in this conflict of deeply invested ideologies.
Professor Russell Burns attempts to offer a balanced biography of one of the twentieth century's outstanding inventors, published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Baird's first public demonstration of a rudimentary television system. The author's meticulous treatment is based on primary source documents although many personal recollections are included to add humour, colour and context. A great deal of material regarding Baird's business partnerships in the early 1920s has only recently become available to researchers and is covered here for the first time.
Baird is credited in Britain and elsewhere as the inventor of television, realising a quest which for fifty years had engaged the attention of inventors, scientists and engineers. When he started work he had no regular income, no research experience and no laboratory or workshop, his work had no funding or commercial sponsorship, and initially he had no expert help. Having demonstrated a rudimentary system in early 1926 he then developed many other aspects of television and aspired to launch a low-definition television broadcasting service. To raise capital he entered various business partnerships. Holding many patents, he could have retired wealthy but he chose instead to develop his ideas further, focusing on cinema, colour and stereoscopic television, so that when he died he left only £7000.
The book illuminates Baird's life and work in many interesting ways. For example, how did Baird's technical strategy and development compare with the work undertaken in industrial laboratories? How did his development policy compare with the development of wireless by Marconi? Was his 'invention' in 1925 really outstanding?
Joseph Banks: A Life
Patrick O'Brian University of Chicago Press, 1997 Library of Congress QH31.B19O27 1997 | Dewey Decimal 508.42092
One of our greatest writers about the sea has written an engrossing story of one of history's most legendary maritime explorers. Patrick O'Brian's biography of naturalist, explorer and co-founder of Australia, Joseph Banks, is narrative history at its finest. Published to rave reviews, it reveals Banks to be a man of enduring importance, and establishes itself as a classic of exploration.
"It is in his description of that arduous three-year voyage [on the ship Endeavor] that Mr. O'Brian is at his most brilliant. . . . He makes us understand what life within this wooden world was like, with its 94 male souls, two dogs, a cat and a goat."—Linda Colley, New York Times
"An absorbing, finely written overview, meant for the general reader, of a major figure in the history of natural science."—Frank Stewart, Los Angeles Times
"[This book is] the definitive biography of an extraordinary subject."—Robert Taylor, Boston Globe
"His skill at narrative and his extensive knowledge of the maritime history . . . give him a definite leg up in telling this . . . story."—Tom Clark, San Francisco Chronicle
Exploring the legend of the man who brought Christianity to the British Isles
“This author testifieth Joseph of Arimathea to be the first preacher of the word of God within our realms. Long after that, when Austin came from Rome, this our realm had bishops and priests there-in, as is well known to the learned of our realm.”—Elizabeth I, in a 1559 letter to Roman Catholic bishops on the precedence of the Church of England
The name Joseph of Arimathea is generally well known, either from the accounts in each of the New Testament Gospels that tell of his providing a tomb for the burial of Jesus; from his depictions in medieval and Renaissance art; from his associations with the Holy Grail that later found greater expression in medieval Arthurian stories; and even from the story that has endured in western Britain that as a trader in tin, copper, and lead, he had traveled often to the region—and with him came the Christian religion. These stories are strongly rooted, despite the lack of impeccable source material—so much so that Elizabeth I used Joseph of Arimathea as proof that the Church of England predated the Catholic church in her country. In Joseph of Arimathea Glyn S. Lewis brings these fragments together in order to provide as fully as is possible what we can infer about this first-century apostle.
The author first discusses Arimathea, a town that has yet to be positively identified. He then reviews the accounts of Joseph’s entombment of Jesus that appear in each of the four Gospels. From these earliest references, the author next consults the literary and oral tradition evidence of Joseph’s passage by ship to the south of France among a group of fugitives escaping persecution for being Christians, and his early visits to Britain as a trader in precious ores. These voyages are said to have brought him to the area around Glastonbury, which became a flourishing monastery in the Middle Ages. Whether or not Joseph of Arimathea visited Britain, his story remains an enthralling and fascinating mystery.
General Jeffery Amherst served as commander in chief of the British army in North America during the Seven Years’ War from 1758 until 1763. Under Amherst’s leadership the British defeated French forces enabling the British Crown to claim Canada. Like many military officers, Amherst kept a journal of his daily activities, and the scope of this publication is from March 1757, while he was Commissary to the troops of Hesse-Kassel on British service in Germany, until his return to Great Britain in December 1763. The daily journal contains a record of and a commentary on events that Amherst witnessed or that he learned of through his correspondence. Where he mentions letters or orders received or sent, where possible, the present-day source locations of documents are identified. The Daily and Personal Journals are the record of the man who played a decisive role in British victories at Louisbourg, on Lake Champlain, and at Montreal. Amherst wrote the personal journal after he returned home. It does not have entries made on a daily basis. It is replete with lists, diagrams, and compendia to more fully explain events. Colored diagrams show dispositions or “Orders of Battle,” organizational structures, and evidence of uniform colors of units for campaigns at Louisbourg, Quebec, Niagara, Lake Champlain, the Carolinas, Montreal, and the Caribbean. In addition, Amherst made mileage charts and lists of ships, currency values, and officers who died during the war.
A Dictionary of People, Places, and Ships has more than 1,400 biographies of people mentioned by General Jeffery Amherst in his journals or identified by Robert J. Andrews in his notes. Included are entries for military and naval personnel, aboriginal leaders and warriors, and civilians. Where possible, a commission history is included for each officer of the French Forces, the Royal Navy, provincial officers, and regulars of the British Army. There is an extensive section about various types of commissions, ranks, units, regiments, and appointments. National origins of British army officers are discussed along with roles played by women of the army. Andrews identifies and analyzes units of “The American Army” that fought Great Britain’s war against the French during the Seven Years’ War in North America. Entries for sites that are named in Amherst’s journals contain descriptions or brief histories for each place. It also describes ships that are mentioned in the journals, including vessels that took part in the Louisbourg operation in 1758, Men of War employed at New York, and British and French vessels on the Great Lakes.
"A powerful historical, conceptual, and moral case for the proposition that judges on common law grounds should refuse to enforce unjust legislation. This is sure to be controversial in an age in which critics already excoriate judges for excessive activism when conducting constitutional judicial review. Edlin's challenge to conventional views is bold and compelling."
---Brian Z. Tamanaha, Chief Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo Professor of Law, St. John's University, and author of Law as a Means to an End: Threat to the Rule of Law
In Judges and Unjust Laws, Douglas Edlin uses case law analysis, legal theory, constitutional history, and political philosophy to examine the power of judicial review in the common law tradition. He finds that common law tradition gives judges a dual mandate: to apply the law and to develop it. There is no conflict between their official duty and their moral responsibility. Consequently, judges have the authority---perhaps even the obligation---to refuse to enforce laws that they determine unjust. As Edlin demonstrates, exploring the problems posed by unjust laws helps to illuminate the institutional role and responsibilities of common law judges.
Douglas E. Edlin is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Dickinson College.
Just around Midnight
Jack Hamilton Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress ML3534.H336 2016 | Dewey Decimal 781.6609046
When Jimi Hendrix died, the idea of a black man playing lead guitar in a rock band seemed exotic. Yet ten years earlier, Chuck Berry had stood among the most influential rock and roll performers. Why did rock and roll become white? Jack Hamilton challenges the racial categories that distort standard histories of rock music and the 60s revolution.
Justice Provocateur focuses on Prime Suspect, a popular British television film series starring Oscar and Emmy award-winning actress Helen Mirren as fictional London policewoman Jane Tennison. Gray Cavender and Nancy C. Jurik examine the media constructions of justice, gender, and police work in the show, exploring its progressive treatment of contemporary social problems in which women are central protagonists. They argue that the show acts as a vehicle for progressive moral fiction--fiction that gives voice to victim experiences, locates those experiences within a larger social context, transcends traditional legal definitions of justice for victims, and offers insights into ways that individuals might challenge oppressive social and organizational arrangements.
Although Prime Suspect is often seen as a uniquely progressive, feminist-inspired example within the typically more conservative, male-dominated crime genre, Cavender and Jurik also address the complexity of the films' gender politics. Consistent with some significant criticisms of the films, they identify key moments in the series when Tennison's character appears to move from a successful woman who has it all to a post-feminist stereotype of a lonely, aging career woman with no strong family or friendship ties. Shrewdly interpreting the show as an illustration of the tensions and contradictions of women's experiences and their various relations to power, Justice Provocateur provides a framework for interrogating the meanings and implications of justice, gender, and social transformation both on and off the screen.