A Leaf from "The Chronicles of England" Printed by William Caxton
CAXTON, William. [A leaf from The Chronicles of England]. [Westminster]: [Printed by William Caxton] , 1480.
[housed within]

An Original Leaf from the Chronicle of England Printed by William Caxton at Westminster in 1480. London; William H. Robinson Limited, 1933. A descriptive folio booklet. 8pp. Signed on colophon by Lionel Robinson. Uncut in original printed wrappers.

One quarto leaf (11 3/16 x 8 3/16 inches; 284 x 210 mm), from The Chronicles of England. Forty lines, printed on recto and verso in Caxton's fourth fount (the first state with the short comma and the first to use justification and signatures). With nine rubrication in recto and ten on verso. With four corners lightly reinforced. Some light foxing and edges a bit chipped. Overall a very good example of early printing. Leaf is housed within the booklet printed by Robinson. This is all housed within a large green cloth folio, lined in suede with silk ties and a printed paper label.

"Mr. Seymore de Ricci, in his Census of Caxtons, records the existence of thirteen copies and four fragments of this book... The enclosed leaf is from a hitherto unknown fragment, which fortunately contained the leaf necessary to complete the copy at St. John's College, Oxford." (From the Robinson booklet).

A Caxton leaf from The Chronicles of England, often said to be the most popular secular work of the fifteenth century, is far more rare than a leaf from The Polychronicon, which come up quite often.

The contents of this leaf pertain to the campaign of Edward Balliol against the supporters of David II in 1332.

"Caxton, the first English printer...established a press at Westminster in 1476-his first dated book printed there is 'The Dictes or Sayengis of Philosophres', 1477-and printed about 100 books, a number of them his own translations from the French. He used eight founts of type, the first of which he brought from Bruges; he began to use woodcut illustrations c. 1480. His importance in the history of English literature is by no means confined to his works as a printer, for he contributed by his translations to the formation in the 15th cent. of an English prose style." (The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 153).

HBS # 68000 $3,500