Niccolo di Lorenzo della Magna and the Social World of Florentine Printing, ca. 1470-1493

Niccolo di Lorenzo della Magna and the Social World of Florentine Printing, ca. 1470-1493

Lorenz Boeninger
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A new history of one of the foremost printers of the Renaissance explores how the Age of Print came to Italy. Lorenz B? ? ninger offers a fresh history of the birth of print in Italy through the story of one of its most important figures, Niccol? ? di Lorenzo della Magna. After having worked for several years for a judicial court in Florence, Niccol? ? established his business there and published a number of influential books. Among these were Marsilio Ficino' s De christiana religione, Leon Battista Alberti' s De re aedificatoria, Cristoforo Landino' s commentaries on Dante' s Commedia, and Francesco Berlinghieri' s Septe giornate della geographia. Many of these books were printed in vernacular Italian. Despite his prominence, Niccol? ? has remained an enigma. A meticulous historical detective, B? ? ninger pieces together the thorough portrait that scholars have been missing. In doing so, he illuminates not only Niccol? ? ' s life but also the Italian printing revolution generally. Combining Renaissance studies' traditional attention to bibliographic and textual concerns with a broader social and economic history of printing in Renaissance Italy, B? ? ninger provides an unparalleled view of the business of printing in its earliest years. The story of Niccol? ? di Lorenzo furnishes a host of new insights into the legal issues that printers confronted, the working conditions in printshops, and the political forces that both encouraged and constrained the publication and dissemination of texts.
An ambitious and successful effort to shed light on the social conditions, human networks, and labor practices that underpinned the earliest book production in one of the fifteenth century' s most dynamic-but also mercurial-centers. Building upon his numerous excellent essays and books on artisan culture and immigrant communities in Renaissance Florence, Boeninger fills an extremely important lacuna in our knowledge of early Italian printing. -- Sean Roberts, author of Printing a Mediterranean World A tour de force of scholarship. Boeninger has done a brilliant job of combining known and unknown documents with the literature on the pertinent literary, economic, social, and religious history to create the best and fullest history of Niccolo di Lorenzo della Magna and his world to date. -- John Monfasani, author of Greeks and Latins in Renaissance Italy
Lorenz Boeninger is an independent scholar who has published widely in the field of Renaissance history. His works include critical editions of the Letters of Lorenzo de' Medici and of the Ricordanze of Lorenzo Guidetti.