Philobiblon: A moment of history

Monday, January 30, 2006

A moment of history

On 17 April 1467, John Russell, a future Chancellor of England, bought in Bruges a printed copy of Cicero's De Officilis, printed by Fust in Mainz the previous year. This was "one of the first records" of an Englishman purchasing a printed book. (William Caxton was the Governor of the English Nation in Bruges at the time.)

Of such small steps are intellectual leaps - such as into the Renaissance - made.

(From A.S.G. Edwards, "Continental Influences on London Printing and Reading in the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries," London and Europe in the Later Middle Ages, Julia Boffey and Pamela King (eds), 1995, Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Queen Mary and Westfield College University of London, pp. 230.

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