Britain Begins - Barry Cunliffe

What was England like before there was even an English language? The sweeping narrative of Britain Begins (Oxford Univ., $45) takes us from the earliest moments of unsettled, rolling hills up to the point where the Norman conquest gave birth to the language of Chaucer. As an archeologist and Oxford professor Emeritus, Barry Cunliffe is well prepared to delve as far back as DNA evidence, oral history, and a clear mind can reach. Most fascinating in his telling are the scientific and cultural roots of the myths we associate with inherent Britishness, such as King Arthur. Cunliffe also illustrates how hunter-gatherers, Celts, Vikings, and Romans influenced and were themselves changed by the magnificent green islands.

Britain Begins By Barry Cunliffe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780199679454
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - January 1st, 2014

The Art Book: New Edition

One of things I love most about art is the fluidity of my perception of it: how it affects me can change depending on my mood, where and how I see it, and even with whom I see it. This is what I love about paging through The Art Book: New Edition (Phaidon, $59.95)—it puts art into new perspectives. Rather than listing the artists by period or genre, the book places them alphabetically. This makes for some interesting juxtapositions—a classic medieval work appears right next to a thoroughly modern sculpture, for instance. (For perhaps the ultimate juxtaposition, turn to pages 164-165.) Even familiar iconic pieces look new and different in this context; I can’t remember when an art book was this much fun. I suggest reading it with someone else, so that together you can be surprised by the serendipity of who turns up next to whom. It reminds you that art constantly amazes and can be seen in new and exciting ways.

The Art Book: New Edition By Phaidon Editors (Editor) Cover Image
By Phaidon Editors (Editor)
ISBN: 9780714864679
Availability: Backordered
Published: Phaidon Press - September 10th, 2012

The Art Book: Mini Format By Tom Melick (Contributions by), Phaidon Editors Cover Image
By Tom Melick (Contributions by), Phaidon Editors
ISBN: 9780714867960
Availability: Backordered
Published: Phaidon Press - September 25th, 2014

Victorian Bloomsbury - Rosemary Ashton

Virginia Woolf may have put Bloomsbury into the minds of every student to take an interest in modernism, but she didn’t create that world. The London neighborhood long boasted of bright, artistic folk, and Rosemary Ashton’s Victorian Bloomsbury (Yale Univ., $40) gives context to a subculture that has too long been relegated to a footnote. From Charles Dickens to Mary Ward, from secular humanism to poor houses, Victorian Bloomsbury was filled to bursting with characters, idealisms, and clashing classes that could make any hardened modernist blush. Every history buff or Anglophile will enjoy perusing Ashton’s well-researched, flowing narrative of the high life and those who sought emancipation from small minds.
Victorian Bloomsbury By Rosemary Ashton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300154474
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - November 13th, 2012