New Professor of English Language

At the beginning of the year Prof. Merel Keijzer was appointed to the chair of English Language. A graduate of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, she has been one of the university’s Rosalind Franklin Fellows since 2013. She has published extensively on bilingualism.

Image result for merel keijzer

Merel succeeds Prof. Marjolijn Verspoor who will remain as chair of the faculty cluster board of which our department is a member.

John Donne Manuscript for Sale

A seventeenth-century manuscript that includes poetry by John Donne (written during his lifetime but not in his own hand) has been discovered at Melford Hall in Suffolk recently and is expected to realise an auction price of three hundred thousand pounds.

See the auction catalogue details including images of the pages (Sotheby’s).

See report in The Guardian.

Thanks to Pamela for drawing this to my attention.

 

Groningen English BA Top Programme Again

The Keuzegids Universiteiten (access to subscribers only) for 2019 has once again ranked the Groningen BA in English the top English course in the Netherlands (it scored 78; the next programme in the ranking was 64).

Earlier in the year, Elzevier also ranked the programme first.

The last National Student Survey finding published also ranked the department first: www.studiekeuze123.nl/opleidingen/9922-english-language-and-culture-rijksuniversiteit-groningen-wo-bachelor

 

The Book as Art

WKB18, the week of the book as a work of art, takes place in Groningen between 13-20 October. This will include exhibitions and symposia in 25 locations in the city (including the University Library). The second-hand bookshop, Berger & De Vries, on Pelsterstraat 27-29 is the information point for the events and will have some of the art books on sale.

Details of the events here.

wkb18

Book of Kells

Trinity College Dublin is running a free online course based around its most famous manuscript, The Book of Kells. It runs for four weeks beginning on 8 October 2018.

Participants

will use the Book of Kells as a window through which to explore the landscape, history, faith, theology, and politics of early medieval Ireland. You will also consider how the manuscript was made, its extended biography and how it has affected different areas of the contemporary world.

Course Website

For an overview of The Book of Kells

(from https://www.tcd.ie/commercial/book-of-kells)

George Lauder

George Lauder (1603-1670): Life and Writings by Prof. Alasdair MacDonald (our emeritus professor of English Language and Literature of the Middle Ages) has recently been published by Boydell & Brewer.

The Scottish poet George Lauder began as a “university wit”, by imitating anti-papal satires popular in the Italian Renaissance. He set off for London as a young man, looking for patronage, but instead became an officer in the army, seeing service in France, the Low Countries, Germany, Denmark and Sweden — an experience which provides the backdrop to the poetry of his mature years. At the Restoration he wrote a lengthy poem of advice to Charles II, and his final masterwork was a poetic conflation of the Gospel accounts of the life of Christ. Lauder was influenced by Ben Jonson, William Drummond, and by the Metaphysical and the Caroline styles. His personal library testifies to his wide range of interests, and to his acquaintance with European literature in neo-Latin and other languages.

George Lauder (1603-1670): Life and Writings

This volume traces Lauder’s career, collects all his surviving verse (presented with full notes and commentary), and examines his interactions with certain of the greatest intellectuals of the Dutch Golden Age. Lauder was a British patriot and a loyal supporter of the House of Orange; above all, however, he is the author of a unique corpus of highly accomplished poetry.

Cockygate and Romance E-fiction

Kindle Unlimited’s algorithms have prompted some e-book authors to cash in on specific terms or cover images. This is a modern twist on an old practice of following on the tails of paper bestsellers.

The fight over #Cockygate, as it was branded online, emerged from the strange universe of Amazon Kindle Unlimited, where authors collaborate and compete to game Amazon’s algorithm. Trademark trolling is just the beginning: There are private chat groups, ebook exploits, conspiracies to seed hyperspecific trends like “Navy SEALs” and “mountain men,” and even a controversial sweepstakes in which a popular self-published author offered his readers a chance to win diamonds from Tiffany’s if they reviewed his new book.

www.theverge.com/2018/7/16/17566276/cockygate-amazon-kindle-unlimited-algorithm-self-published-romance-novel-cabal

Her Cocky Doctors (A MFM Menage Romance) (The Cocky Series Book 1) by [Crescent, Tara]

Image from Amazon.com

Book sales up, authors’ incomes down and, of course, Brexit

A record-breaking year for publishers has been greeted with renewed demands for authors to receive a bigger slice of income and investment, as sales of books passed the £5.7bn mark in 2017. Book sales were up 5% on the previous year, according to annual figures released by the Publishers Association. In sharp contrast, a recent survey of authors’ earnings revealed a 42% drop over the last decade, with the median annual income now below £10,500.

Read more in The Guardian

The boss of the Publishers Association said any tariffs or other barriers to trade post-Brexit “could be a problem”. His warning came as the industry body reported record sales of £5.7bn in 2017, up 5% on the previous year. Exports rose by 8% to £3.4bn, to account for 60% of total income, consolidating the UK’s position as the biggest exporter of books in the world.

read more on the BBC website