Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?

Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?

Article excerpt

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

A. W. Purdue, visiting professor of history, Northumbria University, is reading Julian Fellowes' Belgravia (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016). "The book begins with the Duchess of Richmond's ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo and an ill-fated romance between the daughter of an ambitious businessman and the son of an aristocratic family, who is killed in battle hours after the ball. She dies giving birth to a son, believed, wrongly, to be illegitimate. The consequences lead us, a quarter of a century later, to London's West End, where new buildings are transforming the environment and social values are changing as new money disturbs the established order. The plot creaks a bit, but Fellowes' knowledge of the period, his skill in recreating its atmosphere and mores, his ability to create fascinating characters and his acute eye for social relationships make the book well worth reading."

Laura Scuriatti, junior professor of English and comparative literature, Bard College Berlin, is reading Nadia Fusini's Vivere nella Tempesta (Einaudi, 2016). "This is a fascinating and refreshing journey through Shakespeare's The Tempest, its contexts, sources and aesthetics, intertwined with Fusini's autobiographical narrative of her life and study of Shakespeare's corpus. Following The Tempest's form, Fusini's essay evokes numerous intertexts, fusing new historicism, philology, formalism and personal criticism, and it offers a mesmerising panorama and useful reassessment of the different modes of reading which The Tempest offers and demands. …

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