Recently Published Books

The Poems of W.B. Yeats Volume Three: 1899-1910. Edited By Peter McDonaldThe Poems of W.B. Yeats Volume Three: 1899-1910 (Routledge 2023) Edited by Peter McDonald

In this multi-volume edition, the poetry of W.B. Yeats (1865–1939) is presented in full, with newly established texts and detailed, wide-ranging commentary. Yeats began to write verse in the nineteenth century, and over time his own arrangements of poems repeatedly revised and rearranged both texts and canon. This edition of Yeats’s poetry presents all his verse, both published and unpublished, including a generous selection of textual variants from the many manuscript and printed sources. The edition also supplies the most extensive commentary on Yeats’s poetry to date, explaining specific references, and setting poems in their contexts; it also gives an account of the vast range of both literary and historical influences at work on the verse.

Book cover: A Gaping Wound by Adele Bardazzi, Francesco Giusti, Emanuela Tandello (Editors)A Gaping Wound: Mourning in Italian Poetry (Legenda, 2022) - Adele Bardazzi, Francesco Giusti, Emanuela Tandello (Editors)

Poetry has always maintained a particular relationship with mourning and its rituals, but what is it that lyric discourse has to offer in coping with death, grief, and bereavement? On the other hand, how does mourning become a central creative force in lyric poetry? How does this affect the nature of its discourse and the desires it performs? Focusing on poems by Giacomo Leopardi, Guido Gozzano, Giorgio Caproni, Giorgio Bassani, Amelia Rosselli, Antonella Anedda, and Vivian Lamarque, the essays collected in this volume explore how poetry dwells on the boundaries between high lyric and vernacular forms, the personal and the political, the local and the national, the individual and the collective, one’s own story and public history, the masculine and the feminine, individual expression and shared language. The Italian poetic tradition finds two crucial milestones in two collections of poems devoted to the lost beloved, Dante’s Vita Nova and Petrarch’s Canzoniere, and its modern and contemporary ramifications have much to offer for reflection on the ethics and poetics of mourning.


Cover - Hedda Gabler - Anthology editor Sophie DuncanHedda Gabler ( Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022) - Henrik Ibsen (Author), Sophie Duncan (Anthology Editor)

Universally condemned in 1890 when it was written, Hedda Gabler has subsequently become one of Ibsen's most performed and studied plays. Blending comedy and tragedy, Ibsen probes the thwarted aspirations and hidden anxieties of his characters against a backdrop of contemporary social Habits and hypocrisies.

This Methuen Drama Student Edition is published with Michael Meyer's classic translation, and with commentary and notes by Dr. Sophie Duncan. These offer a contemporary lens on the play's gender politics, and consider some key twentieth and twenty-first century productions of Hedda Gabler, which include actresses like Maggie Smith, Harriet Walker, and Ruth Wilson taking on the iconic titular role.

covers of Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War Book VI & Book VII by Christopher PellingThucydides: The Peloponnesian War Book VI & Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War Book VII (Cambridge University Press, 2022) - Christopher Pelling

In Books 6 and 7 Thucydides' narrative is, as Plutarch puts it, 'at its most emotional, vivid, and varied' as he describes the Sicilian Expedition that ended so catastrophically for Athens (415–413 BCE). Book 6 features tense debates both at Athens, with cautious Nicias no match for risk-taking Alcibiades, and at Syracuse, with the statesmanlike Hermocrates confronting the populist Athenagoras. The spectacle of the armada is memorably described; so is the panic at Athens when people fear that acts of sacrilege may be alienating the gods, with Alcibiades himself so implicated that he is soon recalled. The Book ends with Athens seeming poised for victory; that will soon change, and a sister commentary on Book 7 is being published simultaneously. The Introduction discusses the narrative skill and the part these books play in the architecture of the history. Considerable help with the Greek is offered throughout the Commentary.

Cover of Classical Scholarship and Its History by Stephen Harrison and Christopher PellingClassical Scholarship and Its History: From the Renaissance to the Present. Essays in Honour of Christopher Stray ( De Gruyter, 2021) - Stephen Harrison and Christopher Pelling

It is unusual for a single scholar practically to reorient an entire sub-field of study, but this is what Chris Stray has done for the history of UK classical scholarship. His remarkable combination of interests in the sociology of scholars and scholarship, in the history of the book and of publishing, and (especially) in the detailed intellectual contextualisation of classical scholarship as a form of classical reception has fundamentally changed the way the history of British classics and its study is viewed.

Almost all the chapters in the volume originated as papers at a conference in honour of the honorand, and have been improved both by discussion there and by the rigorous peer-review process conducted by the two experienced editors. It covers various aspects of classical reception, with a particular focus on the history of scholars, their institutions, and their writings; the main focus is on the UK, but there are also substantial engagements with continental Europe and (especially) the USA; the period covered runs from the Renaissance to the present.

Cover of The Concept of the Social Scepticism, Idleness and Utopia by Malcolm BullThe Concept of the Social: Scepticism, Idleness and Utopia (Verso, 2021) - Malcolm Bull

What does political agency mean for those who don’t know what to do or can’t be bothered to do it? This book develops a novel account of collective emancipation in which freedom is achieved not through knowledge and action but via doubt and inertia.

In essays that range from ancient Greece to the end of the Anthropocene, Bull addresses questions central to contemporary political theory in novel readings of texts by Aristotle, Machiavelli, Marx, and Arendt, and shows how classic philosophical problems have a bearing on issues like political protest and climate change. The result is an entirely original account of political agency for the twenty-first century in which uncertainty and idleness are limned with utopian promise.


Cover of Reformation, Resistance, and Reason of State (1517-1625) by Sarah MortimerReformation, Resistance, and Reason of State (1517-1625) (Oxford University Press, 2021) - Sarah Mortimer

The period 1517-1625 was crucial for the development of political thought. During this time of expanding empires, religious upheaval, and social change, new ideas about the organisation and purpose of human communities began to be debated.

In this volume Sarah Mortimer highlights how, in the midst of these developments, the language of natural law became increasingly important as a means of legitimising political power, opening up scope for religious toleration. Drawing on a wide range of sources from Europe and beyond, Sarah Mortimer offers a new reading of early modern political thought. She makes connections between Christian Europe and the Muslim societies that lay to its south and east, showing the extent to which concerns about the legitimacy of political power were shared. Mortimer demonstrates that the history of political thought can both benefit from, and remain distinctive within, the wider field of intellectual history.


Cover of The Gifts of Fortune by Peter McDonaldThe Gifts of Fortune (Carcanet Press, 2020) - Peter McDonald

The poems in The Gifts of Fortune, Peter McDonald's seventh book of poems, cover a spectrum of personal history. They go to Belfast, Oxford, and further afield; in time they visit the poet's pasts, his now, his possible futures. Autobiographical detail abounds: McDonald's experiences (as a working class boy in Belfast, who dreams of leaving, and a middle-aged Oxford don, who dreams of going back) are filtered through a deep instinct for poetic tradition. At the heart of the book are two sequences: one, 'Mud', in which family, professional, and literary histories are combined in strictly formal, but personally unguarded, reflections on poetry, class, and privilege; and another, 'Blindness', where a series of tenline units test poetic form to (and beyond) breaking-point, in a meditation on family and suffering, disappointment and hope. Other poems return to themes of wealth and poverty, love and loss, and the alienation and puzzlement of age. Throughout the book, form is ghosted by the formless, hovering just beyond the frame; and Fortune vies with Fate, quite another force.


Cover: Water Science, Policy and Management: A Global ChallengeWater Science, Policy and Management: A Global Challenge (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020) - Dadson, S.J., Garrick, D.E, Penning-Rowsell, E.C., Hall, J.W., Hope, R. and Hughes, J. (eds.)

Rapid climate and environmental change, and a growing global population make sustainable water management a “defining challenge for the twenty-first century”.

A new book published recently, marks 15 years of Oxford University’s flagship water MSc, and draws together voices from Oxford’s Water Science, Policy and Management programme – a world-leading MSc course – with the aim of advancing scientific understandings, and identifying policy priorities, challenges and opportunities for water management, now and into the future. The book presents critical views on the monitoring and modelling of hydrological processes; the rural water policy in Africa and Asia; the political economy of wastewater in Europe; drought policy management and water allocation. It also examines the financing of water infrastructure; the value of wastewater; water resource planning; sustainable urban water supply and the human right to water.


Cover of  Heart to Heart by Professor ParkinsonHeart to Heart: How Your Emotions Affect Other People (Cambridge University Press, 2019) - Brian Parkinson

Do emotions happen inside separate hearts and minds, or do they operate across the spaces between individuals? This book focuses on how emotions affect other people by changing their orientation to what happens in the social world. It provides the first sustained attempt to bring together literature on emotion's social effects in dyads and groups, and on how people regulate their emotions in order to exploit these effects in their home and work lives. The chapters present state-of-the-art reviews of topics such as emotion contagion, social appraisal and emotional labour. The book then develops an innovative and integrative approach to the social psychology of emotion based on the idea of relation alignment. The implications not only stretch beyond face-to-face interactions into the wider interpersonal, institutional and cultural environment, but also penetrate the supposed depths of personal experience, making us rethink some of our strongly held presuppositions about how emotions work.



Aristotle, Metaphysics Λ: A Translation and Commentary (Clarendon Aristotle Series: Oxford University Press, 2019)Aristotle, Metaphysics Λ: A Translation and Commentary (Clarendon Aristotle Series: Oxford University Press, 2019) - Lindsay Judson

This is the first ever book-length commentary on Metaphysics Λ (Book XII) in English.  Book Λ is an outline for a much more extended work in what Aristotle calls 'first philosophy', the inquiry into 'the principles and causes of all things'.  In it Aristotle first discusses the principles of natural and changeable substances, which include form, matter, privation and efficient cause; these play a pervasive role in both his metaphysics and his natural philosophy.  In the second half of the book he turns to unchanging, immaterial substances, first arguing that there must be at least one such substance, which he calls 'God', to act as the 'prime unmoved mover', the source of all change in the natural world.  He then explores the nature of God and its activity of thinking (it is the fullest exposition there is of Aristotle's extraordinary and very difficult conception of his supreme god, its goodness, and its activity), and in the course of arguing for a plurality of immaterial unmoved movers he provides important evidence for the leading astronomical theory of his day and for his own highly impressive cosmology.  Book Λ is a key text for Aristotelian metaphysics and theology, and also for ancient Greek science.


Malcom Bull On Mercy, coverOn Mercy (Princeton University Press, 2019) - Malcolm Bull

Is mercy more important than justice?
Since antiquity, mercy has been regarded as a virtue. The power of monarchs was legitimated by their acts of clemency, their mercy demonstrating their divine nature. Yet by the end of the eighteenth century, mercy had become “an injustice committed against society . . . a manifest vice.” Mercy was exiled from political life. How did this happen?

In this book, Malcolm Bull analyses and challenges the Enlightenment’s rejection of mercy. A society operating on principles of rational self-interest had no place for something so arbitrary and contingent, and having been excluded from Hobbes’s theory of the state and Hume’s theory of justice, mercy disappeared from the lexicon of political theory. But, Bull argues, these idealised conceptions have proved too limiting. Political realism demands recognition of the foundational role of mercy in society. If we are vulnerable to harm from others, we are in need of their mercy. By restoring the primacy of mercy over justice, we may constrain the powerful and release the agency of the powerless. And if arguments for capitalism are arguments against mercy, might the case for mercy challenge the very basis of our thinking about society and the state? An important contribution to contemporary political philosophy from an inventive thinker, On Mercy makes a persuasive case for returning this neglected virtue to the heart of political thought.


Richard Rutherford's Iliad - coverHomer's Iliad Book XVIII (Cambridge University Press, 2019) - Richard Rutherford

Book 18 of the Iliad is an outstanding example of the range and power of the Homeric epic. It describes the reaction of the hero Achilles to the death of his closest friend, and his decision to re-enter the conflict even though it means he will lose his own life. The book also includes the forging of the marvellous shield for the hero by the smith-god Hephaestus: the images on the shield are described by the poet in detail, and this description forms the archetypal ecphrasis, influential on many later writers. In an extensive introduction, Richard Rutherford discusses the themes, style and legacy of the book. The commentary provides line-by-line guidance for readers at all levels, addressing linguistic detail and larger questions of interpretation. A substantial appendix considers the relation between Iliad 18 and the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, which has been prominent in much recent discussion.




G. O. Hutchinson - Plutarch's Rhythmic Prose - coverPlutarch's Rhythmic Prose (Oxford University Press, 2018) - G. O. Hutchinson

Greek literature is divided, like many literatures, into poetry and prose, but in Greek the difference between them is not that all prose is devoid of firm rhythmic patterning. In the earlier Roman Empire, from 31 BC to about AD 300, much Greek (and Latin) prose was actually written to follow one organized rhythmic system. How much Greek prose adopted this patterning has hitherto been quite unclear; the present volume for the first time establishes an answer on an adequate basis: substantial data drawn from numerous authors. It constitutes the first extensive study of prose-rhythm in later Greek literature.

The book focuses particularly on one of the greatest Imperial works: Plutarch's Lives. It rests on a scansion of the whole work, almost 100,000 phrases. Rhythm is seen to make a vital contribution to the literary analysis of Plutarch's writing. Prose-rhythm is revealed as a means of expression; it draws attention to words and word-groups, and densely packed rhythm marks passages as momentous. The book demonstrates how rhythm can be integrated with other aspects of criticism, and how it has the ability to open up new vistas on three prolific centuries of literary history.


Cover - Unimaginable - Graham WardUnimaginable (I.B.Tauris, 2018) - Graham Ward

In his new book, a sequel to the earlier Unbelievable, one of Britain's most exciting writers on religion here presents a nuanced and many-dimensional portrait of the mystery and creativity of the human imagination. Discussing the likes of William Wordsworth, William Turner, Samuel Palmer and Ralph Vaughan Williams, so as to assess the true meanings of originality and memory, and drawing on his own rich encounters with belief, Graham Ward asks why it is that the imagination is so fundamental to who and what we are. Using metaphor and story to unpeel the hidden motivations and architecture of the mind, the author grapples with profound questions of ultimacy and transcendence. He reveals that, in understanding what it really means to be human, what cannot be imagined invariably means as much as what can.




Cover 0 The Autonomous City: A history of urban squattingThe Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting ( Verso, 2017) - Alexander Vasudevan

The Autonomous City is the first popular history of squatting in Europe and North America. Drawing on extensive archival research, it retraces the struggle for housing in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Detroit, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milan, New York, and Vancouver. It looks at the organization of alternative forms of housing-from Copenhagen's Christiana 'Free Town' to the Lower East Side of Manhattan-as well as the official response, including the recent criminalization of squatting, the brutal eviction of squatters and their widespread vilification. As a result, Alexander Vasudevan argues how, through a shared history of political action, community organization and collective living, squatting has become a way to reimagine and reclaim the city. It documents the actions adopted by squatters as an alternative to housing precarity, rampant property speculation and the negative effects of urban redevelopment and regeneration. In so doing, the book challenges the dominant cartography of the 'neo-liberal city' and concludes that we must, more than ever, reanimate and remake the city as a site of radical social transformation.


Cover - The Colonial Comedy: Imperialism in the French Realist Novel - Jennifer YeeThe Colonial Comedy: Imperialism in the French Realist Novel (Oxford University Press, 2016. 250p.) - Jennifer Yee

France’s colonies play a role even in the most canonical texts of nineteenth-century realism, through what Edward Said called ‘geographical notations’ of race and imperialism such as imported objects, colonial merchandise, and individuals whose colonial experience is transformative (not usually for the better). The Colonial Comedy reveals how realist novels register the presence of the emerging global world-system through networks of importation, financial speculation, and immigration as well as direct colonial violence and power structures. The literature of the century responds to the last decades of French slavery, and direct colonialism (notably in Algeria), but also economic imperialism. Far from imperialist triumphalism, in realist and naturalist novels economic imperialism is often associated with fraud and manipulation, while colonial narratives, and paradigms of racial difference, are framed ironically. The realist mode thus lends itself to a Critical Orientalism characterized by the questioning of its own discursive foundations.



Cover - Igor Stravinsky by Jonathan CrossIgor Stravinsky (Reaktion Books - Critical Lives, 2015) - Jonathan Cross

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) was perhaps the twentieth century’s most celebrated composer, a leading light of modernism and a restlessly creative artist. This biography in the Critical Lives series tells the story of Stravinsky’s life and work, setting him in the context of the turbulent times in which he lived. Born in Russia, Stravinsky spent most of his life in exile—and while his work was deliberately cosmopolitan, the pain of estrangement nonetheless left its mark on the man and his work, distinguishable in an ever-present sense of loss. Jonathan Cross shows how that work emerged over the course of decades spent in St Petersburg, Paris, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, in a wide artistic circle that included Balanchine and Auden, Cocteau and Gide, and that culminated in Stravinsky being celebrated by both the White House and the Kremlin as one of the great artistic forces of the Cold War era. This biography attempts to represent Stravinsky’s life and artistic achievement in a new light, understanding how his work both reflected and shaped his times.