The train pulls out of Waverley. James Hogg and I are alone in our carriage, bound for London.
I read the first line of my book, “On the 24th of February, 1810, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.”
I snap the book shut.
“James, this book is possible due to thousands of years of printing evolution. Early society in Mesopotamia, Egypt and China printed images on clay tablets and cloth. The Chinese invented paper and many centuries later type characters were created in Japan, Korea and China. These made their way to Europe and became used in the greatest invention of the millennium.”, I said.
“Do you know who invented the printing press?”, I ask.
“William Caxton?”, replied James
“Many believe that, however it was Johannes Gutenberg, who created the first printing press in the fifteenth century in Mainz, Germany. This man is a hero, as his creation unleashed mass learning for all.”, I said.
“The future of Thompson & French is dependent on constantly improving the quality, speed and cost of printing of our maps.”, I said.
Lesson over. I sit back into the cushioned seat with Alexander Dumas’ novel transporting me to the warm Mediterranaen.
James sits back, deep in thought. The seed is sown.
———————————- © Graeme Brown 2019 ————————————-