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For centuries, naturalists have created intricate illustrations of the sheer diversity of the ocean. Ponsonbys Curious Compendium: Sea Creatures reproduces more than 600 engravings, offering a panorama of the world that sea-dwellers inhabit, from the whale to the shrimp a tour of the deep that is full of surprises.
Ultimately a book about ageing and the consideration of death, this collection moves from the warm valley winds of Hawai'i to the seasons of a garden in Auckland. In Hawai'i Wendt watches the changing shadows of the Ko'olau mountains from his verandah; considers the nature of mauli, the seat of life; walks protected in his partner's perfumed slipstream to work; and writes to fellow poet Hone Tuwhare from the excesses of Las Vegas. In the second half of the book we move to the garden in Ponsonby in 40 vivid 'garden' poems that are the triumph of the collection. Here joints need replacing, poets grow older, tsunami destroy and friends slip away, but a spirit of renewal and humour pervades - along with prowling cats, baking muffins, flashing kingfishers and visiting mokopuna. And scattered among the garden poems will be some of Wendt's inky, drawn poems - the best are about the Samoan tsunami or galu afi. From Manoa to a Ponsonby Garden is an extraordinary, alert and confident book by one of our most celebrated writers.
As head of the Guild of the Black Mages, Guildmaster Ponsoby knows that you have to move with the times, and that's what he's trying to do. He's opened negotiations with Titus Handcarte, the First Speaker of East Castellian and not only has he won two enormously profitable research contracts, but also has got Handcarte to repeal the age-old prohibition that barred occult professionals from practising in East Castellian. So everything in the garden should be lovely. And it would be except for Montmorency. Mage Montmorency, the most expert and powerful of the Black Mages, is dead set against Ponsonby's plan. But to the creative manager, such opposition is an opportunity, not a problem. With the enthusiastic support of his other colleagues, Ponsonby binds Montorency imprisons him behind countless tons of solid rock. So now everything in the garden is lovely. Well, not exactly, no. Just as the rock closed about him, Montmorency managed to get a message off to Mission Implausible, the scruffiest bunch of anarchical heroes ever to disgrace the pages of a fantasy novel. Never mind their addiction to beer and gratuitous violence. Never mind their cavalier attitude to property that isn't bolted down. And never mind the fact that Andrew Cruickshank, their mercurial magic user, combines the reliability of the weather forecast with the destructive potential of Chernobyl. The big question is whether Mission Implausible can get their production of Blood on the Rooftops, Blood on the Tiles into workable shape by opening night. And get the Guild of the Black Mages sorted out too, of course. Ponsonby doesn't know anything about their play, but he does know Cruickshank and his band of hooligans are on the way, and so does Titus Handcarte. Ponsonby can call upon the awesome occult forces of the Guild, and Handcarte has at his beck and call the economic and military might of East Castellian, so they're confident. Playing at home, they should be able to send Mission Implausible down to a four-nil defeat, at the very least. But there are a number of things they've left out of their calculations. They haven't reckoned on the power of an aroused student body. They haven't understood the influence of thousands of years of theatrical tradition. They haven't the faintest idea of just how implacably devious, disruptive, and destructive Mission Implausible can be. And they've totally neglected air defence. Mission Implausible doesn't bother with calculation. When they're not in rehearsals or instigating disgraceful scenes at disreputable taverns, they get to work fomenting student unrest and bombarding the Guild precincts with surplus theatrical equipment while Andrew Cruickshank infiltrates the Guild itself in search of Montmorency. All the ingredients are there for one of the most shambolic episodes ever to be expunged from Guild records.
Meticulously rendered Victorian drawings, engravings, and woodcuts capture more than six hundred forms of marine life in a natural history of the ocean that describes each species, its characteristics and behavior, and its habitat. Original. 12,500 first printing.
The Ladies of Llangollen is the first book length critical study of Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby, whose 1778 elopement and five decades of “retirement” turned them into eighteenth century celebrities and pivotal figures in the historiography of female same-sex desire. Debates within the history of sexuality have long foundered over questions of what constitutes “proof” of past sexual desires and practices, and the nature of Butler and Ponsonby’s intimacy has been deemed inimical to productive critical consideration. In this ground-breaking study Fiona Brideoake attends to the archive of their shared life—written, performed, and enacted in the vernacular of the everyday—to argue that they embodied an early iteration of female celebrity in which their queerness registered less as the mark of some specified non-normativity than as the effect of their very public, very visible resistance to sexual legibility. Throughout their lives and afterlives, Butler and Ponsonby have been figured as chaste romantic friends, prototypical lesbians, Bluestockings, Romantic domestic archetypes, and proleptically feminist modernists. The Ladies of Langollen demonstrates that this heterogeneous legacy discloses the queerness of their performatively instantiated identities.

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