New Publications

George M. Eberhart


Aesop’s Fables in Latin: Ancient Wit and Wisdom from the Animal Kingdom, by Laura Gibbs (366 pages, February 2009), includes 80 Latin fables from the 1687 edition of British illustrator Francis Barlow’s Aesop’s Fables. Designed for beginning students of Latin, the text is a fun lesson supplement that includes an introduction to each fable, a grammar overview, vocabulary, and grammar notes. Gibbs scatters relevant Latin proverbs throughout the book, along with forty 17th-century etchings by Francis Barlow. $34.00. Bolchazy-Carducci. 978-0-86516-695-0.

Birthright: The True Story That Inspired Kidnapped, by A. Roger Ekirch (258 pages, December 2009), is the complicated tale of James Annesley (1715–1760) who at the age of 8 was turned out of his home in County Wexford, Ireland, by his father and kidnapped by his uncle four years later to be sold into indentured servitude in the colony of Delaware, all to forestall his inheritance of the title of Earl of Anglesey. It took Annesley 12 years before he escaped to Jamaica and finally returned in 1741 to Ireland, where he launched unsuccessful court proceedings to claim his patrimony. Not only did the story partially inspire Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped (1886), but four other novels, including Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering (1815). Ekirch’s narrative is a lively and textured account of corruption and scandal among the landed gentry. $24.95. W. W. Norton. 978-0-393-06615-9.

The California Missions: History, Art, and Preservation, by Edna E. Kimbro and Julia G. Costello with Tevvy Ball (273 pages, October 2009), takes a fresh look at California’s 21 Spanish missions from their founding to cultural reassessment in the 20th century. Established by Franciscan friars between 1769 and 1823, the missions were built and decorated largely by Native Americans. The authors provide a rich variety of illustrations for each mission, concentrating on the restoration and reconstruction of mission paintings, sculpture, and architectural detail. $39.95. Getty Publications. 978-0-89236-983-6.


Another recent Getty release, Secrets of Pompeii: Everyday Life in Ancient Rome, by Emidio de Albentiis (196 pages, August 2009), presents vivid examples of art and architecture in Pompeii that allow us a glimpse of ancient politics, religion, sports, baths, theaters, shopping, brothels, homes, and cemeteries. $44.95. 978-0-89236-941-6.

A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction, by Mark Wahlgren Summers (329 pages, September 2009), examines the role of fear, rumor, and newspaper misinformation in shaping the actions of political parties and leaders in the decade following the Civil War. Fears of a Confederate rebirth, of a widespread black insurrection, of secret armies of traitors, of a Congressional conspiracy to seize and hold power, or of a presidential putsch to overthrow Congress fueled arguments that the Union was still in peril. Summers argues that when it became clear these big conspiracies were largely chimerical and the Union was secure, Republicans could easily ignore the very real but localized outbursts of racial violence, keep federal intervention to a minimum, and ultimately turn a blind eye to the failure to ensure equal rights for Southern blacks. $39.95. University of North Carolina. 978-0-8078-3304-9.

The Data Deluge: Can Libraries Cope with E-science?, edited by Deanna B. Marcum and Gerald George (130 pages, November 2009), contains papers presented at the 2007 and 2008 International Roundtable for Library and Information Science in Kanazawa, Japan. E-science or cyberinfrastructure are terms for an emerging research methodology characterized by grid-computing technologies built to analyze huge data sets and globally distributed collaboration via the internet. The challenge for research libraries is finding a way to store, share, and preserve these data sets for a new generation of collaborative science applications. The situation is perhaps more difficult in the United States due to decentralized research enterprises, although contributors from Johns Hopkins University, University of California-San Diego, and the National Agricultural Library offer some useful models. $60.00. Libraries Unlimited. 978-1-59158-887-0.


Grimoires: A History of Magic Books, by Owen Davies (368 pages, May 2009), focuses on books that contain magical spells, charms, and rituals, from the ancient Testament of Solomon attributed to Hermes Trismegistus to Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible. Called grimoires, these books are important not only for their descriptions of Western occult practices and philosophy, but also for the insights they provide into the interaction of Christian and Islamic cultures, the history of science and religion, the cultural influence of the book trade, the history of censorship and literacy, the expansion of Western ideas into the Third World, and the resurgence of occult lore in the 20th century. In addition to the standard grimoires like those written by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa or attributed to Albertus Magnus, Davies explores such intriguing necromantic byways as European witchcraft and the papal inquisition, the popular bibliothèque bleue genre in 18th-century France, Mormon magic books, Obeah sorcery in the West Indies, Rosicrucians and the Order of the Golden Dawn, the Pennsylvania German Long Lost Friend and the Books of Moses, William Lauron Delaurence and occult publishing in Chicago, pulp esotericism in Germany, the dubious Voynich manuscript, H. P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, and even the role of grimoires in the Harry Potter books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. $29.95. Oxford University. 978-0-19-920451-9.

Copyright © American Library Association, 2010

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