Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Andrew Pettegree

Andrew Pettegree is a professor of modern history at the University of St. Andrews, where he was the founding director of the St. Andrews Reformation Studies Institute. He currently serves as the vice president of the Royal Historical Society. His books include The Invention of News, The Book in the Renaissance, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010, and Emden and the Dutch Revolt.

Pettegree's latest book is Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Monk Turned His Small Town into a Center of Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe--and Started the Protestant Reformation.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
City of Wisdom and Blood by Robert Merle

Even though so many of the world’s people now speak English, it is a happy fact that Anglophone readers have access to an even increasing range of non-English literature. The astonishing success of Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin, or the Suite Française of Irène Némirovsky's, has emboldened publishers to seek out other unknown gems: and never more productively than with the decision of the Pushkin Press to take on Robert Merle’s extraordinary sage of the French Wars of Religion, Fortune de France. This project originated as a labour of love of its translator, Jefferson Kline, Professor of French at Boston University. Kline recognised the extraordinary beauty of Merle’s creation, a chronicle of French society in war and peace, seen through the eyes of its swashbuckling young hero, Pierre de Siorac. The son of a minor noble in the south of France, Pierre follows his father into the faith of the French Protestant minority, the Huguenots. He also shares his father’s roving eye; Merle being French, there is plenty of sex, but described with a suggestive delicacy evocative of its sixteenth-century narrator. The first volume, The Brethren, is now followed by City of Wisdom and Blood, which follows Pierre in his medical studies at Montpellier, where he cannot escape the consequences of his impetuous compulsion to stand up to bullies and of his varied amorous conquests. The third of the series, Heretic Dawn, is set in 1572, among the turbulent events of the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. This is promised for April 2016, and I for one can’t wait; and there are ten more to come.
Learn more about Brand Luther at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Book in the Renaissance.

The Page 99 Test: The Invention of News.

The Page 99 Test: Brand Luther.

--Marshal Zeringue