William Caxton and His Critics: A Critical Reappraisal of Caxton's Contributions to the Enrichment of the English Language

William Caxton and His Critics: A Critical Reappraisal of Caxton's Contributions to the Enrichment of the English Language

William Caxton and His Critics: A Critical Reappraisal of Caxton's Contributions to the Enrichment of the English Language

William Caxton and His Critics: A Critical Reappraisal of Caxton's Contributions to the Enrichment of the English Language

Synopsis

Those who applaud unreservedly the accomplishments of William Caxton, England's first printer, and those who feel that these exploits have been over-rated are invited to consider Caxton's own point of view, as stated in the Prologue to his publication, THE BOKE OF ENEYDOS, printed in 1490.

In undertaking to publish his translations of French and Latin originals into "our englysshe not ouer rude ne curyous, " William Caxton faced more complications than the technical limitations of the young printing craft. The English vernacular was only just beginning to develop a prose form, and Caxton coped with the problem of meager vocabulary and wide variations in the spelling of even the simplest English words. Critics of his day had complained about the "ouer curyous termes" used in some of his earlier books, In the Prologue toENEYDOS, a popular version of Virgil AENEIDwhich Caxton had translated from French into English, the printer-translator responded to these criticisms. In his essay, Dr. Curt F. Bühler reviews the known facts concerning Caxton, and reappraises his great contribution to the enrichment of the English language.

As in the previous volumes, WILLIAM BULMER AND THE SHAKSPEARE PRESSand ALDUS MANUTIUS AND HIS THESAURUS CORNUCOPIAE, the Brewster House Typographical Series continues to present the unique contributions of famous typographers. Syracuse University Press and Book Craftsmen Associates, Inc., who jointly publish and produce the Series, wish to record their grateful appreciation to Dr. Curt F. Bühler, Keeper of Printed Books at The Pierpont Morgan Library. for his brilliant essay. Special thanks are also extended to Mr. Lester G. Wells, Rare Book Librarian at the Syracuse University Library, for the use of the beautiful Caxton ENEYDOS. This volume, originally part of the Huth collection, was the gift of Mr. Adrian Van Sinderen, president of the board of trustees of Syracuse University Library Associates, to the Syracuse University Library and is housed in the Lena R. Arents Rare Book Room.

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