In the fifteenth century the printing press was the 'new technology'. The first ever information revolution began with the advent of the printed book, enabling Renaissance scholars to formulate new ways of organising and disseminating knowledge.
As early as 1500 there were already 20 million books in circulation in Europe. How did this rapid explosion of ideas impact upon the evolution of new disciplines?
The Renaissance Computer looks at the fascinating development of new methods of information storage and retrieval which took place at the very beginning of print culture. And it asks some crucial questions about the intellectual conditions of our own digital age. A dazzling array of leading experts in Renaissance culture explore topics of urgent significance today, including:
* the contribution of knowledge technologies to state formulation and national identity
*the effect of multimedia, orality and memory on education
*the importance of the visual display of information and how search engines reflect and direct ways of thinking.
Neil Rhodes is Reader in English Literature at the university of St Andrews. His previous publications include The Power of Eloquence and English Renaissance Literature (1992), John Donne: Selected Prose (1987), and Elizabethan Grotesque (1980). Jonathan Sawday is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Strathclyde University. He is author of The Body Emblazoned (1995), and co-editor of Literature and the English Civil War.
'The latest in a series . . . this pioneering study . . . about how the emerging technology of printing revolutionised the concept of knowledge in Europe . . . is actually a rather fascinating bibliographical analysis.' - Steven Poole, The Guardian