Aldus and His
Dream Book
An Illustrated Essay

by Helen Barolini

IN THIS MARVELOUS, learned, and friendly volume, Helen Barolini traces the contours of his career and reveals Aldus and the Aldine press in historical and cultural context; she admirably conveys the magic of an age in which the book as we know it was invented. In addition, this book reproduces all the illustrations, and many full pages, from the Aldine edition of Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, considered to be among the masterpieces of printing and book design. Altogether, Aldus and His Dream Book is a valuable, delightful, satisfying tome. (A Common Reader)

The innovative printer and typographer Aldus Manutius was a crucial figure in the culture of Renaissance Europe, but for every thousand visitors to Venice who have heard of Titian there’s perhaps one who knows anything of Aldus. This concise, elegant and scholarly study deserves to rectify that situation, and is copiously illustrated with pages from the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a recondite allegory that was the most beautiful book Aldus — or anyone else for that matter — ever published. (Venice & The Veneto: The Rough Guide by Jonathan Buckley)

The book is an important and stimulating contribution to our understanding of early printing. (Italian Journal)

Where else are you going to find this graceful biographical sketch and these woodcuts? Italica Press composed Aldus and His Dream Book on a Macintosh computer using a program named after the scholar-publisher himself, the Aldus PageMaker. It’s a small, inexpensive, carefully researched volume,... Aldus would have liked it.
(Italian Americana)

Christmas shopping led me to the discovery of a fine little paperback, newly published, that has received inadequate publicity in the book world. It is Aldus and His Dream Book by Helen Barolini. I’m impressed.
(Book Club of California Quarterly News-Letter)

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