The Life and Typography of William Caxton, England's First Printer: With Evidence of His Typographical Connection with Colard Mansion, the Printer at Bruges

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This two-volume work on the life and activities of the printer William Caxton, a vital source for bibliographers, was written by another printer, William Blades, and published in 1861-3. Blades (1824-90), apprenticed into the family firm, developed a great interest in the history of his trade, collecting an extensive library of antiquarian books, and becoming an expert on early typefaces. He brings to his study of Caxton (which follows in the wake of works on incunabula by Ames, Herbert and Dibdin) his own practical experience of the craft of printing, largely unchanged, except for the addition of machine power, since Caxton's day. He examined more than 450 Caxton printings, in Britain, France and the Low Countries, while preparing the work. Volume 2 offers an essay on Caxton's working practices and a bibliographical account of every book printed by him then known to have survived.