“A lively tale of historical innovation, the thrill of the bibliophile’s hunt, greed and betrayal.” – The New York Times Book Review
"An addictive and engaging look at the ‘competitive, catty and slightly angst-ridden’ heart of the world of book collecting.” - The Houston Chronicle
The 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--of which there are fewer than 50 in existence--represents the ultimate prize. Here, Margaret Leslie Davis recounts five centuries in the life of one copy, from its creation by Johannes Gutenberg, through the hands of monks, an earl, the Worcestershire sauce king, and a nuclear physicist to its ultimate resting place, in a steel vault in Tokyo. Estelle Doheny, the first woman collector to add the book to her library and its last private owner, tipped the Bible onto a trajectory that forever changed our understanding of the first mechanically printed book.
The Lost Gutenberg draws readers into this incredible saga, immersing them in the lust for beauty, prestige, and knowledge that this rarest of books sparked in its owners. Exploring books as objects of obsession across centuries, this is a must-read for history buffs, book collectors, seekers of hidden treasures, and anyone who has ever craved a remarkable book--and its untold stories.