New Acquisitions

Here are some of Senate House Library's latest acquisitions, picked by the Metadata Team.

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Image for The painted book in Renaissance Italy : 1450-1600 / Jonathan J.G. Alexander.

The painted book in Renaissance Italy : 1450-1600 / Jonathan J.G. Alexander.

Although this is a history of Italian book illumination, the author places the art in the context of the Renaissance as a whole and explains how it connects to other media of the Renaissance such as painting, sculpture, and architecture, and also to the patrons of those media. The books is full of beautiful, vivid illustrations from manuscripts, so it is a feast for the eyes as well as “essential reading for all scholars and students of Renaissance art”.
Image for Broken idols of the English reformation / Margaret Aston.

Broken idols of the English reformation / Margaret Aston.

Broken idols of the Reformation is account of the iconoclasm which took place during the Reformation. Margaret Aston explores the motivations of those who destroyed religious artifacts, and shows that that it was part of a ‘religious revolution’ designed to change people as well as buildings, and not only did it transform ways of worship but of seeing, hearing and remembering.
Image for UK Parliamentary papers

UK Parliamentary papers

Long-time useful database and home of primary government documents, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers has been updated and now goes by U.K. Parliamentary Papers. As before, the resource contains Parliamentary papers from the eighteen to the twenty-first centuries, as well as Hansard debates. Proquest’s libguides on the resource are especially helpful when first using UKPP, with guidance on searching, search syntax, and bookmarking.
Image for Michelle Obama : First Lady, American rhetor / edited by Elizabeth J. Natalle and Jenni M. Simon.

Michelle Obama : First Lady, American rhetor / edited by Elizabeth J. Natalle and Jenni M. Simon.

This book on the outgoing First Lady is not a conventional biography in the traditions of first lady research. Instead it is an edited anthology that examines Michelle Obama’s rhetoric from an interdisciplinary point of view. Essays consider her brand as first lady, her addresses to the Democratic National Convention, her ethos, her speaking tour of Africa, her role encouraging young people to participate in community labor, and an analysis of her tribute to Maya Angelou as a contribution to Black feminist intellectualism. The book shows Michelle Obama as a very modern woman, who has influenced America at the intersections of gender, race and class.
Image for Meetings with remarkable manuscripts / Christopher de Hamel.

Meetings with remarkable manuscripts / Christopher de Hamel.

The Sunday Times History Book of the Year!
I first became interested when I saw it reviewed for the Sunday Times. The language of the dust jacket makes it sound different and very modern in its approach. Encountering an important illuminated manuscript is compared to meeting a famous person, and the reader is invited into an intimate conversation with them. There are 12 manuscripts altogether under discussion, including the Book of Kells and a manuscript of the Canterbury Tales. This is their biography. What has been their journey to the present? What have they meant as objects at various times? Who owned them? The book is not just about manuscripts but history, religion, art, literature, music, science and the history of taste.
Image for Emblematik der Zukunft : Poetik und Geschichte literarischer Utopien von Thomas Morus bis Robert Musil / Wilhelm Vosskamp.

Emblematik der Zukunft : Poetik und Geschichte literarischer Utopien von Thomas Morus bis Robert Musil / Wilhelm Vosskamp.

Matching the theme of Senate House Library's current exhibition "Utopia and Dystopia" (still running until 17th December!), this publication explores the history of the literary utopia and the reflections utopias allow on the social and cultural circumstances of their time. Starting with Thomas More in the 15th century Vosskamp examines utopian writings all the way to the 20th century.
Image for Confessions / Jaume Cabré ; translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem.

Confessions / Jaume Cabré ; translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem.

Cabré's epic novel interweaves several story lines, linked together by a priceless violin: from the planting of the tree it will eventually be made of, to the profound consequences it has on the life of its most recent owner. It is him, Adrià Ardevol, from who's perspective the violin's dark and violent history is told. I was instantly captivated by the story and couldn't put it down. It's one of these novels whose end, despite it's nearly 800 pages, comes far too soon...
Image for Henry the young king, 1155-1183 / Matthew Strickland.

Henry the young king, 1155-1183 / Matthew Strickland.

This English king was regarded as “one of the most charismatic and celebrated chivalric figures of later twelfth century Europe”. No not Richard the Lionheart, his elder brother, Henry the Young King, the eldest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Crowned king aged 15 as co-ruler alongside his father to ensure the succession, he is an all but forgotten figure now, not counted amongst the list of English monarchs as he never ruled in his own right, and eclipsed by the deeds of his brothers Richard I and John. But in his own lifetime Henry was a very significant figure indeed, an international figure of renown through his participation on the tournament circuit, and at the heart of the dramatic events of Angevin rule and family politics, whether joining his mother and brothers in rebelling against his father, or fighting his brother Richard for control of Aquitaine. His coronation lead to one of the most controversial events of the reign, when Becket excommunicated the bishops who participated in the ceremony as they had usurped his rights, and provoked Henry II into the loss of temper that resulted in Becket’s murder. The Young King’s death at the age of 28, predeceasing his father, provoked yet more family conflict as his surviving brothers squabbled over the succession to the crown and other Angevin lands, which was the inspiration for the Oscar winning film The Lion in Winter starring Peter O’Toole, Katherine Hepburn and Anthony Hopkins. Like Prince Arthur, the brother of Henry VIII and Prince Henry, the brother of Charles I, the story of the Young King is another of those What If moments in English history.
Image for Further adventures of The dialectic of sex : critical essays on Shulamith Firestone / edited by Mandy Merck and Stella Sandford.

Further adventures of The dialectic of sex : critical essays on Shulamith Firestone / edited by Mandy Merck and Stella Sandford.

The image of the Senate House revolving door portrayed by the media artist Ron Hagell,“The sexes in revolution at Senate House”, seems to offer a ride into the most radical of feminist manifestos. “Calling for the liberation of women and children through the abolition of the nuclear family and the end of pregnancy itself…” this is a prescient study on the unresolved question of gender dichotomy, and the subordination of women and homosexuals. Who would have thought that the Firestone’s work is 40 years old?
Image for The Ulysses delusion : rethinking standards of literary merit / Cecilia Konchar Farr.

The Ulysses delusion : rethinking standards of literary merit / Cecilia Konchar Farr.

What is a "good" book? And why is this question answered so differently by literary professionals on the one hand and readers on the other? I found Konchar Farr's exploration of these questions, the gendered history of the novel in the US one gets on the way, and her call for a more balanced look at novels a very interesting read. It certainly confirmed my reasoning for having had such a hit and miss experience of finding "good" books through either literary reviews or bestseller lists: my sweet spot between the two rarely shows up on either.
Image for All things made new : writings on the Reformation / Diarmaid MacCulloch.

All things made new : writings on the Reformation / Diarmaid MacCulloch.

Next year will see the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses which provided the starting point for The Reformation. In this new book, Diarmaid MacCulloch, whose book the History of Christianity was adapted into a BBC tv series, discusses the Reformation in Britain in a series of essays on topics such as writings on angels, The King James Bible, Forging Reformation history, and the roles of Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer.
Image for Shakespeare and me : great writers, actors and directors on what the bard means to them - and us / edited by Susannah Carson ; foreword by Harold Bloom.

Shakespeare and me : great writers, actors and directors on what the bard means to them - and us / edited by Susannah Carson ; foreword by Harold Bloom.

A great read on how Shakespeare’s works are seen and influenced by actors, directors and writers on Shakespeare. From James Earl Jones the American actor who reminisces on hearing the first recital of Shakespeare, to his part in playing in several Shakespeare plays, to Sir Ben Kingsley actor and Honorary Associate Artist of the RSC, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Patrick Stewart amongst others.
Image for Stamped from the beginning : the definitive history of racist ideas in America / Ibram X. Kendi.

Stamped from the beginning : the definitive history of racist ideas in America / Ibram X. Kendi.

In this lucid analysis of the anti-black racist ideas, Ibram X. Kend delivers a collection of statistics and historical chronicles. A powerful narrative which also explains the cultural background behind latest Afro-American murders in the United States. The title comes from a speech held in the US Senate in 1860 by Senator Jefferson Davis who was intensely objecting a bill funding black education declaring that the “inequality of the white and black race” was “stamped from the beginning.”
Image for The divorce of King Lothar and Queen Theutberga : Hincmar of Rheim's De divortio / translated and annotated by Rachel Stone and Charles West.

The divorce of King Lothar and Queen Theutberga : Hincmar of Rheim's De divortio / translated and annotated by Rachel Stone and Charles West.

700 years before Henry VIII endeavoured to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Europe was scandalised by the long running saga of King Lothar II of Lotharingia’s attempt to divorce his queen Theutberga in order to marry the mother of his children. As with Henry VIII, Lothar’s plight attracted attention and opposition from rival kings, foreign bishops and the pope, and "helped durably shape European politics and culture" (book description). De Divortio is a contemporary witness account of the story by a major participant, Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims, and provides an insight into Medieval attitudes towards a whole range of issues political, religious and esoteric, including kingship, gender, magic, and bishops.
Image for Eighteenth century drama : censorship, society and the stage.

Eighteenth century drama : censorship, society and the stage.

The University of London Senate House Library is currently one of six participating libraries to this database. The database is “an interdisciplinary resource rich in material for researchers in, not only theatre and drama, but literature, history, politics, music, censorship, gender, romanticism and the long eighteenth century. It reflects the politics of the time, the role of women, views on race and religion, opinions on empire and European and British history.
Image for Colour : the art & science of illuminated manuscripts / edited by Stella Panayotova ; with the assistance of Deirdre Jackson & Paola Ricciardi.

Colour : the art & science of illuminated manuscripts / edited by Stella Panayotova ; with the assistance of Deirdre Jackson & Paola Ricciardi.

Catalogues of exhibitions of illuminated manuscripts are some of my favourite items to catalogue. The colours are so vibrant, even in a book. This is a catalogue of an exhibition held at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, the focus of which is on colour, and includes sections on The Trade in Colours, Pigment recipes and model books, Colour theory and Colour and meaning.
Image for Agatha : the real life of Agatha Christie / Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau, Alexandre Franc.

Agatha : the real life of Agatha Christie / Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau, Alexandre Franc.

This is a welcome addition to the collection Senate House Library hold on Agatha Christie. It is a graphic novel biography of her life. “It traces the life of the Queen of Whodunnit from her childhood in Torquay, England trough a career filled with success, to her later years as Dame Agatha”.
As a fan of Agatha’s televised novels, I am yet to read about her life. I have started reading a few pages of this memoir and am already intrigued.
Image for England's immigrants : 1330-1550

England's immigrants : 1330-1550

With the recent coverage of immigrants into Europe, this database is specific to the United Kingdom’s historical immigration process.
Image for Artemis Primary Sources

Artemis Primary Sources

The combination of different subject matter in this document will be of interest to Graduate researchers and faculty staff. It provides an interactive research environment that allows researchers to cross-search, Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) and our newspaper archives
Image for Marvel and artefact : the 'Wonders of the East' in its manuscript contexts / By A.J. Ford.

Marvel and artefact : the 'Wonders of the East' in its manuscript contexts / By A.J. Ford.

Former Senate House Library English librarian Dr A.J. Ford examines three surviving medieval manuscript versions of the ‘Wonders of the East’ text, a fabulist and fabulous narrative that describes the many marvels and prodigies to be encountered outside Europe, including dragons, phoenixes, bearded women, and ants the size of dogs. Dr Ford has adapted his PhD thesis for this 2015 Brill edition.