• An extraordinary book, a work of scholarship and history salted with the author's excitement as he conducts us among the great libraries of Western civilization. It is full of delights

    Tom Stoppard
  • The intellectual expedition of a lifetime ... This is an endlessly fascinating and enjoyable book.

    Neil MacGregor
  • A book of marvels

    John Banville, Financial Times
  • Entrancing ... De Hamel's learned adventures amid some of the West's greatest manuscript treasures effortlessly outclass Eco's The Name of the Rose in elegance and excitement. They are also much funnier.

    Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • Reading is my life, but only about once a decade do I find a book that seems to tilt the world, so afterwards it appears different.

    Fiammetta Rocco, The Economist '1843'
  • De Hamel's book, scholarly but unfailingly readable, is the beginning of wisdom in all things scribal and scriptural - Ian Thomson, The Observer

    Ian Thomson, The Observer

Strictly Necessary


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