The books that shaped history

The 15th-Century Gutenberg Bible changed the way books were received and read. It was the first real book to be mass-produced using movable type printing techniques - and so could be made in a fraction of the time it had previously taken scribes to write by hand.

The book is one of several influential scripts being investigated by Melvyn Bragg for BBC Radio 4, as he looks at the written world and how it changed our intellectual history.

Here, he takes a look at the Gutenberg Bible at the British Library in London - and then travels to Cambridge to see the student notes of Sir Isaac Newton, and how writing helped make the scientific revolution of the Enlightenment possible.

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All images subject to copyright - and courtesy British Library Board, Cambridge University Library and Getty Images.

Music by KPM Music. Slideshow production by Paul Kerley. Publication date 6 January 2012.


BBC Radio 4: In Our Time - Written World

BBC Podcasts - Written World

British Library - Written World

Cambridge Digital Library

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