Louisa Young The Book of the Heart

ISBN 13: 9780007109111

The Book of the Heart

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9780007109111: The Book of the Heart

`A ravishing, celebratory and funny history of the human heart. Disarming, canny and beguiling, it deserves to become a cult book.' Independent`There is a universal human fascination with the heart which no other organ has inspired - not the brain, not the eyes. The heart is simply a lump of muscle, a pump, and yet it is the home of love, and courage, and religion, and soul, and almost any other human feeling you care to think of.'This is Louisa Young's starting point, and she goes on to produce a book that is readable, erudite, funny, intriguing, stimulating and made to be given, from the heart, as a gift. The book is in four parts (like the heart): The Physical Heart; The Religious Heart; The Heart in Art; and The Written Heart. The first part covers, amongst other things, anatomy and the history of ideas about how the heart works; weaknesses of the heart and disease; surgery and transplants; and other animals' hearts - the heart as the seat of life. The second has the Bleeding Heart of Christ; pagan sacrifice; saints' attributes; the heart in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism etc - the heart as the seat of the soul. The third looks at votive art, the `heart/fruit thing'; sublimated visual hearts; kitsch; advertising and logos; cartoons - the heart as visual symbol. The fourth explores expressions of love in literature, from the Greeks' musings on eros and agape via myths and legends and the invention of courtly romance to the romantic novel; also song lyrics - the heart in writing.

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From the Inside Flap:

From its physical attributes to its power as a literary metaphor to its religious significance, and beyond, here is the captivating story of the role of the heart in our lives and culture.

There is a universal fascination with the human heart. Every age and civilization has developed theories and beliefs about it, which overlap, support, and sometimes undermine one another. it is celebrated as the home of faith, love and courage, the seat of the soul. No other organ has inspired so many poets, writers, painters, and religious thinkers, and references to it abound in advertising, cultural kitsch, song lyrics, and everyday language and imagery. Shedding light on the heart's many mysteries and meanings, the chapters in THE BOOK OF THE HEART explore:

? The Physical Heart: a natural history of the heart; its strengths and weaknesses; the anatomy of the human heart

? The Religious Heart: the bleeding heart; the sacrificial heart; the heart's place in cannibalism and other rituals.

? The Heart in Art: visual depictions of the heart from classical art to tatoos; fruits and other symbols of the heart

? The Written Heart: poetry and song; romantic love, myths, and legends; the novel

Filled with fascinating tidbits (for instance, a giraffe requires a heart weighing sixty-six pounds to pump blood up its neck) and graced with charming illustrations, THE BOOK OF THE HEART is a great Valentine's Day Gift and the perfect book to pick up for some heartening entertainment any time of the year.

About the Author:

Louisa Young was a journalist for some years. Her first book was A Great Task of Happiness (1995), the life of Kathleen Bruce, her grandmother, the sculptor and wife of Scott of the Antarctic. She followed that with her Egyptian trilogy of novels: Baby Love (which was listed for the Orange Prize), Desiring Cairo and Tree of Pearls. They were followed by The Book of the Heart, a cultural history of our most symbolic organ. The first volume of her children's trilogy, Lionboy, written with her ten-year-old daughter under the pseudonym Zizou Corder, is coming out in October 2003. It is to be published in 25 languages, and the film rights have been sold to Dreamworks.She lives in London with her daughter.

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Young, Louisa
Published by Flamingo (2004)
ISBN 10: 0007109113 ISBN 13: 9780007109111
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Young, Louisa
Published by Flamingo (2004)
ISBN 10: 0007109113 ISBN 13: 9780007109111
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