'Sophisticated and moving... Powerful' Sunday Times
A gripping historical novel about the men behind the invention of the Gutenberg Bible. Bringing tumultuous medieval Europe to life, GUTENBERG'S APPRENTICE is not to be missed by readers of Hilary Mantel, Peter Ackroyd and C. J. Sansom.
Johann Gutenberg's first printed Bibles amazed and shocked medieval Europe. He had started a revolution that would one day put books in the hands of any man or woman who wanted them. The project was fraught with danger, for it threatened the power of politicians and the Catholic church.
Who was this Gutenberg? In Alix Christie's evocative and compelling novel, he comes vividly to life - driven, caustic and ruthless. Behind him stands a brilliant young scribe, Peter Schoeffer, whose genius is to stay true to his artistic values in the cauldron of the printer's workshop. Caught between the old ways and the new, the two men struggle with one another and the world outside to prevail against overwhelming obstacles... and change history.
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In the middle of the 15th century, scribe Peter Schoeffer is dismayed to be instructed by his father to give up his beloved profession of illuminating texts in Paris. Instead he is to travel to Mainz in Germany to be apprenticed to Johann Gutenberg, an entrepreneur who has invented a new process for producing books - the printing press. Working in conditions of extreme secrecy, the men employed by Gutenberg daily face new challenges both artistic and physical as they strive to create the new books to the standard required by their master. In a time of huge turmoil in Europe and around the world, Gutenberg is relentless in pursuing his dream and wooing the powerful religious leaders whose support is critical. Peter's resistance to the project slowly dissolves as he sees that, with the guidance of a scribe such as himself, the new Bibles could be as beautiful in their way as the old. Today we can see that beauty in some of our museums, but few know the astonishing tale of ambition, ruthlessness and triumph that lies behind it.Review:
A sophisticated and moving story of the creation of the Gutenberg Bible... Christie provides a powerful portrait of the intense, irascible and egotistical Gutenberg, but her novel's real strength lies in its depiction of [his apprentice, Peter] Schoeffer, drawn unwillingly into the struggle to build a new technology, yet eventually becoming its most committed advocate ( Sunday Times)
A deep, immersive recreation of a pivotal moment in history and a bold exploration of an eternal theme: the madness, rivalry, torment and ecstasy of creation (A. D. Miller)
If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it... Brilliantly-observed detail. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever... Richly-imagined ( Naomi Alderman)
'So rich and gorgeous it is making me dizzy' (Lucy Mangan)
'As beautifully written as the printed pages it describes, this is an intelligent, masterful novel that immerses the reader in a fascinating historical time and place' (Rosamund Lupton)
'Deftly chronicled ... Christie masterfully depicts the time and energy required to print the first Bibles... A bravura debut' ( Kirkus)
'Gorgeously written... An inspiring tale of ambition, camaraderie, betrayal, and cultural transformation based on actual events and people, this wonderful novel fully inhabits its age' ( Booklist)
'I loved this novel! Alix Christie's debut is intensely observed, so much that I felt in the dark rooms of history with the people laboring over the metal and words to bring us print, but also laboring over their own lives and love and survival' (Susan Straight)
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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Our Ranking is Your Confidence! Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Mailer - Our goal is to deliver a better item than what you are hoping for! If not we will make it right! This item is unread with a few shelving bumps. Bookseller Inventory # 1XG89B000YNO
Book Description Harper, 2014. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: An enthralling literary debut that evokes one of the most momentous events in history, the birth of printing in medieval Germanya story of invention, intrigue, and betrayal, rich in atmosphere and historical detail, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible. Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corrupt, feud-plagued Mainz to meet "a most amazing man." Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionaryand to some, blasphemousmethod of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg's workshop and he orders Peter, his adopted son, to become Gutenberg's apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the "darkest art." As his skill grows, so, too, does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: copies of the Holy Bible. But mechanical difficulties and the crushing power of the Catholic Church threaten their work. As outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures: the generous Fust, who saved him from poverty after his mother died; and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery. Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstaclesa battle that will change history . . . and irrevocably transform them. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0062336010
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Book Description Harper, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 147 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. An enthralling literary debut that evokes one of the most momentous events in history, the birth of printing in medieval Germany--a story of invention, intrigue, and betrayal.Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, the wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corruption- riddled, feud-plagued Mainz to meet a most amazing man. Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary--and, to some, blasphemous--method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg s workshop, and he orders Peter to become Gutenberg s apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the darkest art. As his skill grows, so too does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: printing copies of the Holy Bible. But when outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures--the generous Fust and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery.Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstacles in a battle that will change history . . . and irrevocably transform them all. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062336019