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The lost Gutenberg - Margaret Leslie Davis

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The lost Gutenberg - obsession and ruin in pursuit of the world's rarest books
Margaret Leslie Davis
Paperback / softback
Atlantic Books
UK Publication Date

'An entertaining and insightful human story of obsession about books.' Daily Telegraph'A lively tale of historical innovation, the thrill of the bibliophile's hunt, greed and betrayal.' New York TimesThe never-before-told story of one extremely rare copy of the Gutenberg Bible, and its impact on the lives of the fanatical few who were lucky enough to own it.For rare book collectors, an original copy of the Gutenberg Bible - there are only forty-six in existence - is the undisputed gem of any collection. The Lost Gutenberg recounts five centuries in the life of one particular copy of the Bible from its very creation by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, to its ultimate resting place, in a steel vault under the protection of the Japanese government.
Margaret Leslie Davis draws readers into this incredible saga, inviting them into the colourful lives of each of its fanatic collectors along the way. Exploring books as objects of desire across centuries, Davis will leave readers not only with a broader understanding of the culture of rare book collectors, but with a deeper awareness of the importance of books in our world.

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Margaret Leslie Davis is the award-winning author of several works of non-fiction, including The Dark Side of Fortune and Mona Lisa in Camelot. She lives in Los Angeles.

A thrilling page turner
Daily Mail

An entertaining and insightful human story of obsession about books, and a telling examination of what inspires those who catch the collecting bug.
Daily Telegraph - Peter Stanford

A lively tale of historical innovation, the thrill of the bibliophile's hunt, greed and betrayal.
New York Times

Davis makes bibliographic history utterly page-turning and absorbing... Brilliantly told
Booklist (starred review)

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.
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A gripping, well-researched account of the importance of books as cultural artifacts and of one particular work that transformed the world, as well as the lives of those who owned a copy.
Library Journal

A fascinating exploration of the shifting value we place on rare books, and the shifting wealth and power of those who hunt them.
Michael Blanding, bestselling author of The Map Thief

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

A spellbinding read, and Margaret Leslie Davis is a damn good storyteller.
Nol Riley Fitch, author of Sylvia Beach

Davis records the history of this book with enthusiasm and attention to detail.
History Today

Fascinating... An engaging analysis of bibliomania which also throws light on commercial and investment history in Britain and America.
Church Times

What's truly surprising about The Lost Gutenberg is that Davis makes the 500-year journey of this one book more exciting than any spy novel. For the imaginative Hollywood producer, this book's life story could provide the basis for a richly enjoyable big-budget blockbuster. The action travels across centuries and moves from England to Los Angeles to Tokyo, bringing together the avaricious, duplicitous and deeply religious, all driven by the same desire: to own a copy of one of the most famous books in the world.
Catholic Herald

Keyword Index
Rare books - Collectors and collecting - History.|Gutenberg Bible.|Books - Provenance.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
vii, 294

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