Neo-Gothic: Book Production and Medievalism

Medieval-like books and manuscripts from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries tend to get lost in the shuffle. They are not taken seriously by medievalists, because they postdate the Middle Ages; and they are not assimilated in a history of “modern” book production, because they are anachronistic. There are a great many of them. Examining a group of just such medieval-like books, this Primer provides a short introduction to a complex subject: how artists, scribes, and publishers in France, England, Germany, and the United States used the remote medieval past to articulate aesthetic principles in the book arts at the dawn of the modern era. Our selection covers the period from about 1840 to about 1920.