Printing in France

A trio of German-speaking émigrés, Ulrich Gering, Michael Friburger, and Martin Crantz, established the first French press at the University of Paris in 1470. Although Paris remained the capital of French printing, the new art spread quickly throughout the kingdom. By the end of the fifteenth century, French printers had produced more than five thousand different editions. Two of the books exhibited in this section reflect the importance of French printing for English book buyers, while another exemplifies the greatest of all the exports offered by the French presses: ornately illustrated Books of Hours. Two of the books exhibited here are known in only two recorded copies, and Olivier Maillard’s Confession is unique.

  Latin Bible. Paris, c. 1476-77 Osma. Quicunque vult, c. 1478 Maillard. Confession,
c. 1492
Secreta mulierum, c. 1493 Memoriale pro pueris, c. 1497 Book of Hours. Paris, 1499