From typefounding through typesetting to the printing process itself, this narrative offers a fresh look at the unprecedented success story of the spread of the 'black art' right across Europe in a mere 40 years. Stephan Füssel here analyses the first early printings, placing them in the context of the history of communication and the intellectual climate of a Europe-wide educated elite by about 1500. He foregrounds the tremendous rise in European culture and the history of education experienced as a direct result of this media revolution. In separate chapters Füssel depicts the fast spreading of the art of printing to Italy, France and England, at the same time highlighting the importance of the art of printing for the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformation, the University and the economy. From herbals to a guide for midwives, the present book shows popular instruction at work in the vernacular, as well as the consolidation of knowledge into encyclopedias in the early modern period, and the emergence of new forms of the prose novel and the beginnings of newspapers and periodicals. Finally Stephan Füssel traces the modern resonances of Gutenberg's invention, which persisted in virtually unchanged form for a further 350 years. It underwent decisive technological change through industrialisation and mechanisation in the nineteenth century, and again through digitalisation at the close of the twentieth century. However, as Füssel shows, the mass diffusion of information and the related communications revolution which began with Gutenberg continue unabated.
Contents: Foreword; Gutenberg - His Life and Work: The course of Gutenberg's life; Bringing the technical inventions together; The 'work of the books': the 42-line Bible; Jobbing printing in long runs; The 36-line Bible; The Catholicon; Gutenberg's final years; The successor workshop of Fust and Schoeffer. The Spread of Printing: Rome; Venice; Paris; The book in Britain. Printing and Humanism: Renaissance humanism; Editions of classical authors; Early humanism in Germany; Printing in Greek and Hebrew; Vadian and the provision of teaching texts; A few dissenting voices. Popular Instruction in the Vernacular: Popular books; Encyclopaedia; Fables; The Ulm Aesop; Practical books. Broadsides and the 'Latest News': News-sheets; A broadside view of the New World; Emperor Maximilian I; Printing and the Reformation: German Bibles before Luther; Luther's career; The main texts of the Reformers; Pamphlets; Luther's translation principles; Bible translation from 1522 to 1546. Gutenberg Goes Electronic: The on-going media revolution; Print on demand; Manuscripts on screen; Electronic ink. Bibliography; Picture Credits; Index.