Author: Lavinia Greenlaw
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw's poetic reflections on William Morris's Icelandic Journal, one of the overlooked masterpieces of travel literature The great Victorian designer and decorative artist William Morris was fascinated by Iceland and wrote a book documenting his travels there. He gets caught up with questions of travel, noting his reaction to the idea of leaving or arriving, to hurry and delay, what it means to dread a place you’ve never been to or to encounter the actuality of a long-held vision. He is sensitive to the emotional landscape of his band of travelers and, above all, continuously analyzing and fixing this “most romantic of all deserts.” Lavinia Greenlaw follows in his footsteps, and interposes his prose with her own “questions of travel.” The result is a new and composite work that brilliantly explores our conflicted reasons for not staying at home.
William Morris's routes through south-west Iceland can still be followed, possibly, though not necessarily as for Morris's party, on horseback. Morris was plump, unfit and relatively untravelled, but his enthusiasm, grit and phenomenal eye for detail sustained him for six weeks in 1871 and a further two in 1873 through 'the most romantic of all deserts'. Morris kept very few diaries and the Icelandic Journals are the most complete. Written daily, in pencil, in small black-covered notebooks, they are unguarded, spontaneous and by turn discouraged and excited. He records wild flowers and wilder landscapes, spectacular sunsets, vast expanses of lava, magnificent waterfalls, dangerous tracks and more dangerous rivers to be forded on or beside his practised and indomitable ponies. Morris grew to love his ponies, bringing one back to England for his daughters. He loved too the Icelanders: priests, farmers, scholars and children. He observes their crops, including the constant presence of angelica in their gardens, though he never finds what it is for. Their kindness, generosity and hospitality despite common poverty moved him greatly; the Icelandic experience had a profound influence on his political thinking: 'the most grinding poverty is a trifling evil compared to the inequality of classes'. Morris had translated several Sagas by 1871 and was teaching himself Icelandic. His journey, with his co-translator, Eirikr Magnusson, was routed around many of the main Saga sites - a journey that is still taken by lovers of Iceland and William Morris.
Galileo's wife, a young woman dying of radium poisoning, the first dog in space, a strangely obsessed concert pianist, an early beneficiary of plastic surgery, and a Russian boy whose adventures are sadly limited by the immature powers of the child who has conjured him up are just some of the figures encompassed by Lavinia Greenlaw's imagination. The poet's level gaze as she contemplates the more bizarre aspects of science and of human behaviour lends further distinction to this, her first collection.
This bilingual book presents poems from Pálsson's ten collections written between 1980-2008. Swirling with imagery, they reveal a poet committed to unearthing the joy of living connected to the natural world. For Pálsson, poetry contains such energy and force to upset chronology, ideas run amok, views close and open. Space is compressed so the various fabrics of the world are folded into each other, creating a causal layering of the natural and man-made. This is a thrilling sweep across this poet's work.
This is the story of a teenager at several turning points in her life -- a richly detailed and suspenseful novel about various kinds of courtship gone wrong. The day Tom Hepple returns to the English village of Allnorthover, he stops at the local reservoir, beneath which lies his childhood home. Looking for a sign, he sees a girl walking on water. Not just any girl -- it is Mary George, an uncommonly sympathetic seventeen-year-old, who seems at first to be more important to others than she is to herself. As nearsighted Mary tries to locate herself in the world, struggling with growing up, falling in love, and breaking away, Tom makes her the focus of his attempt to regain his past. Secrets and misapprehensions surface as the village reveals its stories and unwittingly helps Tom toward the catastrophic conclusion of his plan. MARY GEORGE OF ALLNORTHOVER takes place in Essex in the 1970s -- a small, orderly world disrupted by power cuts, petrol shortages, and drought. The brash color and noise of punk rock is infiltrating the disco in the village hall, and London is getting closer all the time. Mary George is as caught up in all this change as she is in her own history. Her story brings to new life the great themes of family, property, inheritance, and belonging. The traditions of the nineteenth-century novel are both adhered to and subverted in Lavinia Greenlaw's remarkable first book of prose.
Author: John Plotz
Publisher: Bunker Hill Pub Incorporated
Release Date: 2014-05-14
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
What kind of adventure begins in the living room on a rainy Monday afternoon? It depends. Say you just found out that Granny, who raised you, is going to lose her house because there's nothing valuable left to sell except an unfinished tapestry. And say that your pet blackbird Mead starts talking and swells up to the size of large motorcycle, and that you suddenly find yourself on his back falling into what you could have sworn was just an old rug covered with pictures of knights galloping through forests. If that's your situation, then this adventure could be weirder, scarier, and more amazing than anything you ever imagined. Time and the Tapestry tells the story of a 13 year old, would-be artist Jen and her not-quite-as-nerdy-as-he used-to-be- 10 year old brother Ed. They find themselves adrift in 19th century England, unable to make their way back home until they've gathered the missing pieces to make that tapestry whole. It's great that they can ride on Mead's back. But not so great that his feathers are falling off, too fast to count. Great that they keep meeting up with the rugmaker himself, Jen's hero, British radical William Morris. But not so great that he always seems to be yelling at somebody or tossing something at them. Great that as they travel from London to Oxford to Iceland, they begin to figure out a way to save the Tapestry (and Granny's house along with it). But downright terrifying that Mead's going to be grounded soon, leaving them trapped with Morris and his wacky daughter May in a Victorian London that may be filled with cranky artists and loveable animals, but....it's a long long way from home. The scenes set in Canterbury, Oxford, the English countryside, Trafalgar Square, Iceland, and Boston will enchant those drawn to the tapestry of history. Along with its magnificently detailed illustrations, this expertly woven tale threads together the best of classical fantasy with a tale of modern-day adventure that will captivate readers of all ages. First-time children's book author John Plotz--who's spent years studying, teaching, and dreaming about William Morris--brings the story of Arts and Crafts to life with a yarn about a world where the power of imagination may just be strong enough to bring dragons, flying birds and enchanted books to life.
In this collection of essays, ten leading writers from different countries consider the conflicts that have informed their own literary lives. 1914-Goodbye to All That borrows its title from Robert Graves's "bitter leave-taking of England" in which he writes not only of the First World War but the questions it raised: how to live, how to live with each other, and how to write. Interpreting this title as broadly and ambiguously as Graves intended, these essays mark the War's centenary by reinvigorating these questions. The book includes Elif Shafak on an inheritance of silence in Turkey, Ali Smith on lost voices in Scotland, Xiaolu Guo on the 100,000 Chinese sent to the Front, Daniel Kehlmann on hypnotism in Berlin, Colm Toibin on Lady Gregory losing her son fighting for Britain as she fought for an independent Ireland, Kamila Shamsie on reimagining Karachi, Erwin Mortier on occupied Belgium's legacy of shame, NoViolet Bulawayo on Zimbabwe and clarity, Ales Steger on resisting history in Slovenia, and Jeanette Winterson on what art is for. Contributors include: Ali Smith - Scotland Ales Steger - Slovenia Jeanette Winterson - England Elif Shafak - Turkey NoViolet Bulawayo - Zimbabwe Colm Toíbín - Ireland Xiaolu Guo - China Erwin Mortier - Belgium Kamila Shamsie - Pakistan Daniel Kehlmann - Germany From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Klara Glowczewska
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Literary Collections
This second collection of travel writing from the award-winning magazine includes essays on the world's most amazing places to visit penned by travel luminaries Robert Hughes, Russell Banks, E. L. Doctorow and Pico Iyer. Original.
Author: A. S. Byatt
Release Date: 2016-08-02
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
From the winner of the Booker Prize: A ravishing book that opens a window into the lives, designs, and passions of Mariano Fortuny and William Morris, two remarkable artists who themselves are passions of the writer A. S. Byatt. Born a generation apart in the mid-1800s, Fortuny and Morris were seeming opposites: Fortuny a Spanish aristocrat thrilled by the sun-baked cultures of Crete and Knossos; Morris a member of the British bourgeoisie, enthralled by Nordic myths. Through their revolutionary inventions and textiles, both men inspired a new variety of art that is as striking today as when it was first conceived. In this elegant meditation, Byatt traces their genius right to the source. Fortuny’s Palazzo Pesaro Orfei in Venice is a warren of dark spaces imbued with the rich hues of Asia. In his attic workshop, Fortuny created intricate designs from glowing silks and velvets; in the palazzo he found “happiness in a glittering cavern” alongside the French model who became his wife and collaborator, including on the famous “Delphos” dress—a flowing, pleated gown that evoked the era of classical Greece. Morris’s Red House outside London, with its Gothic turrets and secret gardens, helped inspire his stunning floral and geometric patterns; it likewise represented a coming together of life and art. But it was a “sweet simple old place” called Kelmscott Manor in the countryside that he loved best—even when it became the setting for his wife’s love affair with the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Generously illustrated with the artists’ beautiful designs—pomegranates and acanthus, peacock and vine—among other aspects of their worlds, this marvel-filled book brings the visions and ideas of Fortuny and Morris to vivid life. From the Hardcover edition.
Lavinia Greenlaw's first collection, Night Photograph, made an immediately favourable impact. Her second collection, A World Where News Travelled Slowly explores more local and personal matters. Its central theme is the unpredictable act of communication, from the mechanical to the miraculous. There are also poems that are concerned with attempts at preservation - plundered relics, the stately home, an iron lung. This volume serves to confirm the gifts Lavinia Greenlaw showed in her first book.
Author: Jan Morris
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2013-04-17
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The great travel writer Jan Morris was born James Morris. James Morris distinguished himself in the British military, became a successful and physically daring reporter, climbed mountains, crossed deserts, and established a reputation as a historian of the British empire. He was happily married, with several children. To all appearances, he was not only a man, but a man’s man. Except that appearances, as James Morris had known from early childhood, can be deeply misleading. James Morris had known all his conscious life that at heart he was a woman. Conundrum, one of the earliest books to discuss transsexuality with honesty and without prurience, tells the story of James Morris—s hidden life and how he decided to bring it into the open, as he resolved first on a hormone treatment and, second, on risky experimental surgery that would turn him into the woman that he truly was.
A Traveller’s Year is an anthology of extracts from diaries, journals and letters, two or three for each day of the year, on the subject of travel and exploration. The extracts convey men and women’s experiences of travel and discovery from the sixteenth to the early twenty-first centuries, with an emphasis on the period 1750–1950, the classic era of both European exploration and diary-writing. The authors of the pieces range from famous explorers such as Captains Cook and Scott to modern travel writers journeying through the contemporary world, from people who pushed back the boundaries of geographical knowledge to people who wrote about what they did on their summer holidays. The book includes an introduction, explanatory notes and mini-biographies of all the contributors. Contributors include: Gertrude Bell (woman traveller in the Middle East) James Boswell (travels in Scotland and the Hebrides) William Cobbett (Rural Rides through England) Christopher Columbus (journals of his voyages to America) Charles Darwin (Voyage of the Beagle) Captain James Cook (voyages in the Pacific) Henry Fielding (Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon) Washington Irving (American writer travelled in Europe in first decades of nineteenth century) Edward Lear (landscape painter and nonsense writer produced journals of his travels in Greece, Corsica, Near East etc) Lewis & Clark (journals of famous journey of American exploration) Henry Maundrell (traveller in Middle East at the end of the 17th century) William Morris (wrote a journal of a trip to Iceland in 1870s) Michael Palin (a Python abroad) Mungo Park (African explorer in early nineteenth century) Henry Peerless (middle-class holiday traveller in Edwardian era whose diaries have been recently published) John Ruskin (diaries of his travels in Europe, especially Italy) Captain Robert Falcon Scott (doomed journey to South Pole) Zacharias von Uffenbach (a German traveller in Georgian England) Evelyn Waugh (diaries of 1930s travels in Mediterranean and beyond) John Wesley (travelled throughout Britain and Ireland to preach and kept a journal) William John Wills (explorer of Australia)
Author: Roger Scruton
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2017-03-28
Genre: Political Science
Hard-hitting essays by acclaimed social commentator and philosopher Roger Scruton, guaranteed to provoke lively debate A wide-ranging selection that includes essays on architecture and modern art, the environment, politics, and culture. Each “confession” reveals aspects of the author’s thinking that his critics would probably have advised him to keep to himself. Roger Scruton challenges popular opinion on key aspects of our society: What can we do to protect Western values against Islamic extremism? How can we nurture real friendship in the digital age of social media and Facebook? How should we achieve a timely death against the advances of modern medicine? How should environmental policies be shaped by the government? This provocative collection seeks to answer the most pressing problems of our age.
Winner of the Wolfson History Prize, the essential biography of the father of the Arts and Crafts movement. The author, Fiona MacCarthy, is the curator of the National Portrait Gallery's 2014-15 exhibition Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy.'One of the finest biographies ever published in this country' A. S. Byatt Since his death in 1896, William Morris has come to be regarded as one of the giants of the Victorian era. But his genius was so many-sided and so profound that its full extent has rarely been grasped. Many people may find it hard to believe that the greatest English designer of his time, possibly of all time, could also be internationally renowned as a founder of the socialist movement, and could have been ranked as a poet together with Tennyson and Browning.With penetrating insight, Fiona MacCarthy has managed to encompass all the different facets of Morris's complex character, shedding light on his immense creative powers as artist and designer of furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, stained glass, tapestry and books, and as a poet, novelist and translator; his psychology and his emotional life; his frenetic activities as polemicist and reformer; and his remarkable circle of friends, literary, artistic and political, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. Fiona MacCarthy's skilful drawing together of these disparate elements makes for a comprehensive and compelling biography.