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Incunabura Collection

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Incunabula Leaves from England

Polycronicon by Ranulphus Higden
65.Polycronicon by Ranulphus Higden
Higden, Ranulphus. Polycronicon.
[Westminster]: William Caxton, [after 2 July 1482]
GW 12468. Typ.4:95G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.59

William Caxton (c.1422- c.1491) brought the art of printing to England. He started printing in Bruges and then opened a printing house in Westminster in 1476. Caxton used 10 different sets of types in England, many of which were Lettre Bâtarde, such as in the book shown here. He produced more than 100 titles of incunabula, 70% of which were works written in English.

The original edition of this book was a chronicle written in Latin. The edition shown here is a revised and enlarged one based on the English translation by J. Trevisa in 1387. The part of this book relating to England was published in advance as an appendix to the Chronicles of England (1480) under the title The description of England.


Chronicles of England
66.Chronicles of England
Chronicles of England.
Westminster: Wynkyn de Worde, 1497-98.
GW 6675. Typ.3:136G, Typ.5:95/96G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.60

Wynkyn de Worde (d.1530) moved over to England as an assistant to Caxton and later took over his printing house. He was a prolific printer who produced more than 110 titles of incunabula, and after the turn of the century (into the 16th century) he published 700 titles in London. During the incunabula period, he took over five sets of types that Caxton used in addition to four other sets. The book shown here is a reprint of the one printed by Caxton in 1480.


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