The Best Books on The Middle Ages | Five Books Expert Recommendations

Oxford medieval historian Hannah Skoda chooses her top five books on the Middle Ages, explaining why she finds the whole idea of their 'middleness' problematic and how a more global approach tends to shatter many long-held assumptions about the period. — Read on fivebooks.com/best-books/the-middle-ages-hannah-skoda/

We may not be able to leave the house, but these transporting books whisk us to Central Asia – The Washington Post

“Discovering Cyrus,” “The Road to Oxiana,” “The Nature of Alexander” and more. — Read on http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/we-may-not-be-able-to-leave-the-house-but-these-transporting-books-whisk-us-to-central-asia/2020/05/20/722d2dc8-9944-11ea-89fd-28fb313d1886_story.html

Roberto Calasso – Wikipedia

Roberto Calasso (born 30 May 1941 in Florence) is an Italian writer and publisher. Apart from his mother tongue, Calasso is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German, Latin and ancient Greek. He has also studied Sanskrit. He has been called "a literary institution of one". The fundamental thematic concept of his oeuvre is the relationship [...]

A Writer Pursues His Subjects as a Hunter Stalks His Prey – The New York Times

Calasso is especially good at describing the characters of myth and legend with a novelist’s omniscient authority — and the occasional zinger. “For 16 generations Zeus had intercourse with women from earth,” he writes, and “had always been attracted to the women of the house of Argus.” (Even the king of the gods, it seems, [...]

The Best History Books of 2020 | Five Books Expert Recommendations

If you're looking for the best history books published this past year, the annual Wolfson History Prize is a great place to start. Each year, the judges pick out outstanding books that are both originally researched and readable. Historian and Wolfson judge Richard Evans talks us through the six history books that made the 2020 [...]

Iris Murdoch: The Art of Fiction No. 117 – Paris Review

Murdoch and her husband live in a house in academic north Oxford. In its comfortably untidy rooms books overflow the shelves and are piled high on the floor. Even the bathroom is filled with volumes on language, including Dutch and Esperanto grammar books. Her paper-strewn second-floor study is decorated with oriental rugs and with paintings [...]

On the City of Florence’s Struggle to Get Back Dante’s Body | Literary Hub

Giovanni Boccaccio’s call for Florence to retrieve Dante’s corpse appears in retrospect to have been primarily an elaborate literary conceit. The city’s abusive treatment and subsequent unworthiness of Dante enabled Boccaccio to fulfill the principal aim of his biography—notably titled a “treatise in praise of Dante”—by casting the poet and his work as “divine.” Later [...]

‘Signatures: Literary Encounters of a Lifetime’ Book Review | National Review

David Pryce-Jones’s Signatures is a masterpiece... The premise is brilliantly simple. The author, a familiar presence to NR readers, selects 90 books from his considerable library, each signed by its author. Each book, of the many collected over the course of a long life, is awarded its own brief chapter, allowing Pryce-Jones to open his [...]