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Unit 2: English Language. William Caxton and the Printing Press. William Caxton. Born in Kent, England. He worked as a merchant in Bruges between 1441 to 1471. He travelled to Cologne (Germany) in 1471 to learn printing. In 1476, he established a printing press in London. William Caxton.

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unit 2 english language

Unit 2: English Language

William Caxton and the Printing Press

william caxton
William Caxton

Born in Kent, England.

He worked as a merchant in Bruges between 1441 to 1471.

He travelled to Cologne (Germany) in 1471 to learn printing.

In 1476, he established a printing press in London.

william caxton1
William Caxton

Caxton was the first person to print a book in the English language.

The first book in English was ‘The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troy’.

This book was printed by Caxton in about 1475 in Bruges – what is now known as Belgium.

‘The Dictes or Sayings of the Philosophers’ was the first book to be printed in England in 1477.

Another important work printed from Caxton’s press were the first editions of ‘The Canterbury Tales’ by Geoffrey Chaucer.

william caxton2
William Caxton

Caxton translated works from French, Latin and Dutch literature.

According to linguists and historians, ‘his translations helped to establish the literary form of the English language, as Middle English slowly developed into Modern English’.

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