First off, apologies if you’ve already seen this posted over on AceJet170, but it's just too good to allow even the smallest chance of you missing it.
Last night BBC4 screened a fantastic show with the ever wonderful Mr Stephen Fry going in search of the story behind Johann Gutenberg, the man who created the printing press, and so brought about the existence of mass communication.
We taped the show, part of BBC4’s Medieval Season, and only watched it today – it’s simply brilliant. Fry travels round Europe discovering how Gutenberg put his press together, and gets down and dirty creating type matrices, hand-making paper, and teaming up with Alan May to re-create an original one-pull press, just like the one old Johann would have used.
Fry’s obvious enthusiasm and wonder for his subject are utterly infectious.
Now, if the show had aired just a few months back, none of this information would do you any good. But thanks to the brilliance of the BBC and the power of the interweb, you can still watch the show on the BBC’s iPlayer.* You’ve got until next Monday to catch it. We highly highly recommend you do so.
UPDATE - Philip Crocker from the production company that made the show, Wavelength Films, has been in touch, and the programme’s being repeated on Friday April 25 at 9pm on BBC 2. Hoorah!
And, that’s not all. On Tuesday 6 May at 6.30 the British Library is hosting a demonstration by Alan May of the one-pull press created for the show. Full information and booking here.
Printing history goodness all round.
*Except if you’re living outside the UK. Sorry.