The Bookseller of Florence

Category: Book
By (author): King, Ross
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary
  HISTORY / Europe / Italy
  HISTORY / Renaissance
  NON-FICTION / General
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: April 2021
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 496
Size: 9.53in x 6.45in x 1.47in
Our Price:
$ 39.95
Availability:
In stock soon

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Award-winning and bestselling author Ross King is back with another rich, gripping history--a story of rivalry, new technology and the finest illuminated manuscripts known to history, all set against a Renaissance Florence backdrop.

Against the endlessly rich and fascinating backdrop of Renaissance Florence, The Bookseller of Florence brings to light an extraordinary story about the city and its culture--that of Vespasiano da Bisticci, the "king of the world's booksellers," Florence's most indispensable and prolific merchant of knowledge. His bookshop in the heart of Florence was a gathering place for the city's most prominent poets and philosophers, and it was there that Vespasiano and his team of scribes created beautiful illuminated manuscripts for their clients, a cast of powerful popes and wealthy European princes.

But in 1476, as Vespasiano began working on one of his most famed and gorgeous works, the Urbino Bible, the printing press came to Florence and threatened his life's work. The Bookseller of Florence tells the story of the people at the forefront of the world's greatest cultural and technological revolution. It explores the clash between old and new and the way it can produce an explosion of fresh ideas, and is the definitive tome on one of the world's most transformative moments in time.
Review Quote*"If you want to celebrate the place that bookmaking and bookselling still have in our lives . . . immerse yourself in Ross King's rich history of Vespasiano da Bisticci, 'the king of the world's booksellers,' in 15th-century Florence. . . . The Bookseller of Florence doesn't pretend to wade into debates in the sociology of culture. . . . What you will find in abundance here is a historical celebration of the Greek humanist Cardinal Bessarion's belief that books 'live, they converse and speak with us, they teach us, educate us, console us.'" -The New York Times Book Review

"Throughout, King deftly navigates Florence's rich cultural and political history, painting intimate portraits of Vespasiano and others involved in the book world during these incredible times, including the man who would revolutionize it all, Johannes Gutenberg. . . . A treat for book lovers." -Kirkus Reviews

"Magnificent. . . . King's meticulous research provides an immersive reading experience as he expertly weaves the political intrigue of families vying for power and currying favor with the pope into a riveting intellectual history covering the evolution of books, Renaissance Italy, classical philosophy and literature, and the invention of the printing press. A profoundly engaging study of a time when books were considered essential to a meaningful life, and knowledge and wisdom were cherished as ends in themselves." -Booklist

"A richly detailed portrait of 15th-century Florence and the important role booksellers played in disseminating ancient Greek and Latin texts that were vital to the Renaissance. . . . This expert account shines a new light on the Renaissance." -Publishers Weekly

"In this fascinating biography, Canadian author King weaves Vespasiano's story into the fabric of the tumultuous times in which he lived. Although the details about the history and mechanics of early Renaissance book production, such as ink manufacture and distribution supply chains, might be tedious in another work, here they add to the depth and enjoyment of the story. The result is a narrative about a man and his books, and so much more, including the origins and history of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the influence of Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press on the arc of history. . . . Standout narrative nonfiction that will engage bibliophiles and readers who enjoy historical nonfiction." -Library Journal (starred review)

"The scope of King's knowledge is staggering and his book bulges with facts. . . . Remarkable as these feats of factual exposition are, King's supreme ability is to imagine himself into the past . . . Spectacular." -The Times (UK)

"Delightful, immersive . . . engrossing and meticulously researched." -Minneapolis Star Tribune
Biographical NoteRoss King is the author of The Judgment of ParisBrunelleschi's Dome, and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling. He has twice won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction (for The Judgment of Paris and Leonardo and the Last Supper). Born and raised in Canada, King holds degrees from the University of Regina, York University, and University College, London. He now lives near Oxford, England.