Book History, podcast

Are Bookmakers in League with the Devil?

Hey Book Nerds,

If you love reading as much as I do, you’ve probably pondered just what you’d give to keep the books coming.

Now, while selling my immortal soul for the latest bit of fiction might be going too far,  back in the day to make a book, printers did need to get in league with the devil. A printer’s devil, to be exact.

So what in the world is a printer’s devil and where did their demonic name came from?

I’d never heard of them either until one day when I was flipping through a book on the history of Portland (for future novel-writing research) and came across a picture of this little boy, maybe eight years old, working at a print shop. The caption said he was a printer’s devil and I just had to find out more about what this kid was doing and where that intriguing name came from.

The result? Well, there was no one clear answer to the name question, but I did come across several legends and lore surrounding these little fellows. You can hear the tales in this week’s episode.

Note: clicking on the image below takes you to the Book Owl’s Podfellow page where you can listen to the episode and read the transcript. If you’d like to download the episode or subscribe to the show, simply use the links just under the image.

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