Oscar Wilde said that ‘in bookbinding, art expresses primarily not the feeling of the worker but simply itself, its own beauty, its own wonder.’ This new publication from the British Library celebrates the wonders of over 100 of the most beautiful bookbindings of the last 1,000 years, from medieval works made with precious metals and jewels to the unique creations of contemporary bookbinders. The masterpieces shown range from a 12th- century ivory-bound psalter owned by Queen Melisande of Jerusalem to the leather bindings designed by Sangori & Sutcliffe for the Golden Cockerel Press in the 1940s. Each of the featured bindings is considered in detail, revealing the myriad influences behind them, ranging from technical advances to personal tastes. A pink paper binding by Louis Janet reflects the 19th-century taste for the Gothic; a magnificent red Chinese lacquered binding dating from the 18th century was toxic to work with, and was reserved for members of the Chinese royal family. Unusual features such as embroidered bindings and painted page edges are also included. In this beautifully illustrated book, a complete history of bookbinding emerges, from its earliest Islamic origins through Elizabethan bindings to the Arts and Crafts period and the revival of the art in recent decades.