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The Lost Gutenberg by Margaret Leslie Davis

The Lost Gutenberg

The Lost Gutenberg by Margaret Leslie Davis
Mar 19, 2019 | 304 Pages
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    Mar 19, 2019 | 304 Pages

  • Ebook $13.99

    Mar 19, 2019 | 304 Pages

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“The remarkable tale of ‘Number 45,’ one of the finest copies of the Gutenberg Bible in existence… Davis does a fine job telling a fascinating story that touches on the origin of books, the passion of collectors, the unseen world of rare-book dealers, and the lives of the super-rich, past and present. A great read for any book lover.”—Kirkus (starred review)

“Bibliophiles love books, and none more than the book collector’s dream of dreams, a Gutenberg Bible. Davis tells not just with skill but also with sympathy and even love. A richly informative but finally a deeply moving story.”—Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of God: A Biography

“The great protagonist is the book itself, the beautifully preserved Gutenberg 45, its immortality assured through, of all things, a cyclotron scanning its pages, analyzing its ink and paper, as it entered the digital age. The Lost Gutenberg is a spellbinding read, and Margaret Leslie Davis is a damn good storyteller.”—Noël Riley Fitch, author of Sylvia Beach: Une américaine à Paris

“Margaret Leslie Davis’s The Lost Gutenberg is a fascinating and apt successor to her Mona Lisa in Camelot, for the Gutenberg Bible is to the book arts what the Mona Lisa is to painting—a Holy Grail and epitome of the art it embodies. Davis writes of the succession of owners of a particular copy of Gutenberg’s masterpiece, number 45. She gives a haunting and at times heartbreaking account of the way a material object can acquire a mystical resonance and affect different people and lives across centuries.”—Victoria Steele, former Brooke Russell Astor Director of Collections, New York Public Library

“This wonderful, elegant story, which reads like a thriller, will delight anyone who loves books, collecting, history, and biography. The Gutenberg Bible was the object of admiration, greed, and speculation, but also of brilliant scientific discoveries. Populated by remarkable and quirky individuals, their passions and tragedies, this superbly researched historical gem is a veritable page-turner.”—Diana Kormos Buchwald, Director and General Editor, Einstein Papers Project, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Professor of History, Caltech

“Margaret Leslie Davis has done it again—unearthed fresh information about a cultural icon and turned it into a compelling story that reveals human nature while illuminating a slice of history. In this case her subject is the Gutenberg Bible or, to be more precise, Number 45 of the 48 existing copies of the book. The larger story digs into 500 years of book-collecting and all the love, lust, and drama that can afflict proud possessors.”—Suzanne Muchnic, author of Odd Man In: Norton Simon and the Pursuit of Culture and LACMA So Far: A Portrait of a Museum in the Making; former art reporter and art critic, Los Angeles Times 

“The fascinating story of how one Gutenberg Bible traveled through two centuries and how one woman, the legendary Los Angeles book collector Estelle Doheny, pursued, purchased, and cherished it. This tale, written for both ardent bibliophiles and those seeking an engaging historical narrative, includes a sad episode of betrayal, exciting nuclear discoveries, and the arrival of Gutenberg into the digital age.”—Alan Jutzi, former Avery Curator of Rare Books, Henry E. Huntington Library

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