A leaf from The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer, 1340?-1400. A Leaf from The Canterbury Tales. Westminster, England: William Caxton, . 24 cm.
Call Number: (RARE) PR 1865 1478
This leaf comes from one of the first books printed in England, Caxton's original printing of The Canterbury Tales. Caxton presented a very straightforward rendering of the original text with only small spaces separating each tale. In his early years, Caxton printed primarily popular works in high demand. Because his works were widely used and circulated, few surviving examples exist in good condition today.
The typeface is known as "Caxton Type 2" designed by Johannes Veldener in Cologne, Germany, where Caxton received his training. It was inspired by the manuscript styles of the Burgundian aristocracy and links Caxton to the Gothic type tradition. These typefaces continued to be popular in England for many years.
This leaf comes from a badly deteriorated copy which was salvaged for its individual leaves. It is page 293/294 containing lines 1202-1258 of the Wife of Bath's Tale.