The Bridge charity both patronised artisans involved with the manuscript-book trade and administered properties occupied by craftsmen connected with it. Its records provide `an invaluable and factual picture of the 15th-century book trade.' BOOK COLLECTOR In Memorials of the Book Trade in Medieval London
, Paul Christianson presents a detailed account and assessment of the early records of the Bridge House Estates, the City of London trust responsible for the properties and the business and civic affairs of old London Bridge. These records reveal the organisation and administration of the Bridge charity itself as well as its frequent patronage of London artisans, particularly those involved with the manuscript-book trade. As artifacts, the records illustrate many features of contemporary book production, including binding techniques, the early use of paper, and the development of decorative penwork and of uniform styles of handwriting. The records of properties held by the Bridge charity in areas of the city occupied by craftsmen connected with the book trade also provide a series of unique insights into the organisation and location of that trade throughout the 15th century and into the 16th century. The book is illustrated with plates showing all the major palaeographical and other features of the Bridge house records and is of considerable importance to the study of the book trade and, more generally, of the history of the city of London itself.C. PAUL CHRISTIANSON is Mildred Foss Thompson Professor of English Language and Literature, The College of Wooster, Ohio.