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Spring 2013 Newsletter

Scholarly Publications


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Fiona MacCarthy
The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination

(London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 2011)

The angels on our Christmas cards, the stained glass in our churches, the great paintings in our galleries—Edward Burne-Jones's work is all around us. His work was the bridge between Victorian and modern art; he influenced not just his immediate circle but later artists such as Klimt and Picasso. With new research and fresh historical perspective, MacCarthy tells the dramatic story of how Burne-Jones progressed from being an artist "loved by the initiate few and laughed at by the profligate many" to a key figure in the shaping of the Victorian imagination.

In preparing this book, MacCarthy consulted the Ransom Center's Charles Murray Fairfax and the Edward Burne-Jones collections.


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Inger H. Dalsgaard, Luc Herman, and Brian McHale
The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon

(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

One of the most celebrated American novelists of the past half century, Thomas Pynchon is notable for challenging his readers, and this companion provides tools for meeting that challenge. Comprehensive, accessible, lively, up to date, and reliable, it approaches Pynchon's fiction from various angles, capitalizing on the expertise of an international roster of scholars. Designed for students, scholars, and fans alike, the companion begins with a biography of the elusive author and ends with a coda on how to read Pynchon.

In preparing this book, the editors consulted the Thomas Pynchon collection at the Ransom Center. Dalsgaard is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Aarhus, Denmark; Herman is Professor of American Literature and Narrative Theory at the University of Antwerp; McHale is Distinguished Arts and Humanities Professor of English at Ohio State University.


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Donat Gallagher, Ann Pasternak Slater, and John Howard Wilson
A Handful of Mischief: New Essays on Evelyn Waugh

(Lanham: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011)

A Handful of Mischief is a collection of essays based on presentations at the Evelyn Waugh Centenary Conference at Hartford College, Oxford, in 2003. In addition to essays on well-known novels such as Scoop (1938), Brideshead Revisited (1945), and Helena (1950), the collection includes papers on Waugh's library, his changing conception of Oxford, his writing about religious conversion, and his role in the British evacuation of Crete in 1941. The authors approach Waugh and his work in various ways, and innovative essays explore sovereignty, post-colonialism, and adaptation for radio.

In preparing this book, the authors consulted the Evelyn Waugh collection at the Ransom Center. Gallagher is the Honorary Secretary of the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies; Slater is the Eardley-Wilmot Fellow in English at St. Anne's College, Oxford; Wilson is an Associate Professor of English at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

Richard Oram, Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian at the Ransom Center, contributed an essay on Waugh's book collecting and the novelist's library, now at the Ransom Center.


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Michael J. Puri
Ravel the Decadent: Memory, Sublimation, and Desire

(New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)

The music of Maurice Ravel (1875–1937), beloved by musicians and audiences since its debut, has been a difficult topic for scholars. The traditional stylistic categories of impressionism, symbolism, and neoclassicism have offered little insight on this fascinating but enigmatic work. From an array of decadent topics, Puri selects three—memory, sublimation, and desire—and uses them to delineate the content of this music, link it to its biographical context, and create new methods for the analysis and interpretation of music.

In preparing this book, Puri consulted the Carlton Lake collection at the Ransom Center. Puri's research was supported by a 2007–2008 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.


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Adam Sisman
An Honourable Englishman: The Life of Hugh Trevor-Roper

(New York: Random House, 2010)

Hugh Trevor-Roper was one of the most gifted scholars of his generation—a brilliant writer, high-society star, and cultural force who moved easily between aristocratic houses and the humble haunts of literary bohemia. Sisman examines Trevor-Roper's affectionless middle-class upbringing, traces his career from early academic triumphs to later failed writing attempts, and reveals the truth behind his missteps in the World War II intelligence works that forever tainted his reputation. Profoundly bright and brutally acerbic, Hugh Trevor-Roper was a literary lion like no other.

In preparing this book, Sisman consulted the A. D. Peters & Co. collection at the Center.


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Michael Sragow
Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master

(New York: Pantheon Books, 2008)

Renowned for his ability to make films across an astounding range of genres, Victor Fleming was the most sought-after director in Hollywood's Golden Age. Fleming is remembered for the two most iconic movies of the period, Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz, yet his talent for making the right film for the time instead of remaking the same movie in different guises has resulted in his relative contemporary obscurity. Michael Sragow restores the director to the pantheon of our greatest filmmakers and fills a gaping hole in Hollywood history.

In preparing this book, Sragow consulted the Alfred S. Shivers collection of Maxwell Anderson research materials and the David O. Selznick collection at the Ransom Center. Sragow is the movie critic for the Baltimore Sun and contributes regularly to The New Yorker.


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