Valerie Lester - Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Cost: Free

Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903

Meeting Room (3rd Floor)

Wed, 2015-10-07 18:00 - 20:00

Valerie Browne Lester is an independent scholar, writer, and translator living in the Boston area. She is the author of Fasten Your Seat Belts! History and Heroism in the Pan Am Cabin (1995), which is a history of Pan American told in the voices of its cabin crew; and Phiz, The Man Who Drew Dickens (2004), a biography of Hablot Knight Browne, Dickens’s principal illustrator (who was also her great-great-grandfather).

She'll be joining us to discuss her newest book, Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World, published in September of 2015. Providence Public Library is a fitting venue for the lecture, because the Library's Special Collections include one of the finest Bodoni collections in the country (examples from the collection will be on display).

Bodoni portrait"Born in Saluzzo in the foothills of the Alps in northwest Italy, Bodoni grew up in a family of printers. He left home for Rome when he was just 18 years old, and found work as an apprentice at the press of the Propaganda Fide (the missionary arm of the Vatican). There he learned the art of punch cutting and refined his skills as a compositor and designer. In 1768, he was called to Parma to set up and run the royal press for Ferdinando I, the duke of Parma. He soon made waves in the printing community because of the beauty of his publications, and eventually acquired the status of a rock star. Everyone desired to have a book printed by Bodoni. Famous people from all over Europe flocked to his studio to meet the great man; even Napoleon came to Parma to see him. In time, Bodoni’s fame spread as far as the United States, causing none other than Benjamin Franklin to write him a fan letter."

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