The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, June 2004 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


PIMLICO has recently published the first paperback edition of Virginia Woolf's A Passionate Apprentice ([pounds sterling]16.00) which contains her early journals (1897-1909) and her short journal entry entitled Carlyle's House and Other Sketches. The collection is edited by Mitchell A. Leaska and prefaced by Hermione Lee whilst David Bradshaw has written the introduction to Carlyle's House and Other Sketches. Here we have a first-hand portrait of the young Virginia Stephen battling mental illness and laying the foundation for her future writing career. A second new Pimlico title is Sir Roy Strong's Painting the Past: The Victorian Painter and British History ([pounds sterling]12.50) in which the former Director of the National Portrait Gallery and also the V&A looks at how Victorian painters imagined the past. Finally there is a paperback edition of Ian Mortimer's highly praised biography, the first ever written of Edward II's rival, Roger Mortimer: The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, Ruler of England, 1327-1330 ([pounds sterling]7.99).

From SUTTON PUBLISHING we have a variety of new titles. The first group, of historical titles, includes: John Laffin's Tommy Atkins: The Story of the English Soldier ([pounds sterling]8.99), first published in 1966; Michael Foy and Brian Barton's The Easter Rising ([pounds sterling]8.99) widely regarded as the best history of the 'rising' now in print; Christopher Brooke's The Age of the Cloister: The Story of Monastic Life in the Middle Ages ([pounds sterling]10.99), a reissue of the author's 1974 title with a new introduction and revised bibliography; Elizabeth A. Fenn's Pox Americana: The Great Small-Pox Epidemic of 1775-82 ([pounds sterling]9.99), a fascinating insight into a little known event in American history in which some 100,000 people died; and, Hope and Glory: Epic Stories of Empire and Commonwealth ([pounds sterling]12.99), a collection of first-hand accounts published in conjunction with the series broadcast on ITV. New archaeological titles include Geoffrey Williams' Stronghold Britain: Four Thousand Years of British Fortifications ([pounds sterling]16.99), a lavishly illustrated guide to military bases from the prehistoric to RAF aerodromes which combines research and much learning with practical guides to visiting surviving structures. A second archaeological title is John Collis' Digging Up the Past: An Introduction to Archaeological Excavation ([pounds sterling]12.99) which is aimed at those wishing to work on archaeological digs and at those seeking a general background to the field. The final new title from Sutton is Stephen Friar's The Sutton Companion to Churches ([pounds sterling]12.99), first published in 1996. The book is well written and easy to use, full of information and based on a massive amount of learning. Its paperback publication is to be heartily welcomed.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS has an international reputation for its reference works, but these are titles which need constant revision. The Press has therefore issued a revised edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations ([pounds sterling]12.99) edited by Antony Jay and first published in 1996 and revised in 2001. This is a paperback version of that second edition with a 'supplement' made up of 'Soundbites 2000-3' which will provide as much amusement as instruction. O.U.P. has also recently published a paperback version of the second edition of The Oxford Companion to Irish History ([pounds sterling]16.99), published in 2002 and edited by S. J. Connolly. The Press has also issued a paperback edition of Joseph Rykwert's provocative study, The Seduction of Place: The History and Future of the City ([pounds sterling]9. …

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