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Gutenberg's Apprentice

Gutenberg's Apprentice

‘Sophisticated and moving… Powerful’ Sunday Times

‘A deep, immersive recreation of a pivotal moment in history’ A. D. Miller

‘If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it. As we go through another information revolution, Christie’s novel takes us back in brilliantly observed detail to the first – the invention of the printing press. 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’ Naomi Alderman

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.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

On Sale: 23rd September 2014

Price: £13.99

ISBN-13: 9781472220172

Reviews

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
'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
'Deserves to be a bestseller - a great story, meticulously researched...fascinating'
Mark Easton
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
A lovely piece of work: finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically, written
Sarah Dunant
'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
'Deftly chronicled ... Christie masterfully depicts the time and energy required to print the first Bibles... A bravura debut'
Kirkus
A lovely piece of work: finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically, written. I learned a huge amount from it, though never at any point did I feel I was being 'taught' - in my view the test of really good historical novel
Sarah Dunant
'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
'So rich and gorgeous it is making me dizzy'
Lucy Mangan
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