Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March Series of the Month: History of the Jews by Heinrich Graetz - in Memory of Anne Frank

In memory of Anne Frank, who died in March 1945, at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, Cosimo's Series of the Month for March is History of the Jews by Heinrich Graetz.

A landmark work of Jewish history and a worldwide phenomenon when it was first published, this masterpiece of Jewish history was translated in multiple languages and instantly become the de facto standard in the field. German academic Heinrich Graetz brings a sympathetic Jewish perspective to the story of his own people, offering readers today an affectionate, passionate history, not a detached, clinical one. 

Backed by impeccable scholarship and originally published in German across 11 volumes between 1853 and 1875, this six-volume English-language edition was abridged under the direction of the author, and brought to American readers by the Jewish Publication Society of America in 1891. It remains an important work of the study of the Jewish religion and people to this day.

Cosimo offers this series by individual volume at leading online bookstores or as a full two-volume set in paperback or hardcover. If you are interested in purchasing the full set, please contact us.

The paperback retail list price for this series is: $161.94, but now our price is: $129.99 (you save $32.39 or a 20 percent discount)

The hardcover retail list price for this series is: $216.94, but now our price is: $174.99 (you save $43.39 or a 20 percent discount)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Shakespeare Unauthorized at Boston Public Library

Ever wanted to find out more about the man behind the world-famous plays like The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Othello, and countless others? The Boston Public Library, through March 31, is showcasing 400 years of literary speculation, adaptations, works, celebrations, and history of William Shakespeare in an exhibit called Shakespeare Unauthorized.

Boston Public Library holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Shakespeare's work, so visitors can learn more about his life, as well as his books, sonnets, and poems, all in his original language and spelling.

Before you plan your trip to Boston, pick up one of our wonderful Cosimo Classics by or about The Bard.

Poems and Sonnets of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

He is the greatest writer in the English language — perhaps in any language — and here, in one compact volume is all the verse even many of those familiar with his plays have never read. In 1593 and 1594, while English theaters were closed in response to the plague, William Shakespeare turned from drama to narrative poems, and published the dyad "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece," erotic meditations on lust and sexual power. Standing powerfully in opposition to each other, they also differ wildly from Shakespeare's romantic sonnets — all 154 of them are here. 

Life In Shakespeare's England: A Book of Elizabethan Prose by J.D. Wilson

British Shakespearean scholar J.D. Wilson is best remembered for his explications of the Bard, particularly his acclaimed 1935 work What Happens in Hamlet. Here, however, he takes a rather more oblique approach to enlightening us to the world of Shakespeare, gathering together in this 1913 volume writings by contemporaries of the playwright's — some famous, some not — that illuminate the artistic society and ordinary life of Elizabethan England.

Originally published between 1909-1917 under the name "Harvard Classics," this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology. Volume XLVI features four of the masterpiece tragedies by the greatest playwright in the English language — William Shakespeare's Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest. Also included in this volume is Edward the Second, a 1592 drama of court intrigue, by Christopher Marlowe who greatly influenced Shakespeare's writing and who — some speculate — may actually have penned the plays credited to Shakespeare after faking his own death and taking on an assumed name.

Shakespeare Lexicon, Vol. 1 by Alexander Schmidt

Still often used today, German schoolmaster and philologist Alexander Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon is the source for elucidating the sometimes cryptic language of Shakespeare and tracking down quotations. Volume 1 covers A through L, from "a: the first letter of the alphabet" to "Lysimachus," a proper name. Every word from every play and poem is cataloged, referenced, and defined in this exhaustive two-volume work, the result of arduous research and stalwart dedication. Serious scholars and zealous fans will find the Lexicon the ultimate guide to reading and decoding the Bard.

Shakespeare Lexicon, Vol. 2 by Alexander Schmidt

Still often used today, German schoolmaster and philologist Alexander Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon is the source for elucidating the sometimes cryptic language of Shakespeare and tracking down quotations. Volume 2 covers M through Z, from "Mab: the queen of the fairies" to "Zounds: an oath contracted from God's wounds," and features numerous appendices and supplements on grammar and usage. Every word from every play and poem is cataloged, referenced, and defined in this exhaustive two-volume work, the result of arduous research and stalwart dedication. Serious scholars and zealous fans will find the Lexicon the ultimate guide to reading and decoding the Bard.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

International Women's Day and Women's Books

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, a day that started nationally in the United States, but would gain enough clout and momentum to spread worldwide. One could argue that after the stressful presidential election, the peaceful protests all around the US, groups raising money for women's charitable organizations, and the Women's Marches that happened in major cities all around the world, make this day more even more powerful and will hopefully embolden women everywhere in 2017.

In 1910, an International Women’s conference was held and they reached the agreement that International Women’s Day should be observed annually. March 18, 1911 was the first International Women’s day. Observed by over 1 million people in several different countries, the day marked many demonstrations for the support and empowerment of women who have long contributed to the history and success of many nations without recognition. The demonstrations also demanded the right to vote and hold office. The day spread over the next fifty years and in 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace, the day became official with a widespread observance. 

International Women’s Day is a recognizable and significant moment in the Women’s rights movement. Striving for equality in regards to voting was discussed and hotly debated in the early 1900s, a great survey of which is described in Eugene A. Hecker's 1914 title, "A Short History of Women's Rights" or, for those who may want to travel back in time a bit, Mary Wollstonecraft's book, "A Vindication of the Rights of Women" will give readers a fantastic historical background from the 1700s.

It is because of these women of the past who fought (and those women who still fight today) for equality and civil rights, that we can have such amazing authors as we do today. For example, Phebe A. Hanaford, who wrote about female poets, scientist, preachers, and educators in her book, "Daughters of America or Women of the Century", or Margaret E. Burton', who defied longstanding cultural traditions and stereotypes and wrote about her struggles in "Notable Women of Modern China", and more recently, Michaela Walsh, who wrote "Founding a Movement: Womens World Banking, 1975-1990" and was the president of Women's World Banking.

The 2017 theme of International Women's Day is #BeBoldForChange, asking everyone to fight for and speak up about about equal rights and inclusivity for all.

Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate this day world wide. For more information about International Women's Day and events near you, see their website.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March Classic of the Month: Two Scottish Tales of Medical Compassion

We are highlighting Two Scottish Tales of Medical Compassion, by Dr. John Brown, Ian Maclaren, and Dr. John Raffensperger, as our March Classic of the Month in honor of Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow!

Included in the book are the short stories "Rab and His Friends," by John Brown, and "A Doctor of the Old School," by Ian MacLaren. In "Rab and His Friends," Dr. John Brown recounts a true story from his early days as a doctor about a huge mutt named Rab and his owner, of whom the dog was fiercely protective. He discusses medical procedures that were cutting edge at the time, though they would be seen as invasive and rather cruel today.

In "A Doctor of the Old School," we are painted a picture of a typical doctor on call from the Scottish highlands, complete with an authentic Scottish dialect. This touching story shows how selfless small doctors in the backwoods of Scotland were, never taking a day off and treating patients right up until their own bodies gave out on them.

Finally, Dr. John Raffensperger, a retired surgeon with a deep love for and interest in these medicinal roots, paints a picture of the authors of these tales, John Brown and Ian MacLaren, showing how their ties to the Edinburgh School of Medicine shaped their stories and love of medicine. He takes us back to the first instances of modern medicine, where cleanliness standards were just beginning to be discovered and used and where medical procedures with anesthesia were rare. It is a fascinating glimpse into the old ways and will make any reader — doctor, patient, or friend — truly thankful for the advancements that have been made because of men like Dr. John Brown.

You can enjoy your copy in paperback, or order the eBook version straight to your Nook or Kindle and enjoy immediately.

About the Authors 
John Brown, M.D. (1810-1882) was a well-known Scottish doctor and writer from Edinburgh. He attended the medical school at the University of Edinburgh before becoming apprentice to James Syme at the Minto House Hospital. His experiences at the hospital influenced his writing, including "Rab and his Friends," the short stories in his book Horae Subsecivae, and others.

Ian Maclaren (1850-1907) was the pen name of Highland-born John Watson. Watson studied for the ministry at the University of Edinburgh and at Tubingen in Germany. In addition to serving at the Parish of Logielmond in Perthshire and the Sefton Park Church in Liverpool, he was well known as a writer and speaker, culminating in several speaking tours in the United States. His works include "A Doctor of the Old School," Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush, and The Days of Auld Lang Syne.

John Raffensperger, M.D. was a surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago and a professor of surgery at Northwestern University. He has authored surgical textbooks, a history of the Cook County Hospital, a collection of short stories, and a "surgical thriller." He currently lives in Sanibel Island, Florida.