Bibliographic Details

Johann Gutenberg : the man and his invention / Albert Kapr ; translated from the German by Douglas Martin.

Author / Creator Kapr, Albert.
Uniform title Johannes Gutenberg. English
Imprint Aldershot, England ; Brookfield, Vt. : Scolar Press, 1996.
Description 316 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language English
Subject Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468.
Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468
Printers -- Germany -- Biography.
Printing -- History -- Origin and antecedents.
Printing -- Origin and antecedents.
Format Print, Book
URL for this record
Other authors / contributors Martin, Douglas, 1939-
ISBN 1859281141
Notes Includes bibliographical references (p. 294-301) and index.
Review by Choice Review

Martin indicates in his "Translator's Introduction" that "There is no good biography of Gutenberg in English"--just many "significant contributions" to the English-language world's understanding of Gutenberg's "personality and achievement." He offers Kapr's biography, published as Johannes Gutenberg: Personlichkeit und Leistung (Leipzig, 1986; 2nd ed., 1988), as "by far the most suitable biography" to bring out in English, meanwhile acknowledging that the standard biography remains Aloys Ruppel's Johannes Gutenberg: Sein Leben und sein Werk (3rd ed., Nieuwkoop, 1967). Since Kapr is most widely known for his Art of Lettering (1983) and many other works on typography, it is not surprising that the factual information in this biography, which is as much about Gutenberg's age as about the man, relies largely on Ruppel and other earlier biographies. Its main contribution is reinterpretation from Kapr's calligraphic and typographic perspective--making matrixes, casting type, dabbing printing ink, and designing pages according to "the golden mean." Although Kapr's biography in German might in fact be "a lively account accessible to the general reader," Martin's rather stiff translation reads like a scholarly work of technical interest to analytical bibliographers. General readers should continue to prefer Victor Scholderer's slim Johann Gutenberg: The Inventor of Printing (2nd ed. rev., London, 1970) and Janet Ing's Johann Gutenberg and His Bible: A Historical Study (1988). Kapr's biography is most appropriate for research libraries. J. K. Bracken Ohio State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review