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Christina Rossetti

RRP $271.99

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Showalter's thoughtful, detailed introductory essay is a comprehensive analysis between Rosetti's novella and Craik's essays...the biographical portrait of Christina Rossetti's conflicts makes her a vivid example of the psychological and social barriers to the development of the female poets...her description of Dinah Mulock Craik stressed this woman's common-sense approach to ameliorating the position of the working-class woman in society...useful to students of feminist theory and of Victorian literature.
--"Academic Library Book Review"

Cristina Rossetti was nineteen years old when she wrote Maude: Prose and Verse in 1850. Clearly autobiographical, the novel examines the heroine's endeavor to resist the notion that modesty, virtue and domesticity constitute the sole duties of womanhood.

For the precocious young poet, the work was only one of several projects of her teens. Growing up in London as the youngest child in a gifted and unusual family of artists and writers, Rossetti had early developed a poetic vocation. But by the time she wrote "Maude," the lively, passionate, and adventurous little girl who had hated needlework, delighted in fiercely competitive games of chess, and explored the country with her brothers became a painfully constrained, sickly, and over-scrupulous teenager. "Maude" makes clear that at least some of Rossetti's affliction came from anxieties about poetic achievement, her wishes both to be admired for her genius and to renounce it as unfeminine. Often overshadowed by her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina struggled to express her own independent authorial voice, and to resist a life bound by the constraints and demands of the traditional female role.

Other late Victorian attitudes towards Anglican women's communities are brought out in "On Sisterhoods" by Dinah Mulock Craik which appeared in Longman's magazine in 1883. Craik herself worked on the literary border between feminine gentility and feminist rebellion. In 1850, when Christina Rossetti was writing "Maude" within the confines of her family, Dinah Mulock was supporting herself and her two younger brothers by her pen. "On Sisterhoods" confronts head-on the woman question.' Asserting that women's role is to find beauty in their lives through altruism and good works--to be more or less good women'--Craik provides a radical solution to the woman question' by advocating the encouragement of Anglican sisterhoods, effectively women's co-operatives. For her, the strongest argument for such a sisterhood is the alternative life it offers to single women, with no outlets for their maternal emotions.

The third text presented here, Craik's "A Woman's Thoughts About Women," was a widely circulated manual of advice on female self-sufficiency for unmarried women, based on her own experience in a family left destitute by an eccentric father when she was nineteen. It addressed a pressing contemporary problem: the large number of urban single women who were well educated and qualified but for whom traditional employment offered no place. Craik understood that independence would come hard to middle-class women, yet she was optimistic about the ways women might re-educate themselves, abandoning false pride and learning to manage small businesses or conduct trades.

Throughout her career, Craik masked her private feminist views with disdain for women's rights and criticism of women's public activism. Unmarried and self-supporting until the age of forty, she wrote about the problems of single and working women in over fifty popular novels, children's stories and collections of essays.


A Very First Book On Chess Tactics

RRP $15.99

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This is a very simple book, written for those who just learned the basic rules of chess and are looking for a light, fast and easy to understand reading. / This book was written so that beginners of all levels can take a first step. Anyone can read this book, as some notion of the basic rules of the game are enough to understand it. Everything was done so that a nine years old child can enjoy the book alone, without adult help. / There is no theory. The book has only practical tests. / The book is based on diagrams, which work in pairs: on a page, a figure proposes a test; on the next page, another figure shows the response. Simple as that! / You do NOT need a chessboard to use the book: just sit down in a comfortable armchair and flip through the pages quietly (in an airplane, a restaurant, a living room, a taxi, a waiting room, on the subway or in your bed before sleeping). / You do NOT need to know the algebraic notation in this book: the answers are shown in the diagrams directly, by means of arrows. However, gradually this notation is presented because in the future you will read more advanced books that use it. / Attack and defense situations are here: so, whenever you are playing, in your turn you will be used to examine the chessboard in search of attacking opportunities and risks that require defense maneuvers. / Less is more! A book which is intended to be a first reading on chess must be small and must demand just a pair of hours. So, this book has just 130 pages and 60 tests selected and planned to induce a gradual learning process. / The problems are not difficult, especially the first twenty. It is expected that you can hit 80% of the book's problems, if not all. Gradually, very common tactical ideas, such as double attacks and discovered checks, will be presented naturally. On average you will take a minute per test. / At the end of the book, your vision of the game has started to improve, and so you can continue your training with other more advanced books (there is a list of reading suggestions for beginners on the last page of the book). / The only requirement is: never turn a page before you set your own guess! The book will only work if you actually try to solve each of the tests. / Thanks for your interest: I hope this book will help you to play well. / WARNING: this book is useful just for very beginners.


Rough Set Theory

RRP $82.95

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Along the years, rough set theory has earned a well-deserved reputation as a sound methodology for dealing with imperfect knowledge in a simple though mathematically sound way. This edited volume aims at continue stressing the benefits of applying rough sets in many real-life situations while still keeping an eye on topological aspects of the theory as well as strengthening its linkage with other soft computing paradigms. The volume comprises 11 chapters and is organized into three parts. Part 1 deals with theoretical contributions while Parts 2 and 3 focus on several real world data mining applications. Chapters authored by pioneers were selected on the basis of fundamental ideas/concepts rather than the thoroughness of techniques deployed. Academics, scientists as well as engineers working in the rough set, computational intelligence, soft computing and data mining research area will find the comprehensive coverage of this book invaluable.



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