The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, November 2004 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


SUTTON PUBLISHING, whose importance as a publisher of history titles continues to grow, has brought out new releases in its History Classics series. These include Christopher Hibbert's King Mob: The Story of Lord George Gordon and the Riots of 1780 first published in 1958. This remains a graphic account of the Gordon Riots, when the London mob, inspired by anti-Catholicism, rampaged across the capital until stopped by the firm hand of George III. Other 'resurrected' titles include David Cressy's Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England, a welcome reissue of an important study of English social history. A third title is Frederick F. Cartwright and Michael Biddiss' Disease and History. This was first published in 1972 and this version is the revised edition of 2000. Edward Burman's The Inquisition: The Hammer of Heresy took a fresh look behind the myths associated with the Inquisition whilst Pennethorne Hughes' 1952 study, Witchcraft traces the origins of witchcraft and magic. A final release in the History Classics series is Dea Birkett's Spinsters Abroad: Victorian Lady Explorers which looked at that formidable breed of Victorian female travellers who braved new worlds, both in reality and metaphorically long before modern feminism. All these are priced at [pounds sterling]8.99. Also in the series but priced at [pounds sterling]9.99 we have The Medieval Underworld, Andrew McCall's survey of people 'who were either unwilling or unable to comply with the laws of medieval society' and Lawrence Wright's fascinating study, Warm & Snug: The History of the Bed, an instructive and entertaining look at one of the most important items in any house. Finally, Sutton has brought out Hunter Davies' George Stephenson: The Remarkable Life of the Founder of the Railways ([pounds sterling]8.99) which was published in hardback in 1975 and tells the life story of one of the most influential of Victorians.

From OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS we have two paperback editions of titles relating to the sixteenth century. The first is Peter Marshall's Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England ([pounds sterling]22.50), a brilliant analysis of a neglected aspect of the English Reformation and one that adds immeasurably to our understanding of the period. An associated title is Michael Dobson and Nicola J. Watson's England's Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy ([pounds sterling]12.99) which looks at the legacy of Elizabeth I in popular thought. In politics we have a paperback edition of The British Constitution in the Twentieth Century ([pounds sterling]21.99) edited by Prof Vernon Bogdanor. This collection, published for the British Academy, has eighteen papers examining various aspects of the British Constitution in the wider, more traditional sense, from the Cabinet to the police, from the Monarch to the Common Market. O.U.P. has also republished a collection that will prove invaluable to students and teachers: The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts ([pounds sterling]25.00) edited by Jussi M. Hanhimaki and Odd Arne Westad. The penultimate new O.U.P. title is The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations ([pounds sterling]8.99) edited by Elizabeth Knowles which has a new section, 'Soundbites 2002-4', which brings this 2001 edition up to date. The last new release is Frances Finnegan's devastating history of Ireland's Magdalen asylums, Do Penance or Perish: Magdalen Asylums in Ireland ([pounds sterling]11.99) first published by Ireland's Congreve Press in 2001.

JOHN MURRAY has published three works by the travel writer and novelist, Patrick Leigh Fermor, now 89. The first is Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese ([pounds sterling]8.99) first published in 1958 and Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece ([pounds sterling]8.99) which first appeared in 1966. Artemis Cooper has edited Words of Mercury: Patrick Leigh Fermor ([pounds sterling]7.

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