Book Review: The Bookbinder of Jericho

The Travelling Bookbinder: Book review: The Bookbinder of Jericho: Pip Williams: Chatto & Windus

When the cover strap line said “Sometimes you have to write your own story” I suspected that this book review: The Bookbinder of Jericho might appeal to those of us who have fragments of sentences, whole paragraphs and pages of notes in our heads. As well as the pleasurable prospect of reading an account centred on the traditional crafting of books.

Set in one of the most scholarly of towns, at The Oxford University Press itself, Peggy (The Bookbinder of Jericho) folds, collates and sews but is not supposed to be interested in the words themselves.

Against the backdrop of love, war and women’s emancipation, there is SO much here about books; their production, their structure, their function, their power.

Fortunately, the 21st century offers more opportunity than for the protagonist in 1914, but the continued disparity between prospects for men and women makes the story both poignant and relevant. It made me reflect on the luck/privilege of education in my own bookbinding adventure.

The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams, is published by Chatto & Windus.

Pip Williams loves “to read, write and travel.” Her website dedicates a section to each of her loves. You can see her piece about the celebrations for the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary here. I am so grateful for her illumination of previously invisible histories.

Use code bookbinderbookreview36 to receive 10% off when you order from Golden Hare Books valid until 16th May.

Of course you need to read The Dictionary of Lost Words as well, perhaps before The Bookbinder of Jericho, but that’s a review for another day….

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