“One of the ongoing English peculiarities, it seems, is that success is not remembered as much as disaster.” And so it is that most of us have been captivated by Ernest Shackleton’s efforts to cross the Antarctic continent (tenacious, heroic, yet terribly unsuccessful), and yet likely know next to nothing about this quest’s cheerful completion in 1958. The Crossing of Antarctica: Original Photographs from the Epic Journey That Fulfilled Shackleton’s Dream (Thames & Hudson, $40) should reverse this state of affairs and reignite curiosity in mid-century exploration and its “forgotten hero,” New Zealander George Lowe. Lowe’s camera work and mountain skill on the Everest expedition earned him a spot on the Trans-Antarctic Expedition four years later. Lowe was in the process of committing his life to paper with Huw Lewis-Jones when he passed away in 2013, leaving an incredible trove of reflections and unpublished photographs, gathered here for the first time. Crisp, stunningly still images of ice are included alongside artful portraits and action shots that capture the human aspects of the expedition, in its equally infinite tedium and camaraderie. Accompanying essays form a prose montage of Antarctic exploration, fleshing out the passion, prosaicness, and peculiarities of the polar itch amongst those who have followed in George Lowe’s footsteps.
The Crossing of Antarctica: Original Photographs from the Epic Journey That Fulfilled Shackleton's Dream Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500252024
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Thames & Hudson - September 16th, 2014

You know of Thebes and Memphis, Alexandria and Petra—but what of Mohenjo-Daro and Tikal? And can you name the world’s first city? If not, consider an armchair tour across forty cities in the dawning age of urban life in Cities that Shaped the Ancient World (Thames & Hudson, $40). Edited by the estimably erudite John Julius Norwich, this volume showcases its subjects in four-to eight-page spreads, set off by the vivid illustrations characteristic of a Thames & Hudson fine art volume: detailed depictions of each city’s standout art and architecture (insofar as it is documented) and aerial views of the excavated metropolises. The sampling of cities is admirably varied, drawing of course from the Mediterranean and Levant, but also from the New World, Asia, and Africa, covering cities with a profound historical record as well as those whose material remains are sparse. As Norwich cautions, this collection is not a history book per se; “instead, it spins the globe and watches, as the earth’s endlessly varied peoples take their first tentative steps in that most challenging art of living together.”
Cities That Shaped the Ancient World Cover Image
By John Julius Norwich (Editor)
ISBN: 9780500252048
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Thames & Hudson - November 11th, 2014

How perniciously do we judge people on the style of their home and landscaping? What beliefs about society can children pick up from public school design? And how might a desire for increased market share affect hospital design? Architecture is a forthcoming language, and just as she did in her now-canonical The Language of Clothes, Alison Lurie has written a probing primer to the vivid, infinitely subtle semiotics of the material world. Rather than a phrasebook to the jargon of architecture, The Language of Houses (Delphinium, $25.95) is a thorough but accessible exploration of all that buildings communicate, intentionally or unintentionally. Despite the title, the discussion is hardly confined to residences; hospitals and “Houses of God,” big box stores and mental institutions, restaurants and government monuments are all considered, revealing fascinating connections between the discipline of architecture and economics, religious belief, social dynamics, health, and civics. A Pulitzer-laureled novelist and critic, Lurie wears her learning lightly, and peppers the book with personal anecdotes and apt references to literature and its fictional buildings. Using this extended metaphor of language, she illustrates the variations of tone and diction, dialect and volume, depth of vocabulary and syntactical complexity, to which each and every structure is subject. Whether you’re ashamed that you don’t know more about architecture, or are perfectly fluent in its grammar, you’ll delight in this extended appreciation of its capacities.

The Language of Houses Cover Image
ISBN: 9781883285609
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Delphinium - August 19th, 2014

The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9781883285661
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delphinium - September 8th, 2015