Thus is my relationship with Boydell and Brewer. My affection for Judd books, in contrast, is pure and unfettered. I would have your bastard book babies if that were possible in even some metaphorical way.
Boydell, and its many little imprints, are responsible for many an expensive and obscure tome that variously adorn my shelves, sit un-purchased on my wish-list or cruelly taunt my dreams. There are about a half dozen titles that for lack of funds and a general reluctance to pay obscene international shipping, remain amongst my most desired of desiderata.
Richard Kaeuper’s edited collection, Violence in Medieval Society, (2000), has never appeared for a price within reason. G. A. Lester’s Sir John Paston’s ‘Grete Boke’: A Descriptive Catalogue, with an Introduction, of British Library MS Landsdowne 285, (1984), published under the D.S. Brewer imprint, is an ugly little thing, set in some criminal font, but it is what it is and nothing else does that job. It does not do the job in an affordable way. To this list one can add Beverly Kennedy, Knighthood in the Morte Darthur, (1985), and Andrew Lynch, Malory’s book of arms, (1997).
But, as has happened in the past, and one hopes, in regular instalments in future, Judd books has knocked one long standing member of the Boydell hit-list off the top-ten. Yuval N. Harari, Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History, and Identity, 1450-1600, (2004) does not usually appear for sale for less than something painful and I found a copy at Judd for the eyecrossingly low price of £7.95. This is based on Harari’s 2001 DPhil thesis and while it isn’t the most brilliant piece of work, that work is obscure and this is an important and useful attempt at making some sense of it.
Unfortunately, I must add a new title to the list, although this is one I’m content to find in a library because Oxford has but one copy and it has walked off from its assigned seat in the Lower Gladstone level of the History Faculty library and, for all intents and purposes, no-longer exists. So, now I wait patiently for Judd books to offer up at some random moment in the future, a bargain priced copy of Lesley A. Coote, Prophecy and Public Affairs in Later Medieval England, (2000).