Book Review: An introduction to the ancient world for young adults

This slim volume of eight chapters will be of interest not just to classicists but also to those teaching in, researching and studying media, film, theatre studies and gender studies. The editors, both classicists, currently teach at the University of Akron, Ohio (Burns) and at University of Texas at San Antonio. There is no information on the six contributors.

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Book Review: Texts and Textiles: Affect, Synæsthesia and Metaphor in Fiction

Deciding what to include in this review has been difficult, the breath and depth of Diana Mary Eva Thomas’s research is rewarding, challenging, and just plain fascinating (as denoted by the plethora of stickie-notes that adorn each chapter of my copy of the book). However if you like to read beautiful immersive fiction, have ever wondered how some authors are able to create detailed environments and complex characters more effectively than others, or thought that perhaps the standard textile metaphor has the potential to be so much more, Thomas’s research provides a thorough, contemporary approach to these questions and much, much more.

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Book Review: Julian among the Books

Julian of Norwich, her mystical experiences, and her writing, have been the subject of ever-increasing interest and study over the course of the twentieth century, and now well into the twenty-first. This very recent study, Julian among the Books, includes ten chapters and several appendices, the latter presenting excerpts from various early volumes related to Julian and her writings. Though the chapters are, in effect, distinct studies, taken together they provide fascinating insight into Julian, her writings, and especially their literary, religious, historical, geographical, and artistic contexts. In bringing these varied contexts to the fore, Julia Bolton Holloway, in effect, confirms the interrelated character of the English and wider European milieus in which Julian wrote. At the same time, Holloway regularly stresses the importance of the contributions of women such as Brigitte of Sweden and Catherine of Siena to spiritual reflection around the time of Julian (c. late 1300s). This book is replete with reproductions of images from various manuscripts and works of art, including several pages of full-color plates. Of particular note is that Holloway works directly, and in discussion with, various themes in comparison among manuscripts of Julian’s writings rather than with reconstructed texts. While Holloway’s work with the manuscripts themselves makes it more difficult, at times, to follow her train of thought, it somehow seems to give the reader a sense of being closer to Julian herself.

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Book Review: A Tradition All Its Own – Forgotten British Film: Value and the Ephemeral in Postwar Cinema by Philip Gillett

Despite appearing in an independent press publication, this study deserves neither to be forgotten nor regarded as ephemeral since it represents a very distinctive and well researched contribution to the area of British Cinema. Although this field has been well documented over the past thirty years, giving the lie to condescending remarks of Satyajit Ray and Francois Truffaut that the British have no real cinema, there are still many examples of films that have fallen through the net, not all of them bad or deservedly forgotten. As Gillett (author of the 2003 study The British Working Class in Postwar Film) states in his opening chapter “The Forgotten Film” shifting tastes determine whether a film is celebrated on initial release as well as governing its secondary existence on DVD and other formats. It is crucial to keep all extant titles available for the following reasons so

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Book review: Mr Justice McCardie (1869-1933) – Rebel, Reformer, and Rogue Judge

Antony Lentin’s life of Henry Alfred McCardie, published in the centenary year of his appointment to the High Court Bench, offers a fascinating portrait of a judicial figure whose reforming judgments have stood the test of time rather better than some of the public pronouncements that brought him fame and notoriety in his own day.  Review by Paul Magrath.

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