Originally posted in alt.binaries.fonts. Reposted here with OP's permission.
Dear Fellow Font Fans:
In the spirit of scholarship and the topic of this newsgroup, I'd like to
recommend some excellent books and documentaries that can certainly enrich
your appreciation of printing history and the wider connection between
movable type and the Reformation.
PBS DVD on Martin Luther - This is the Alpha and Omega of all documentaries
on the influence of printing on the Reformation Era. Luther's involvement in
the early printing process is exhaustively demonstrated. There's a
wonderful, informative segment on the Gutenberg-era print shop. The shop is
shown in operation, from font casting to the laying of type to printing
itself. It's amazing, it really is.
"The Printing Press as An Agent of Change," By Elisabeth Eisenstein - This
book is perhaps the most comprehensive examination of the role that type
casting, printing and publishing have played in Western progress. The author
makes an amazing amount of connections between the Scientific Revolution,
the Renaissance and the Reformation and the permanency of print.
"Red * and Back Ink," By David Dary. This book is an entertaining
chronicle that tells the story of the spread of printing in the old west,
starting with the first presses in St. Louis in the early 1800's to the
"Wild West" years of the latter part of that century. Many of the windy,
fresh styles of writing, and some of the finest type were both created out
of this era, so it's worth looking into.
"In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible, and How It Changed a
Nation, A Language and a Culture," by Alister McGrath is a great match for
the print-o-philes (is that a word?) of this newsgroup. The book is about
much more than the King James Version. It's really a riveting story about
the spread of printing in northern Europe (especially England), and the
liberating connection between movable type, printing, and the development of
All of these books are currently in print, and in paperback; they're all
available, as far as I know, at B&N and Amazon.
DAN in NJ