Collecting Shakespeare -- The Story of Henry and Emily Folger by Stephen H. Grant, Johns Hopkins UPress '14, $29.95, 244 pages, ASIN #1421411873. Index, bibliography, notes, b&w images sprinkled through text.
"The story of the Folgers is a double love story," writes author Stephen H. Grant in his Prologue: "first, about the love between Henry (1857-1930) and Emily (1858-1936) Folger and, second, about their common love of Shakespeare and his writings. Their story displays a rare single-mindedness of purpose. Early in their married life, they were particularly attracted to Shakespeare (1564-1616) and his time....
"In every phase of developing the collection the couple worked as a team. They remained childless throughout their marriage. A journalist reported that Henry Folger referred to his books as 'the boys.' The Folgers knew that their collecting obsession turned them into recluses. Such is the price to pay for the enterprise and its lofty goal. They established limits to the time they could spare for family visits. They opened their doors only twice a year, on Thanksgiving and New Year's. Nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews described with awe and delight these rare occasions."
Today, the Folgers' library houses 82 First Folios, 275,000 books, and 60,000 manuscripts and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year. How did the Folgers afford to support their hobby, you ask? It helped that Henry for many years was president of Standard Oil Company of New York, "where he was a trusted associate of John D. Rockefeller, Sr."
Author Stephen H. Grant is a senior fellow at the Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training and author of a biography of Peter Strickland.
Maya Lords and Lordship -- The Formation of Colonial Society in Yucatan, 1360-1600 by Sergio Quezada, translated by Terry Rugeley, Oklahoma UP '14, $34.95, 248 pages, ASIN #080614422X. Index, bibliography, notes, glossary, four appendices, b&w images sprinkled through text.
"Interest in understanding the lords and lordships of indigenous Meso-America is as old as the conquest itself," writes author Sergio Quezada in his Introduction. "The long list of individuals contributing to this elusive field of knowledge includes Spaniards: conquistadors, tribute-holders, friars, and royal functionaries who composed chronicles, memoirs, accounts, orders, and vocabularyists, among other documents.
"So, too, there were the Indian peoples themselves: those nobels of commoners who by means of their colonial codices, books, lawsuits, and legal depositions left testimony of their ancestors and their ancient privileges. Many years later, in the contemporary period, a veritable army of researchers has concerned itself with studying indigenous lords through the theories and methods of their specific disciplines, creating in the process an impressive and almost overwhelming body of articles, monographs, and primary sources."
Sergio Quezada is a research professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan and a member of the Mexican Academy of History. Terry Rugeley is professor of Mexican and Latin American history at the University of Oklahoma.
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nicholas Butler, Dunne/St. Martin's Press '14, $25.99, 306 pages, ASIN #1250039819.
From the dust jacket:
"Welcome to Little Wing. It's a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends -- all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town -- it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own or struggling to do so.
"One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there's Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.
"Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses -- among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love."
Author Nickolas Butler was raised in Eau Claire, WI. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, and he is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.