English Essays
Poetics and Praxis, Understanding and Imagination: The Collected Essays of O. B. Hardison Jr.
Poetics and Praxis, Understanding and Imagination
The Collected Essays of O. B. Hardison Jr.
Hardcover      ISBN: 0820318191

Whether O. B. Hardison Jr. (1928-1990) wrote about government's responsibility to the arts and humanities, film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, Dadaist poetry, or modern and postmodern design and architecture, his chosen form was the essay. Showcasing Hardison's mastery of the essay's power to instruct, persuade, and provoke, the twenty-five selections in this volume range from his earliest works to those completed but still unpublished at the time of his death.

The selections reflect the many facets of Hardison's remarkably crowded and productive life and career. Once lionized on the cover of Time magazine, which praised him as one of America's "great teachers" and a "Renaissance man," Hardison was widely known and published as a poet, critic, scholar, administrator, and social and cultural observer. He served as president of the Shakespeare Association of America and Renaissance Society of America, and, perhaps most impressive of his many honors and accomplishments, as the third director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Hardison transformed the Folger from a scholarly retreat into an active research center and established fellowships, residencies, and The Folger Institute. In addition, the Folger grew into a prominent national cultural center that featured musical and dramatic performing groups, a poetry reading series, and an art gallery.

Poetics and Praxis, Understanding and Imagination is both a tribute to the essay and to one of its most distinguished modern practitioners, as well as an important survey of humanistic concerns in literature and the arts over the past three decades.
The Secret Agent's Bedside Reader: A Compendium of Spy Writing
The Secret Agent's Bedside Reader
A Compendium of Spy Writing
Paperback      ISBN: 1785904817

Espionage fact and fiction collide in this thrilling anthology, where you'll find some of the greatest spy stories ever written alongside genuine agent reports and instructions that changed the course of history.

That Wondrous Pattern: Essays on Poetry and Poets
That Wondrous Pattern
Essays on Poetry and Poets
Hardcover      ISBN: 1619029235
"There is no exaggeration in pointing out that these essays are addressed to the soul of the reader. They are not academic exercises in erudition as a contribution to 'Eng. Lit.'" --from the introduction by Brian Keeble

Kathleen Raine was one of the greatest British poets of the last century. Born to a deeply literary and spiritual household, she went on to study at Cambridge, where she met Jacob Bronowski, William Empson, and Malcolm Lowry. A dedicated neoPlatonist, she studied and presented the works of Thomas Taylor and wrote seminal books on William Blake. With Keith Critchlow, Brian Keeble, and Philip Sherrard, she founded, in 1981, the Temenos Academy of Integral Studies, its journal Temenos, and, later, the Temenos Academy Review. HRH The Prince of Wales became the patron of the academy in 1997.

For our new selection, That Wondrous Pattern, Raine offers sixteen essays that range from "The Inner Journey of the Poet" and "What Is Man?" to essays on Blake, Wordsworth, Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, and several others. The centerpiece, "What Is the Use of Poetry?", is a rigorous defense of the great art. Editor Brian Keeble himself contributes a fascinating introduction to Raine's work, and Wendell Berry, a colleague and friend of hers, offers a preface.

All who spend time in the presence of this wonderful writer will leave newly entranced with the art and use of the beautiful, convinced that "it is only in moments when we transcend ourselves that we can know anything of value."
Urn Burial
Urn Burial
Paperback      ISBN: 0811218929
Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial, is one of the pinnacles of Renaissance scholarship and without doubt one of the great essays in English literature. Beginning with observations on the recent discovery of Roman antiquities in the form of burial urns, Browne's associative mind wanders to elephant graveyards, to pre-Christian cremation ceremonies, and finally to the idea of Christian burial. Browne then explores, with a more melancholic meditation, man's struggles with mortality and the uncertainty of his fate and fame in the living world. This edition includes a magisterial discourse on Sir Thomas Browne taken from the first chapter of W. G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn.
Ustinov Still at Large
Ustinov Still at Large
Paperback      ISBN: 0879759674

"I wish to cause no pain, except where it is deserved." -- Peter Ustinov The legendary Peter Ustinov was one of the world's most versatile and talented contributors to the arts. Ustinov's talents were widely demonstrated both in print and on television. It has been said that reading Ustinov is like listening to a good story told by an old friend. His style exudes a sophistication and charm that captures the imagination, lifts the spirits, and challenges the mind. Readers of this collection will relish the ample wit and telling observations that fill each page. Whether his subject is one of the world's major hot spots or a political/military conflict, the peculiarities of our complex human nature with its many not-so-significant foibles, the quirks of religion and other forms of belief, or just the thoughtful observations of a world traveler, Ustinov Still at Large will tickle your funny bone, strike an emotional chord, and make you realize that people who care can make a difference.

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
The View from the Cheap Seats
Selected Nonfiction
Paperback      ISBN: 0062262270

An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics--from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories--observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman's probing, amusing, and distinctive style.

An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author's experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman--offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.

The Wilder Muir: The Curious Nature of John Muir
The Wilder Muir
The Curious Nature of John Muir
Paperback      ISBN: 1930238754

Whether he is cheering for untamed mountain sheep or braving a high-country storm that would sweep away lesser mortals, John Muir--naturalist, author, and advocate--is forever passionate, often droll, and always inspirational. This collection of his little-known pieces have been culled from private letters, magazine articles, and personal journals from deep in the archives. In Bonnie Gisel's able hands, Muir takes the reader on thrilling adventures and remarkable discoveries. His first summit of Half Dome, his great epiphany about the "living glaciers of the Sierra," and his jolly ode to the giant sequoia are all presented here with awe and affection. A nearly penniless young Muir sleeps under the stars in a Florida graveyard. Muir the father prods his wife in the back with a stick, "helping" her up Yosemite's Four Mile Trail. And an older yet still adventurous Muir summits Mount Rainier and survives the perilously icy descent. Certain to delight fans of The Wild Muir, these audacious exploits reveal John Muir's boundless curiosity and love of all things wild.