A Brief History of Early Movable Books
At present, books considered "pop-up" or movable are popular sources of delight for children and adults alike. However, the types of books today's audiences associate with such a genre are the result of a somewhat long development and, consequently, form an intriguing niche in the "history of the book."The first movable books actually predate the print culture. The earliest known examples of such interactive mechanisms are by Ramon Llull (1232 - 1316) who was a pleasure seeking Spanish knight who liked to love the ladies, take part in tournaments, and do battle. Apparently he was accomplished in all three, earning high renown among his peers. One evening, Ramon awoke to a vision of Christ that changed his life. He took up Orders, became a monk, and dedicated the rest of his life to writing and trying to convert "heathens". He wrote on love, war, alchemy, religion. Legend has it that his long life was ended by stoning; he had been attempting to bring Christianity to a Moslem village. He invented a mechanical way of combining words, thus ideas. A set of concentric wheels or disks are inscribed with words. He thought that by rotating these wheels and reading off the combinations of words he could reach every possible knowable truth.
Pop-up and Movable Books, a tour through their history from the nineteenth century to the present.
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