Ian Fleming by Andrew Lycett, St. Martin's Press '13, $29.99, 486 pages, ASIN #1250037980. Index, bibliography, grouping of b&w glossy images.
British readers thought nothing remarkable when, in 1953, they picked up a novel called Casino Royale, created by intelligence agent Ian Fleming. Little did they know that he had just created an industry with one James Bond at its helm.
So much has been written about James Bond that the world may lose sight that it knows relatively little about his creator's life, an oversight that author Andrew Lycett aims to redress in his new book. "Educated at Eton and Sandhurst," writes the author, "Fleming joined Britain's Naval Intelligence Division at the start of the Second World War, masterminding many covert operations and liaising at the highest level with the American secret services."
Not only did the James Bond saga make Fleming's life remarkable but the fact that "his life was peopled with such luminaries as Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Noel Coward, Evelyn Waugh, Sean Connery, and Bond film producer Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli." Adding spice to this mix is the fact that Fleming's life was set in such varied locations as Jamaica, Switzerland, and England as well as the United States.
Author Andrew Lycett is an English biographer and journalist. He has written biographies of Rudyard Kipling, Dylan Thomas, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Wilkie Collins. He lives in London.
The Melancholy Assemblage -- Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance by Drew Daniel, Fordham '14 paperback. $28, 309 pages, ASIN #0823251284. Index, bibliography, notes, b&w and color images sprinkled through text.
From the back cover:
"This book considers melancholy as an 'assemblage,' as a network of dynamic, interpretive relationships between persons, bodies, texts, spaces, structures, and things. In doing so, it parts ways with past interpretations of melancholy. Tilting the English Renaissance against the present moment, Daniel argues that the basic disciplinary tension between medicine and philosophy persists within contemporary debates about emotional embodiment.
"To make this case, the book binds together the paintings of Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver, the drama of Shakespeare, the prose of Burton, and the poetry of Milton. Crossing borders and periods, Daniel combines recent theories that have until now been regarded as incongruous by their respective advocates. Asking fundamental questions about how the experience of emotion produces community, the book will be of interest to scholars of early modern literature, psychoanalysis, the affective turn, and continental philosophy."
Author Drew Daniel is assistant professor of English at Johns Hopkins University.