Who knew that the history of printing could be so much fun. In the introduction we are reminded that humankind is full of idiots and this book reinforces the idea. Rebecca Romney is a rare book expert often called upon for her expertise on the History Channel’s Pawn Stars. She and her husband take us on an eclectic trip with this collection of strange, humorous, and bizarre stories. Among the anecdotes you will find Dickens, William Blake, Thomas Moore, Shakespeare. Take Shakespeare – did you know that there was an early “bad” version of Hamlet, with less than inspiring lines, leading to much controversy? And there are several other early “bad” versions of his plays. Were the later, more familiar, versions written by Shakespeare or someone else? Or have centuries of editing fine tuned the plays, with even publishers, printers, typesetters, having an effect? Sometimes nonfiction, while providing excellent information, can be dull and tedious. That surely wasn’t the case this time. I learned a lot while thoroughly enjoying the book.
eGalley review Publication date 3.14.17