|The Justification of Johann Gutenberg|
About this book
‘I have no fear of dying. What I fear is that death will rub out what I have done, till not a trace of me is left upon the earth.’
Around 1400, in the city of Mainz, a man was born whose heretical invention - moveable metal type - was to alter the course of civilisation. Sixty-odd years later he died, robbed of his business, his printing presses and, so he thought, his immortality. Reading between the lines of history, this novel gives us Gutenberg’s testament – his confession and apologia, as dictated to the kind of scribe whom his invention made redundant. Through the eyes of the ageing narrator, the Middle Ages are seen in a strange new light: the Plague, craft guilds, religious wars, chivalric love, sexual politics, the rise of capitalism – all are here, without seeming ‘historical’ or remote. The novel – Blake’s first - captures moment of cultural transition as dramatic as the communications revolution of today.
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‘Morrison…tells a fascinating story’
‘A beautifully written novel… highly recommended’
‘Funny, charming and moving’
‘Morrison has invented the inventor’s life with great confidence and lightness of touch’
‘The novel has everything- fine writing, a compelling central character and a brilliant, fast-moving narrative’
‘A multi-faceted and carefully woven portrait of a complex character’
‘A compelling read and a fascinating portrait of 15th century Europe’
A historical novel about a man who gambles everything – love, money, honour, friendship – in pursuit of the greatest invention of the last millennium.
© blakemorrison.com 2006