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The First Book Printed in English (1473 – 1474)


At Bruges in 1473 or 1474 English merchant, diplomat, writer, and printer William Caxton issued Caxton's English translation of Raoul Lefèvre's French courtly romance, Recueil des Histoires de Troye. The printed book, entitled The Recuyell of the Histories of Troyewas the first book printed in English. Caxton published the book with scribe, bookseller and printer, Colard Mansion, from whom Caxton probably learned the art of printing, 

A presentation copy with a specially made engraving showing Caxton presenting the book to his patroness, Margaret of York, is preserved in the Huntington Library. Regarding the technical bibliographical aspects of this copy see Hellinga, "William Caxton, Colard Mansion, and the Printer in Type 1," Bulletin du bibliophile (2011) 106, footnote 2.

ISTC no.  il00117000.