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Henry A. McGhie

area as the Birds of Europe, as well as Asia south to Afghanistan, the Himalayas, Tibet, China, Korea and Japan. He produced brief accounts incorporating the most recent discoveries, covering the birds’ distribution and habitat, and wrote pithy descriptions of their different plumages, nests and eggs. Descriptions of birds were mostly taken from specimens in Dresser’s own collection. He also consulted specimens belonging to Walter Rothschild and the BM(NH) for those species he did not possess, although this involved some difficulty, as he outlined to Ernst Hartert in

in Henry Dresser and Victorian ornithology
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Editor: Gregory Vargo

The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.

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Author: Rachael Gilmour

At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.

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Jonathan Chatwin

twohundred-pound advance. Tom Maschler’s hopes for the nomad book winding paths 27 were high: ‘I do just want to put into writing that I am convinced it will be an important book. Important in the way The Naked Ape was important … I very much look forward to the first chapters of the book just as soon as you can manage them’ (US 140). A month after signing his contract, Chatwin embarked upon a research trip to Afghanistan with his friend Peter Levi, a poet and Jesuit priest. Levi, who had organised the trip, was travelling to investigate the influence upon Afghanistan

in Anywhere out of the world
Transnational solidarities and fractures in Ishtiyaq Shukri’s The Silent Minaret
Andrea Thorpe

positive way the global and the local’ (Massey 1994 : 155). ‘When cities crack’: post-9/11 Britain and ‘postimperial melancholia’ The Silent Minaret does not only celebrate the ‘many Londons’ and the ‘London you won't find in the postcard shops’ but explores the fragility of multicultural London in the aftermath of the 2001 World Trade Centre attack, and in the context of the United Kingdom's involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the concomitant anti-Muslim sentiment and crackdown on local ‘terrorism’ within the UK during the early

in South African London
Diana Cullell

role of women in society (in this case in Afghanistan) whilst employing classical myths. The title of the poem, ‘Penélope’, refers to the female character in Homer’s Odyssey, who waited for twenty years for the return of her husband Odysseus. In fact, Odysseus’ journey plays a major role in Juana Castro’s El extranjero, as the book continually refers to characters, events and passages in Homer’s work to approach and critique current affairs. The one-word epigraph that precedes the poem, the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, provides the context from which the

in Spanish contemporary poetry
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Sara Upstone

most violent of circumstances. The death of the lovers, for example, is framed by ‘the sky turning the blood-red of anemones in the east’.13 Moreover, the novel shares with its precursor and thus also with earlier Urdu tales a similar concern for the tensions between the relentless pace of change in modern society and religious values. Aslam’s 2008 novel, The Wasted Vigil, continues this trend: a tragic and brutal story that traces the effects of a long history of global conflict on the lives of individuals in post-9/11 Afghanistan, the novel recounts scenes of

in British Asian fiction
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Genet our contemporary
Carl Lavery

’s France, divided by racism, and increasingly paranoid about the presence of the large North African population in its major cities, Genet’s late theatre has lost none of its profound political and aesthetic significance. Indeed, if anything, its power seems to have intensified, a fact which is borne out by the recent interest in staging his work in Paris since the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001, and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq by US and UK troops. 1 Two decades after his death, Genet remains the poet of the dispossessed

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
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On sitting down to read a letter from Freud
Nicholas Royle

into the not-yet-day of gulls’ screeching, squawking, croaking, quacking, clucking rapidly all around the housetop amount to a single verbless sentence: ‘Probably not.’ These words initially instil a feeling of great calm, as if Freud is reassuring me: it might never happen. Probably not . You wonder if the world is coming to an end, on your phone last night you read in the newspaper online that the US has just ‘dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat’ somewhere in Afghanistan, you put the phone to charge on a small table beside your desk (only now

in Hélène Cixous
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Shalimar the Clown
Andrew Teverson

during the Cold War have also brought new forms of history into being that were now bearing fruit in regions such as Afghanistan and Kashmir. Shalimar , in this sense, adds other elements into the mix of South Asian politics that were not – could not have been – present in Midnight’s Children : the globalisation of the power of the United States after the conclusion of the Cold War, and the evolution of new ideologies of violence such as those given their most grotesque embodiment in the attacks on New York in September 2001. The resulting difference is that where

in Salman Rushdie