The Story of Writing

416pp 64 ILLUS 2013 OUT OF PRINT H617




The Golden Thread is a history of the written word: from the simple representative shapes used to record transactions of goods and animals in ancient Egypt, to the sophisticated typographical resources available to the twenty-first-century computer user. Clayton explores the social and cultural impact of every stage in the development of writing: the invention of the alphabet; the replacement of the papyrus scroll with the codex in the late Roman period; the perfecting of printing using moveable type in the fifteenth century and the ensuing spread of literacy; the industrialisation of printing during the Industrial Revolution; the impact of artistic Modernism on the written word in the early twentieth century – and of the digital switchover at the century's close. In an era of change in the technologies of written communication, Clayton asks the fundamental question: what does it mean to be literate in the early twenty-first century?