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First English print

First English print

V290/0038

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

First English book page. Page from the first book to be printed in English, The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy, by William Caxton (1422-1491). He first began to translate the French original in 1468 but became disheartened by his poor French and ceased his work. Encouragement from the Duchess of Burgundy persuaded Caxton to resume translating and the book was finally finished in 1471. The art of printing spread through Europe in the 15th century. The process required moveable pieces of metal type combined with a press for producing sharp impressions on paper. This fundamental process remained unchanged until the introduction of computers five centuries later.

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