Book review: The Bookseller of Florence

The Travelling Bookbinder: Book review: The Bookseller of Florence by Ross King

‘A thrilling chronicle of intellectual ferment.’ may not be what you expect when feeling the heft of The Bookseller of Florence in your hand, but Ross King writes remarkably lightly. If you are interested in paper, bookbinding, illuminated manuscripts and an incredible confluence of knowledge, then read on.

Discover how an eleven year old boy began working on the Street of Booksellers, at the stationer and bindery of Michele Guarducci, and became ‘Europe’s most prolific merchant of knowledge’, producing and providing manuscripts for popes and princes.

Ross King illuminates fifteenth century life with a wealth of social details such as the impressive literacy rate, the intricacies of quill preparation, and how books were stored flat, in cabinets, rather than upright on shelves.

As Vespasiano da Bisticci’s career spanned from handwritten parchment to the printing press, his history is fascinating to a book lover.

As a collector of many volumes on the subject of bookbinders, libraries, bookshelves, reading, bookshops and bookart, this was an irresistible acquisition, as I hope it may be for you!

Text in quotation marks taken from the hardcover flyleaf.

The Bookseller of Florence, by Ross King, is published by Chatto & Windus.

Use the code bookbinderbookreview002 to receive 10% off when you order from Golden Hare Books, using this link. This offer is for one use per customer and is valid until midnight on 16th July 2021.

7 thoughts on “Book review: The Bookseller of Florence

  1. I love all of Ross Kings works! Your review came just in time for my long drives ahead. Can’t wait to listen, but I think I may need a copy to hold in my hands and heart after listening. 💜

    1. Aw brilliant Pat! It’s true – his other books are tremendous too. Happy driving X

  2. I am loving this book – any recommendations on a similar theme would be gratefully received. Thank you. X

  3. Oh, both please!
    I enjoyed ‘The Binding’ too but would love to read more across this whole area. Thank you x

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