Books: A Living History

Books: A Living History

  1. Martyn Lyons
  • ISBN 9780500291153
  • 25.40 x 19.20 cm
  • Paperback with flaps
  • 224pp
  • 266 Illustrations, 214 in colour
  • First published 2013
‘The perfect book for bibliophiles … elegantly designed and produced’ – The Oldie
‘Admirably international in its 
scope … fascinating’ 
– The Scotsman
‘Opulently illustrated … a feast for book lovers everywhere, this richly informative volume celebrates the enduring power of books throughout the ages and stakes its claim to a similar role in ages yet to come’ – Good Book Guide

Headlines predict the death of the printed book, but this ambitious volume celebrates the enduring power and magic of one of the most efficient, influential and enduring technologies ever invented.

Books: A Living History

Martyn Lyons charts the worldwide evolution of the book through the centuries, from the cuneiform tablets of ancient Sumer through the development of moveable type and the emergence of the modern information revolution.

Among the 266 illustrations are Mayan codices, Egyptian papyrus scrolls, medieval illuminated manuscripts, masterpieces of early printing from Gutenberg and Aldus Manutius, atlases from the great age of travel and exploration, primers and children’s books, dime novels and Japanese manga, and works of fiction ranging from Don Quixote to Level 26, the world’s first ‘digi-novel’, and beyond.

Martyn Lyons is a professor in the School of Humanities at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. His publications include Readers and Society in Nineteenth-Century France: Workers, Women, Peasants and The Writing Culture of Ordinary People in Europe, c. 1860–1920.