This lecture was co-presented by the Northern California Chapter of the American Printing History Association.
In her slide presentation, Valerie Lester sets Bodoni in the context of the places and the era in which he lived, and presents some rarely-seen images of his work. She introduces the people with whom he worked and who influenced him, paying special attention to his father in Saluzzo; to Cardinal Spinelli in Rome; to Fournier; to his employers, the duke and duchess of Parma; to Guillaume du Tillot, the prime minister of Parma; to the Amoretti family of printers; to his talented and loving wife, Margherita Dall’Aglio; to the Didots; and to his two great patrons, Nicolás de Azara and Joachim Murat (Napoleon’s brother-in-law). And of course, she does not forget to describe the food he ate and the wine he drank.
Valerie Lester is the author of Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World, the biography of Giambattista Bodoni (Godine, Spring 2014). She is also the author of Phiz, the Man Who Drew Dickens (Chatto & Windus, 2004), a biography of her great-great- grandfather, Hablot Knight Browne, Dickens's principal illustrator; and Fasten Your Seat Belts! History and Heroism in the Pan Am Cabin (Paladwr Press, 1995), which is a history of Pan American World Airways told from the point of view of its cabin crew. Her translation of Le Grand Meaulnes (The Magnificent Meaulnes) was published by Vintage Press in 2009.