A colourful and revealing look at more than 500 years of commerce conducted at the renowned Frankfurt Book Fair, from its beginnings in the Middle Ages. Even then, in spite of internal strife and religious upheaval, books were becoming increasingly accessible to those who found their way to Frankfurt to buy, sell, and promote. The fact that King Henry VIII sent Sir Thomas Bodley as his personal emissary to purchase books for the new library at Oxford University is an indication of the Fair’s growing importance outside Germany.
Through the ensuing centuries, the fortunes of the Fair waxed and waned; however, the period following the Second World War brought with it a new spirit of renewal that has yet to lose momentum. In recent years, increasing number of international book fairs have taken the Frankfurt model, and each is finding its own way to further enrich the world of books everywhere.