This series gives readers accessible and informative introductions to 30 of the most popular, most acclaimed and most influential contemporary novels. Each title includes a biography of the novelist and a full-length study of the novel.
the secret history
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Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic. Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
Taking English culture as its representative sample, The Secret History of Domesticity asks how the modern notion of the public-private relation emerged in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Treating that relation as a crucial instance of the modern division of knowledge, Michael McKeon narrates its pre-history along with that of its essential component, domesticity. This narrative draws upon the entire spectrum of English people's experience. At the most "public" extreme are political developments like the formation of civil society over against the state, the rise of contractual thinking, and the devolution of absolutism from monarch to individual Subject. The middle range of experience takes in the influence of Protestant and scientific thought, the printed publication of the private, the conceptualization of virtual publics -- society, public opinion, the market -- and the capitalization of production, the decline of the domestic economy, and the increase in the sexual division of labor. The most "private" pole of experience involves the privatization of marriage, the family, and the household, and the complex entanglement of femininity, interiority, Subjectivity, and sexuality. McKeon accounts for how the relationship between public and private experience first became intelligible as a variable interaction of distinct modes of being -- not a static dichotomy, but a tool to think with. Richly illustrated with nearly 100 images, including paintings, engravings, woodcuts, and a representative selection of architectural floor plans for domestic interiors, this volume reads graphic forms to emphasize how susceptible the public-private relation was to concrete and spatial representation. McKeon is similarly attentive to how literary forms evoked a tangible sense of public-private relations -- among them figurative imagery, allegorical narration, parody, the author-character-reader dialectic, aesthetic distance, and free indirect discourse. He also finds a structural analogue for the emergence of the modern public-private relation in the conjunction of what contemporaries called the "secret history" and the domestic novel. A capacious and synthetic historical investigation, The Secret History of Domesticity exemplifies how the methods of literary interpretation and historical analysis can inform and enrich one another.
This adaptation of what is recognized today as the oldest Mongolian text (written two decades after Chingis Khan's death) tells the Mongols' own version of the origin of their nation, the life of C
Type is the bridge between writer and reader, between thought and understanding. Type is the message bearer: an art-form that impinges upon every literate being and yet for most of its history it has conformed to the old adage that ‘good typography should be invisible’, it should not distract with its own personality. It was only at the end of the nineteenth century that designers slowly realised that they could say as much with their lettering as writers could with their words. Form, of course, carries as much meaning as content. Now, anyone within reach of a computer and its limitless database of fonts has the same power. Type: The Secret History of Letters tells its story for the first time, treating typography as a hidden measure of our history. From the tempestuous debate about its beginnings in the fifteenth century, to the invention of our most contemporary lettering, Simon Loxley, with the skill of a novelist, tells of the people and events behind our letters. How did Johann Gutenberg, in late 1438, come to think of printing? Does Baskerville have anything to do with Sherlock Holmes? Why did the Nazis re-invent Blackletter? What is a Zapf? Type is a guide through the history of our letters and a study of their power. From fashion through propaganda and the development of mass literacy, Loxley shows how typography has changed our world. ‘Simon Loxley's quirkily elegant Type follows hard on the heels of Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It is better designed and typeset than that unlikely bestseller, and its subject, type, is central to the experience of every reader... A heady mixture of intrigue, personal achievement and corporate greed’ Justin Howes, Times Literary Supplement ‘Simon Loxley reads between the lines in Type... underscoring the passion and ambition of its designers and highlighting the role that business and technological breakthroughs have had in the way we print and read today’ History Today
"Deeply researched, well reported and full of interesting and surprising analyses. It demands to be read."--Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc. and The Osama Bin Laden I Know
Contrary to popular belief, Western civilisation as we know it today is not the end result of steady progress. For over half a millennium revolution has succeeded revolution like a succession of tidal waves. At one level this book is a chronological narrative of these revolutions, from the Renaissance to the Russian. It shows how Utopian visions of ideal societies end in massacres and the guillotine, and therefore appeals to and challenges both left and right. At a second level it offers a new and original theory of why revolutions happen. An idealist has a vision, which others state in intellectual terms. This becomes corrupted by a political regime, and results in physical repression. The unique approach that The Secret History takes is that this vision has never been part of Establishment thought or practice. Indeed it usually has its roots in ideas and influences that have hitherto been unexpressed, secret.
Mark Booth, author of the international bestseller The Secret History of the World, uncovers the real-life stories of Dante and The Inferno. Why does Dante describe the Inferno as a real place? What secret society did Dante belong to? What was Dante’s connection with the Knights Templar? What was his secret connection to militant Islamic sects? Here you will find hidden codes, passageways under the streets of Florence, mad monks, mind-bending drugs and terrifying underground rituals. Together they contain all the elements of a great thriller–greed, murder, obsessive love, betrayal–and they reveal a 2,000-year-old conspiracy: to rule the world. Perfect if you want to understand the mysteries that inspired Dan Brown's novel Inferno, or as a standalone initiation to one of the great turning points in occult history.
'Lonely Young Officer, up to his neck in Flanders mud, would like to correspond with young lady (age 18-20), cheery and good looking.' 1916 'Discreet, attractive couple 21 and 25 wish to meet couples and singles 21-35 for exciting and fun-loving adult relationships. Open-minded but not way out. No prejudices. Full length photo, address, and detailed letter assures same.' 1969 From the 'sporty' girls and 'artistic' boys of the Edwardian era to the 'lonely' soldiers of the Great War, the marriage bureaux of the fifties, and on to the internet dating sites of today, Classified tells the story of those who used personal ads to search for love, friendship, marriage and adventure.
A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of Wonder Woman, one of the world’s most iconic superheroes, hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator. Beginning in his undergraduate years at Harvard, Marston was influenced by early suffragists and feminists, starting with Emmeline Pankhurst, who was banned from speaking on campus in 1911, when Marston was a freshman. In the 1920s, Marston and his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, brought into their home Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the twentieth century. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony. In the 1930s, Marston and Byrne wrote a regular column for Family Circle celebrating conventional family life, even as they themselves pursued lives of extraordinary nonconformity. Marston, internationally known as an expert on truth—he invented the lie detector test—lived a life of secrets, only to spill them on the pages of Wonder Woman. The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later. This edition includes a new afterword with fresh revelations based on never before seen letters and photographs from the Marston family’s papers. With 161 illustrations and 16 pages in full color