New York: Harper's Weekly, July 21, 1877. not specified. First Edition. Matted & protected with Mylar. Folio/double-spread Black & White wood engraving (matted dimension: 26" x 18 1/4"; image: 21 1/2" W x 15 1/2" H), July 21, 1877, Harper's Weekly, pages 564-564. Very Good +. Item #277
An attractive, high quality example of this scarce double-spread woodengraving which is suitable for framing.
William Caxton (c.1422-c.1492) was an English merchant--possibly from Hadlow in Kent--who introduced the first printing press into London in 1476. He was also the first printer-bookseller to sell printed books in England, where foreigners had held a monopoly. Most historians of Britain rank him among its greatest hero-celebrities.
On his trips to the continent as a member of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London, he went to Burgundy and thus became a member of the entourage of Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy. She was the wife of King Charles the Bold of France and sister of Edward IV (depicted) and Richard III. After expeditions to Cologne, he became familiar with German printing, and set up a press in Bruges with a Fleming printer. His own translation and printing of Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (1473) became such a success that he was encouraged to set up shop in Westminster, which he did in 1476.
Other now famous editions that he printed include an edition of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and The Golden Legend (1483), The Book of the Knight in the Tower (1484)--which was possibly the first printing of biblical verses in England; and the first translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis (which, of course, so influenced later authors such as Shakespeare).
There is a ~1/8" piece missing from the upper lefthand corner of the margin (does NOT show when matted); a few trivial creases--which also are nearly invisible.