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From our first ABCs to the Book of Revelation’s statement that Jesus is “the Alpha and Omega,” we see the world through our letters. More than just a way of writing, the alphabet is a powerful concept that has shaped Western civilization and our daily lives. In The Letter and the Cosmos, Laurence de Looze probes that influence, showing how the alphabet has served as a lens through which we conceptualize the world and how the... more...

Spiritual seekers throughout history have sought illumination through solitary contemplation. In the Christian tradition, medieval England stands out for its remarkable array of hermits, recluses, and spiritual outsiders, from Cuthbert, Godric of Fichale, and Christina of Markyate to Richard Rolle, Julian of Norwich, and Margery Kempe. In The Secret Within, Wolfgang Riehle offers the first comprehensive history of English medieval... more...

No books have been more feared than grimoires, and no books have been more valued and revered. In Grimoires: A History of Magic Books, Owen Davies illuminates the many fascinating forms these recondite books have taken and exactly what these books held. At their most benign, these repositories of forbidden knowledge revealed how to make powerful talismans and protective amulets, and provided charms and conjurations for healing illness, finding love,... more...

Introducing Semiotics outlines the development of semiotics—the study of signs and signifiers in the world around us—from its classical precursors to contemporary post-structuralism. It identifies the key semioticians and their work and explains the simple concepts behind difficult terms.



Without Maurice Blanchot, literary theory as we know it today would have been unthinkable. Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze: all are key theorists crucially influenced by Blanchot's work. This accessible guide: * works 'idea by idea' through Blanchot's writings, anchoring them in historical and intellectual contexts * examines Blanchot's understanding of literature, death, ethics and politics and the... more...

This book introduces readers to the evolution of modern fiction in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Presents Latin American fiction in its cultural and political contexts. Introduces debates about how to read this literature. Combines an overview of the evolution of modern Latin American fiction with detailed studies of key texts. Discusses authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges and Isabel... more...

Considers the role of Spiritualism in Victorian culture. Altered States examines the rise of Spiritualism—the religion of séances, mediums, and ghostly encounters—in the Victorian period and the role it played in undermining both traditional female roles and the rhetoric of imperialism. Focusing on a particular kind of séance event—the full-form materialization—and the bodies of the young, female mediums who performed it, Marlene Tromp argues... more...

INVENTING THE MIDDLE AGES The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century In this ground-breaking work, Norman Cantor explains how our current notion of the Middle Ages-with its vivid images of wars, tournaments, plagues, saints and kings, knights and ladies-was born in the twentieth century. The medieval world was not simply excavated through systematic research. It had to be... more...

Glossing was a scribal practice in use since antiquity, but it was in the Middle Ages that it acquired a wider meaning and a different role, becoming one of the most widespread forms of literacy in the Germanic West, including the British Isles. Most of the essays collected in this volume focus on the late Anglo-Saxon period, that is a well-identified time-frame spanning from the Benedictine Reform to the eleventh century. As recent scholarship has... more...