John Lettou or John of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Jonas Lietuvis, fl. 1475–1483) was an English bookbinder and printer. He was probably of Baltic origin, since his last name was the Middle English form for Lithuania, at that time the state Great Duchy of Lithuania covering the territory of modern Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania.
Seventeen books printed between 1475 and 1480 are attributed to the workshop of the ‘Indulgence Binder’ now identified as Lettou. The identification depends upon the use of waste strips cut from an indulgence of 1480 used in the binding of a Bible, printed by Gotz in 1480, which now belongs to Jesus College, Cambridge. Since this waste would have been found only in the workshop of the printer, and the indulgence was printed by Lettou, he must have been both the printer and the binder.
Notes and references
- Crawford McMurtrie, Douglas (1934). The Golden Book: The Story of Fine Books and Bookmaking, Past & Present. Covici-Friede. p. 150.
- Duff, E. Gordon (1977). The printers, stationers and bookbinders of Westminster and London, from 1476 to 1535 (Reprint ed. ed.). New York: Arno Press. p. 130. ISBN 0405091354.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography
- R. Bideleux. A History of Eastern Europe: Crisis and Change. Routledge, 1998