Michael Schmidt, Lives of the poets (Vintage Books 2000). We wrote about Schmidt’s The Novel – a biography in an earlier post, and on the strength of that we sent a letter to the North Pole to request this one for Xmas (and we got it!) If you’re interested in poetry buy it, to read all the way through (chapters are short and accessible) or to keep as a reference. Schmidt is a publisher, not an academic, who just loves English poetry and has read everything.
After listening to this interview with the author, we’ve ordered for a birthday present Andrew Pettegree, The Invention of News – how the world came to know about itself (Yale University Press 2014). From the first dispatches sent on horseback by merchants in the 13th century, through news singers, hand-written news-sheets and the first mass pamphlets (have you ever thought of Martin Luther as “the first media superstar”?), the birth of outrageously partisan political reporting with the establishment of parliamentary democracy in England, the rise of professional journalists who made their money by withholding, for a fee, embarrassing paragraphs about the peccadilloes of public figures, right through to our own times when the media as we know it is in a state of disintegration, this book will restore your faith in the unkillable nature of the news beast.
And of course our very own Crane Mansions, which up till now has only been available via Amazon. You can now get it on all the usual digital platforms.
Lollop over here to read a sample:
Dr Crane: Visionary. Pigeon expert. Philanthropist. Cake lover. Crane Mansions has been his home since childhood. But there are forces outside his control, all desperate to uncover the secrets surrounding his world. Why is he so taken with the foundling Millie Lord, and who is Millie really? Will Millie’s past catch up with her, and can she escape it? And what about a lovely slice of cake?
photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/birdy_photo/13361671553/