By Christie, Alix
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 invent...ed 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.Read more
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Alix Christie is a journalist and writer who has lived in the USA, Paris and Berlin and is now settled in London with her husband and two children. She has been a reporter and foreign correspondent for many years, and has published widely in major international media, from the Washington Post and the Guardian to the San Francisco Chronicle and Salon.com; she regularly reviews books and arts for The Economist. In the late 1990s she began writing fiction, publishing short stories in the Southwest Review and Other Voices. Gutenberg's Apprentice is her first novel. Alix spent five years researching the background to Gutenberg's Apprentice. A passionate printer herself, she brought her personal experience to her vivid descriptions of the travails of the early printers in the novel. www.gutenbergsapprentice.com
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