‘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.
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