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 Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer

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Caro
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PostSubject: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 03:02

I have just read Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie.  It is her first novel and perhaps that showed. 
It was chockful of detail about the printing process and the politics of Germany in the 15th century.  But I had not heard of Peter Schoeffer before though the author at the end detailed his life and achievements which seemed to include many printing firsts.  It was good to have the writer show how important religious belief was at that time and integral to the characters' lives. The possibility of a machine taking over the monks' roles to make a printed Bible was anathema to some people who saw it as usurping God's role, and Schoeffer is shown as having doubts at the beginning - his step-father, Johann Fust, encourages (forces) him to change from hand-printing to working on the print machine - but eventually he accepts that it is just as awe-inspiring to do this work in a different way. 

I found the various political and religious factions hard to come to terms with - there was the king at the top, and the over-reaching archbishop who had his hands in every pie, the Elders, the guilds, the workers who weren’t part of the guilds, and then women, who didn’t seem to fit into any of these.    The machinations of these factions were a bit confusing and Gutenberg was shown as a very hard task-master and not above his own disturbing intrigues (though I never quite understood what he was up to and how it all fitted together). 

And speaking of ‘fitted’ there were a couple of Americanisms that jarred.  Mostly the way American English uses ‘fit’ where I want to use ‘fitted’.  And I was unsure about the use of ‘mauve’ at that time.  I know the colour was first made in the 19th century, but was the word used before that?  Nordmann would know but he is not around.  And it’s not in my Oxford Wold Histories.  Christie doesn’t try to use 15th century words unless there are no modern equivalents, and I prefer that to the mishmash that can come if authors try for ‘authenticity’.

Do any of you know this period and the town of Mainz?  or more about Gutenberg, who doesn’t sound a particularly attractive man.
180 Bibles were printed and I think there are still a few around now.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 13:26

Caro,

coincidentally I red the book during my hours of kidney dialysis some months ago.
Interesting book and I loved it. I don't understand the critics, who say: no plot, bit boring. The plot is the difficult way to the printing press and in my eyes are the personages well pictured including their character and what they think.
These critics had then to read once:
Blood and Roses from Helen Castor
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net/t1126-the-paston-family
The pros and contras:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20483102-gutenberg-s-apprentice

https://www.amazon.ca/Gutenbergs-Apprentice-Novel-Alix-Christie/dp/0062336010
https://alixchristie.jimdo.com/biography/




Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 13:42

And Caro,

for fear of losing my text, in addendum.

About mauve
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mauve
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mallow
And even a British engineer...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauve


And Caro about Americanisms:
Alix seems to be a female American... Wink

And you seems to have a sense of detail, equaling mine... Wink

Kind regards from Paul.
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Binky
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 18 Oct 2017, 21:15

About Mainz, we went there a couple of years ago and visted the Gutenberg Museum. There are some original Bibles there, in a specially darkened and secure room (like a bank vault).

Fast forward to this summer holiday, and we were in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia USA. There is, amongst many other interesting trades and professions, a printers workshop that you can visit. When asked who invented the printing press, all Americans think that it was Benjamin Franklin.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 18 Oct 2017, 22:52

Binky wrote:
About Mainz, we went there a couple of years ago and visted the Gutenberg Museum. There are some original Bibles there, in a specially darkened and secure room (like a bank vault).

Fast forward to this summer holiday, and we were in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia USA. There is, amongst many other interesting trades and professions, a printers workshop that you can visit. When asked who invented the printing press, all Americans think that it was Benjamin Franklin.

Binky,

I was in Colonial Williamsburg with my father, one of the highlights of that American trip. Those Americans when they do something they do it well...really exiting...
And those re-enactors in their heavy clothes in the heat of the summer sun...we admired them...one speaks many times of the so called German discipline...but there...

Kind regards from Paul.
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