The Bookseller of Florence: The Story of the Manuscripts That Illuminated the Renaissance by Ross King
The bestselling author of Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling captures the excitement and spirit of the Renaissance in this chronicle of the life and work of "the king of the world's booksellers" and the technological disruption that forever changed the ways knowledge spread.
The Renaissance in Florence conjures images of beautiful frescoes and elegant buildings - the dazzling handiwork of the city's skilled artists and architects. But equally important for the centuries to follow were geniuses of a different sort: Florence's manuscript hunters, scribes, scholars, and booksellers, who blew the dust off a thousand years of history and, through the discovery and diffusion of ancient knowledge, imagined a new and enlightened world.
At the heart of this activity, which best-selling author Ross King relates in his exhilarating new book, was a remarkable man: Vespasiano da Bisticci. Born in 1422, he became what a friend called "the king of the world's booksellers". At a time when all books were made by hand, over four decades Vespasiano produced and sold many hundreds of volumes from his bookshop, which also became a gathering spot for debate and discussion. Besides repositories of ancient wisdom by the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian, his books were works of art in their own right, copied by talented scribes and illuminated by the finest miniaturists. His clients included a roll call of popes, kings, and princes across Europe who wished to burnish their reputations by founding magnificent libraries.
Dimensions: 1.6" H x 9.1" L x 6.3" W (1.65 lbs) 496 pages. Hardcover.