Jerry Brotton is the presenter of the acclaimed BBC4 series 'Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession'. Here he tells the story of our world through maps. Throughout history, maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world, and our place in it. But far from being purely scientific objects, world maps are unavoidably ideological and subjective, intimately bound up with the systems of power and authority of particular times and places. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct it out of the ideas of their age. In this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps - from the mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world - whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to 'the third world'. Although the way we map our surroundings is once more changing dramatically, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been - but that they continue to make arguments and propositions about the world, and to recreate, shape and mediate our view of it. Readers of this book will never look at a map in quite the same way again.
“Dai Babilonesi a Google Earth Jerry Brotton racconta la nostra storia attraverso le carte geografiche... Dobbiamo a Brotton la possibilità di impararne le tecniche segrete, le ragioni ultime e le infinite particolarità curiose: il fatto che ce la porga senza essere pedante o vacuamente romanzesco rende il suo libro un esempio significativo di come il sapere possa essere semplice tranquillità, pacata sicurezza e composta passione.” Alessandro Baricco, “la Repubblica”
Set against the backdrop of war, revolution, and regicide, and moving from London to Venice, Mantua, Madrid, Paris and the Low Countries, Jerry Brotton’s colourful and critically acclaimed book, The Sale of the Late King's Goods, explores the formation and dispersal of King Charles I’s art collection. Following a remarkable and unprecedented Parliamentary Act for ‘The sale of the late king’s goods’, Cromwell’s republican regime sold off nearly 2,000 paintings, tapestries, statues and drawings in an attempt to settle the dead king’s enormous debts and raise money for the Commonwealth’s military forces. Brotton recreates the extraordinary circumstances of this sale, in which for the first time ordinary working people were able to handle and own works by the great masters. He also examines the abiding relationship between art and power, revealing how the current Royal Collection emerged from this turbulent period, and paints its own vivid and dramatic picture of one of the greatest lost collections in English history.
Explores the medieval world through twelve illuminated manuscripts, telling a story of culture and art over the course of a millennium.
This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book's range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. Neil MacGregor's aim is not simply to describe these remarkable things, but to show us their significance - how a stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people, how Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency or how an early Victorian tea-set tells us about the impact of empire. Each chapter immerses the reader in a past civilisation accompanied by an exceptionally well-informed guide. Seen through this lens, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.
Author: Yu Hua
A bestseller in China, Brothers is an epic and wildly unhinged black comedy of modern Chinese society running amok. Here is China as we've never seen it before, in a sweeping, Rabelaisian panorama of forty years of rough-and-rumble Chinese history, from the madness of the Cultural Revolution to the equally rabid madness of extreme materialism. Yu Hua, award-winning author of To Live, gives us a surreal tale of two comically mismatched stepbrothers, Baldy Li, a sex-obsessed ne'er-do-well, and the bookish, sensitive Song Gang, who vow that they will always be brothers—a bond they will struggle to maintain over the years as they weather the ups and downs of rivalry in love and making and losing millions in the new China. Both tragic and absurd by turns, Brothers is a fascinating vision of an extraordinary place and time. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Globalization" has become a loaded term. Should we in the West believe, literally, that trade with poor nations can be blamed for our "impoverishment"? In this book, Daniel Cohen claims that there is practically no foundation for such an alarmist position. We need to reverse the commonly held view that globalization has caused today's insecure labor market. On the contrary, Cohen argues, our own propensity for transforming the nature of work has created a niche for globalization and given it an ominous aspect, causing some to reject it. Such errors in analysis must not persist; as Cohen says, the stakes are too high.
Fathers and crows
Author: William T. Vollmann
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
With the same panoramic vision and mythic sensibility he brought to The Ice-Shirt, Vollmann continues his hugely original fictional history of the clash of Indians and Europeans in the New World. Through the eyes of vastly different peoples, Vollmann reconstructs America's tragic past.
Peter Dronke is one of the most eminent scholars of medieval literature, and in this new book he illustrates a number of ways in which medieval Latin traditions can help us to understand Dante's great poem, The Divine Comedy. The first chapter of the book includes both an account of those medieval conceptions of allegory and vision, image and metaphor, symbol and myth that are most relevant to Dante's poetry, and a discussion of some of Dante's own insights into the nature of poetic meaning. Later chapters focus on particular moments in the Comedy - the giants in Inferno, the apocalyptic showings in Purgatorio, and the solar heaven in Paradiso - relating these moments to Dante's rich and varied Latin inheritance, and suggesting how this approach can bring the poetry to life for modern readers. All quotations from Italian are accompanied by English translations.
Condominium of the Flesh
Author: Valerio Magrelli, Clarissa Botsford
FREE VERSE EDITIONS SERIES, edited by Jon Thompson TRANSLATED BY CLARISSA BOTSFORD A darkly humorous exploration of the human body and its various functions in poetic prose, Valerio Magrelli's The Condominium of the Flesh, a personal chronicle of his clinical experience, catalogues a life history of ailments without ever being pathological. Every sensation and malfunction is placed under the subjective microscope of the poet's eye and examined in excruciating and obsessive detail. This Gray's Anatomy of the soul leads the reader on an inside-out voyage of discovery, with many surprises on the way. One of Italy's most celebrated living poets, Valerio Magrelli has attracted an international following. PRAISE FOR VALERIO MAGRELLI'S POETRY: "I used to read a great many Italian poets. Nowhere near as many in recent years-though I've seen things by a young poet that I like very much. His name is Magrelli."-JOSEPH BRODSKY "His poetry is a soliloquy written with a pencil and a small note-book, during the latest and most silent hours of the night. It's a poetry that looks at itself, but at the sight of its thought, vanishes." -OCTAVIO PAZ "Magrelli's poems make me feel good because they are so smart. Aphoristic and quirky, they seem from another millennium. I eat them up like clusters of grapes, and when I'm done I want more. I love their wry modesty, their strange truisms, and their beautiful succinctness." -HENRI COLE "Molino's translations of Valerio Magrelli's poetry bring to English-speaking readers some of the most astounding verse to be found in contemporary Italian letters. Here, a great deal of precious cargo has made it intact to the shores of the English-speaking world, and we are enriched by the arrival of such rich, strange, and new matter." -REBECCA WEST
Use your senses to learn the most important words and phrases in Italian! With colourful images this attractive and practical guide to Italian language and culture helps you find what you need quickly and easily. Also contains an Italian-English and English-Italian Index.
This illustrated edition shows the Earth as it was known in the sixteenth century through the maps and images of the Map Room in the Florentine Palazzo Vecchio. Different contributions (by Monica Consoli, Massimo Marcolin, Paola Pacetti, Valentina Zucchi) examine in particular the 53 panels depicting various countries as well as the large central globe. The volume refers to various selections of marvelous or peculiar images included in the room's decorations, which together with the maps reflect the cosmological view of the world and its history during the time of Cosimo Medici I. «This invention and caprice was conceived by Duke Cosimo to bring together all of the things of Heaven and Earth, correctly and without error, and to be able to see and measure them, both separately and all together, for those who delight in studying this wonderful profession...» (Giorgio Vasari) 1st Italian edition: June 2007 1st English edition: December 2014 2nd Italian edition: November 2017
Prisoners of Geography
Author: Tim Marshall
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Elliott and Thompson Limited.