Author: Kate Williams
Publisher: Harper Collins
Spitalfields, 1840. Catherine Sorgeiul is nineteen and lives with her uncle in a rambling house in London’s East End. Sheltered and nervous, she has few companions and little to occupy the days beyond her own colourful imagination. But then a murderer strikes the city, ripping open the chests of young girls and stuffing hair into their mouths to resemble a beak, leading the press to christen him the Man of Crows. Catherine becomes obsessed with the grim crimes, and as she devours the news, she discovers she can channel the voices of the dead . . . and comes to believe she will eventually channel the Man of Crows himself. The murders continue to incite panic in the city, and Catherine gradually realizes she has put herself in the centre of a deadly trap of sexual obsession, deceit and betrayal. Elegant, mysterious and thrilling, The Pleasures of Men reveals the dark, beating heart of 19th-century London, where corruption and desperate desires lurked under a serene surface.
Author: Matt Hills
Publisher: A&C Black
Category: Social Science
Pleasures of Horror is a stimulating and insightful exploration of horror fictionsliterary, cinematic and televisualand the emotions they engender in their audiences. The text is divided into three sections. The first examines how horror is valued and devalued in different cultural fields; the second investigates the cultural politics of the contemporary horror film; while the final part considers horror fandom in relation to its embodied practices (film festivals), its "reading formations" (commercial fan magazines and fanzines) and the role of special effects. Pleasures of Horror combines a wide range of media and textual examples with highly detailed and closely focused exposition of theory. It is a fascinating and engaging look at responses to a hugely popular genre and an invaluable resource for students of media, cultural and film studies and fans of horror.
The Serious Pleasure of Books
Author: Wendy Lesser
Category: Literary Criticism
The founder and editor of The Threepenny Review and award-winning author of Music for Silenced Voices draws on a lifetime of pleasure reading and decades of editing to describe a life lived in and through literature, exploring plays, poems and essays as well as a range of fiction and nonfiction works from a variety of perspectives. 15,000 first printing.
The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing
Author: Lynne Segal
Publisher: Verso Books
Category: Literary Criticism
A brave book with a polemical argument on the paradoxes, struggles and advantages of aging. How old am I? Don’t ask, don’t tell. As the baby boomers approach their sixth or seventh decade, they are faced with new challenges and questions of politics and identity. In the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir, Out of Time looks at many of the issues facing the aged—the war of the generations and baby-boomer bashing, the politics of desire, the diminished situation of the older woman, the space on the left for the presence and resistance of the old, the problems of dealing with loss and mortality, and how to find victory in survival.
English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
Author: John Brewer
The Pleasures of the Imagination examines the birth and development of English "high culture" in the eighteenth century. It charts the growth of a literary and artistic world fostered by publishers, theatrical and musical impresarios, picture dealers and auctioneers, and presented to th public in coffee-houses, concert halls, libraries, theatres and pleasure gardens. In 1660, there were few professional authors, musicians and painters, no public concert series, galleries, newspaper critics or reviews. By the dawn of the nineteenth century they were all aprt of the cultural life of the nation. John Brewer's enthralling book explains how this happened and recreates the world in which the great works of English eighteenth-century art were made. Its purpose is to show how literature, painting, music and the theatre were communicated to a public increasingly avid for them. It explores the alleys and garrets of Grub Street, rummages the shelves of bookshops and libraries, peers through printsellers' shop windows and into artists' studios, and slips behind the scenes at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. It takes us out of Gay and Boswell's London to visit the debating clubs, poetry circles, ballrooms, concert halls, music festivals, theatres and assemblies that made the culture of English provincial towns, and shows us how the national landscape became one of Britain's greatest cultural treasures. It reveals to us a picture of English artistic and literary life in the eighteenth century less familiar, but more suprising, more various and more convincing than any we have seen before.
Learning to Read with Charles Dickens
Author: Sarah Winter
Publisher: Fordham University Press
What are the sources of the commonly held presumption that reading literature should make people more just, humane, and sophisticated? Rendering literary history responsive to the cultural histories of reading, publishing, and education, The Pleasures of Memory illuminates the ways that Dickens's serial fiction shaped not only the popular practice of reading for pleasure and instruction associated with the growth of periodical publication in the nineteenth century but also the school subject we now know as English.Examining the full scope of Dickens's literary production, Winter shows how his serial fiction instigated specific reading practices by reworking the conventions of religious didactic tracts from which most Victorians learned to read. Incorporating an influential associationist psychology of learning and reading founded on the cumulative functioning of memory, Dickens's serial novels consistently lead readers to reflect on their reading as a form of shared experience, thus channeling their personal memories of Dickens's unforgettablescenes and characters into a public reception reaching across social classes. Dickens's celebrity authorship, Winter argues, represented both a successful marketing program for popular fiction and a cultural politics addressed to a politically unaffiliated, social-activist Victorian readership. As late-nineteenth-century educational reforms in Britain and the United States consolidated Dickens's heterogeneous constituency of readers into the masspopulations served by national and state school systems, however, Dickens's beloved novels came to embody the socially inclusive and humanizing goals of democratic education.
Author: Tishani Doshi
Publisher: A&C Black
A sparkling debut about family, belonging and the binding power of love Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011
Women in the Making of London's West End
Author: Erika Diane Rappaport
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Social Science
In Shopping for Pleasure, Erika Rappaport reconstructs London's Victorian and Edwardian West End as an entertainment and retail center. In this neighborhood of stately homes, royal palaces, and spacious parks and squares, a dramatic transformation unfolded that ultimately changed the meaning of femininity and the lives of women, shaping their experience of modernity. Rappaport illuminates the various forces of the period that encouraged and discouraged women's enjoyment of public life and particularly shows how shopping came to be seen as the quintessential leisure activity for middle- and upper-class women. Through extensive histories of department stores, women's magazines, clubs, teashops, restaurants, and the theater as interwoven sites of consumption, Shopping for Pleasure uncovers how a new female urban culture emerged before and after the turn of the twentieth century. Moving beyond the question of whether shopping promoted or limited women's freedom, the author draws on diverse sources to explore how business practices, legal decisions, and cultural changes affected women in the market. In particular, she focuses on how and why stores presented themselves as pleasurable, secure places for the urban woman, in some cases defining themselves as instrumental to civic improvement and women's emancipation. Rappaport also considers such influences as merchandizing strategies, credit policies, changes in public transportation, feminism, and the financial balance of power within the home. Shopping for Pleasure is thus both a social and cultural history of the West End, but on a broader scale it reveals the essential interplay between the rise of consumer society, the birth of modern femininity, and the making of contemporary London.
Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957
Author: Matt Houlbrook
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
'Queer London' explores the underground gay culture of London during four decades when homosexual acts between consenting adults remained illegal. The author discovers how queer men made sense of their sexuality and how their lifestyles were affected by and in turn influenced the life of the metropolis.
Author: David Cannadine
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Mr. Cannadine enjoys himself so much that he always conveys enjoyment to his readers. He is erudite and rigorous, yet always fun. I can imagine no better introduction to historical study than this collection. Hugh Brogan, Observer"
Author: Jonathan Conlin
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Summers at the Vauxhall pleasure garden in London brought diverse entertainments to a diverse public. Picturesque walks and arbors offered a pastoral retreat from the city, while at the same time the garden's attractions indulged distinctly urban tastes for fashion, novelty, and sociability. High- and low-born alike were free to walk the paths; the proximity to strangers and the danger of dark walks were as thrilling to visitors as the fountains and fireworks. Vauxhall was the venue that made the careers of composers, inspired novelists, and showcased the work of artists. Scoundrels, sudden downpours, and extortionate ham prices notwithstanding, Vauxhall became a must-see destination for both Londoners and tourists. Before long, there were Vauxhalls across Britain and America, from York to New York, Norwich to New Orleans. This edited volume provides the first book-length study of the attractions and interactions of the pleasure garden, from the opening of Vauxhall in the seventeenth century to the amusement parks of the early twentieth. Nine essays explore the mutual influences of human behavior and design: landscape, painting, sculpture, and even transient elements such as lighting and music tacitly informed visitors how to move within the space, what to wear, how to behave, and where they might transgress. The Pleasure Garden, from Vauxhall to Coney Island draws together the work of musicologists, art historians, and scholars of urban studies and landscape design to unfold a cultural history of pleasure gardens, from the entertainments they offered to the anxieties of social difference they provoked.
A History of Perverse Sex
Author: Julie Peakman
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Handcuffs, paddles, whips—the words alone are enough to make a person blush. Even by our society’s standards, the practice of things like BDSM is still very hush-hush, considered deviant sexual behavior that must be kept hidden. But the narrow view of what is thought of as “normal” sex—a vanilla act performed by one man and one woman—is more and more contested these days. And as Julie Peakman reveals, normal never really existed; for everyone, different kinds of sex have always offered myriad pleasures, and almost all sexual behaviors have traveled between acceptance and proscription. The Pleasure’s All Mine examines two millennia of letters, diaries, court records, erotic books, medical texts, and more to explore the gamut of “deviant” sexual activity. Delving into the specialized cultures of pain, necrophilia, and bestiality and the social world of plushies, furries, and life-size sex dolls, Peakman considers the changing attitudes toward these, as well as masturbation, “golden showers,” sadomasochism, homosexuals, transvestites, and transsexuals. She follows the history of each behavior through its original reception to its interpretation by sexologists and how it is viewed today, showing how previously acceptable behaviors now provoke social outrage, or vice versa. In addition, she questions why people have been and remain intolerant of other people’s sexual preferences. The first comprehensive history of sexual perversion and packed with both color and black and white images, The Pleasure’s All Mine is a fascinating and sometimes shocking look at the evolution of our views on sex.
Author: Stephen Inwood
Category: London (England)
Presents a comprehensive history of London - the incredibly unique and complicated city - from the fires and plundering of latterday Londinium to the frenetic art, music and politics of London.
Author: Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Harper Collins
As the black sheep second son of an Earl, Stephen Lyons has gained a reputation in the art of seduction, but when his wicked ways result in scandal, he joins the army to redeem himself. On the battlefield, he proves courageous . . . until he is seriously wounded. Returning home to recover, he discovers he can't remember the angelic beauty who arrives at his doorstep, his babe nestled in her arms. Mercy Dawson will risk everything to protect the son of the dashing soldier she once knew and admired. When Stephen offers to do the honorable thing, she is determined that London's most notorious gentleman will desire her and no other. But Mercy fears that what began as an innocent deception could destroy her dreams and their blossoming love if Stephen ever learns the scandalous truth . . . They are masters of seduction, London's greatest lovers. Living for pleasure, they will give their hearts to no one . . . until love takes them by surprise.