The Caxtons — Volume 15

Lotte Hellinga: William Caxton and Early Printing in England
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William Caxton

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Caxton sold English woollen cloth and bought foreign luxury goods for import to England. Caxton lived through the Wars of the Roses, a long and turbulent power struggle between the Houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne. Like most merchants, he was a supporter of the York faction. Although printing with movable type had been invented in 11th-century China, in Europe the technology was not developed until the midth century.

The first full-scale book produced with moveable type was printed in the s by Johann Gutenberg in Mainz. In , Caxton was in Cologne, having left the household of the Duchess of Burgundy and lost his post as Governor of the English merchants, perhaps as a result of a Lancastrian coup of that temporarily forced Edward IV from the throne.

Manual The Caxtons: A Family Picture — Volume 15

As a university city as well as an important commercial centre, Cologne was an ideal location for the fledgling book trade. By the s it had become the most important centre of printing in north-west Germany. Caxton may have already traded in books while he was in Bruges, but in Cologne he acquired first-hand knowledge of how they were produced. He worked with Johann Schilling to publish an edition of a 13th-century encyclopaedia, De proprietatibus rerum — On the Nature of Things — written by Bartholomeus Anglicus. Late in or early in Caxton returned to London, bringing with him the type and craftsmen needed to set up a printing press at Westminster, the first in England.

The venture proved an instant success. Caxton published around books, several of them his own translations of French originals. The Canterbury Tales is a long poem written at the end of the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer, who is credited as having set the style for Middle English literature. His poem follows the journey of a group of pilgrims from London to Canterbury Cathedral. Each pilgrim resolves to tell two tales on the way out and two on the way home to help while away their time on the road.

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Silvester, 88 The Life of S. Volume 44 Issue Jahresband Jan , pp. Benet [Benedict], 37 The Life of S. He covered business news for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer during the s, when he won a national award for a series on the failure in of the Seattle-First National Bank. Parole e frasi comuni a-year amidst amongst anaglyph aposiopesis asked Austin Beaudesert Blanche Bolt brother called Capitalist Captain Roland Caxton certainly CHAPTER child cried Cyprinidae dear Diodorus door doubt dream dumb waiter eyes face fancy Fanny father fellow felt fortune gentleman hand head heard heart heaven honour iguanodon interest Juba Kitty Lady Ellinor laugh leave live London looked round Lord Castleton Lord Rainsforth Miles Square mind Miss Trevanion mother nature never papa passion Philodemus Pisistratus poor Primmins printer Robert Hall ruins scalene triangle seemed silence Sir Sedley Sisty smile speak Squills stairs strange sure talk tell thee thing thorough-bass thou thought Tibbets Tibullus tion took tower turned Uncle Jack uncle's Vivian voice walk wall whole William Caxton word young youth Zounds.

Most continental printers produced books in Latin, the international language of the day, in order to be able to sell them in a number of countries. Caxton, on the other hand, mainly produced books in English for a local market. Pisistratus likens the journey of the colonizer to that of Aeneas.

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He is burdened with the task of building a great new civilization to inherit and broaden an old one: And this land has become the heritage of our people! Methinks I see, as I gaze around, the scheme of the All-beneficent Father disentangling itself clear through the troubled history of mankind. How mysteriously, while Europe rears its populations and fulfils its civilising mission, these realms have been concealed from its eyes-divulged to us just as civilization needs the solution to its problems; a vent for feverish energies, baffled in the crowd; offering bread to the famished, hope to the desperate; in very truth enabling the 'New World to redress the balance of the Old.

From the huts of the exiles scattered over this hardier Italy, who cannot see in the future, 'A race from whence new Alban sires shall come, 35 A. Dicey, "Mr. Gladstone and Our Empire," Nineteenth Century 2, no. But this should not be overstated because we know that Mr Caxton gave this name to his son almost absent mindedly. This is his reaction when he finds out that his wife took him seriously and she actually named their new born child Pisistratus: "But it is infamous!

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Pisistratus christened! Good heavens, madam! The Greek ideal is always present and inspiring, although not necessarily in Pisistratus the Athenian tyrant. We are not given any hints as to whether Pisistratus Caxton found his name a source of inspiration or a burden. What we know is that he has the name of an ancient, although falling, family to raise.

But the potential allegorical elements of the novel can be detected at play. Pisistratus Caxton retrieves in Australia the family fortunes ruined by Uncle Jack's wild speculations and profitless businesses. This narrative represents an England trying to compensate the loss of America, a loss which might have been seen by some as a result of the carelessness of George III and his minister, Lord North, with the establishment of "an Australian dominion". The inflow of convicts to the United States stopped in after the US war of independence.

As a result the British government turned their attention to Australia, and from the first British settlement to , convicts were the largest single group in the population; convicts were transported to Australia from to , mainly in New South Wales , Van Dieman's Land and Western Australia Alongside this social ideal, we find there are practical justifications for this effort. By forming similar attitudes and creating similar institutions in the colonies, the 'mother' country can strengthen the ties that hold its satellite entities to its centre.

Trevanion's letter to Pisistratus, in The Caxtons, summarizes this theory: For my part, in my ideal of colonization, I should like that each exportation of human beings had, as of old, its leaders and chiefs - not so appointed from the mere quality of rank, often indeed taken from the humbler classes - but still men to whom a certain degree of education should give promptitude, quickness, adaptability - men in whom their followers can confide.

The Caxtons, II: It appears that Bulwer did not want the democratic experience of America to be repeated in the other colonies.

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That is why it is so important not only to import to these colonies the best representatives of the aristocracy but even the monarchy itself, and to draw constitutions for them that make the links inseverable. Even if these colonies get their independence later, it will not be, Bulwer hoped, an independence marked by difference but by similarity. It is interesting that no mention is made here of the importance of the empire for business or industry, the fields which are thought to have triggered colonial expansion.

Still, as we have seen in Cain and Hopkins, despite their belonging in a feudal tradition, the English aristocracy were ready to embrace market economy and take part in the colonial ventures by the end of the seventeenth century. David Cannadine has also found that 'gentry and grandees' benefited from the empire as shareholders, company directors, and occasionally as professionals.

During the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century, most imperial emigrants had been either impoverished or criminal members of the working classes: the empire had held little allure for those of higher social station. But from the late s, as opportunities for gentlemen diminished at home, it became increasingly fashionable for them to look to great white dominions, the American west, and the most hospitable parts of British Africa.

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So, instead of being merely a dumping ground for the lower classes, the empire increasingly became a dumping ground for those who Cannadine calls "supernumerary gentlemen" or "gentlemanly failures". Cannadine perhaps has in mind here people like Lord Lundy, one of Hilaire Belloc's memorable creations: a grandson of a duke, with a great political career predicted for him, but his prospects are ruined because he cries too easily, and the most that he eventually achieves is an overseas posting: Sir!

You disappointed us! We had expected you to be The next Prime Minister but three. The stocks were sold, the press was squared; The middle class was quite prepared. But as it is. My language fails! Go out and govern New South Wales! Of course not all of the aristocrats who went to the colonies were authentic notables: many were sons of merchants, businessmen, and professional people.

But a substantial proportion were of landed and titled background, and most of them came from predictably straitened circumstances: younger 38 H. Belloc, Complete Verses, , p. Belloc's poem was written in And, when his term of office ended there, he simply moved on to India. The extent to which financial considerations weighed in taking these jobs is clearly shown in this letter sent by Lord Landsdowne to his mother: India means saving Lansdowne House for the family.

I should be able while there not only to live on my official income, but to save something every year. If I can let Lansdowne House, I might by the time I come home have materially reduced the load of debt which has been so terrible an incubus to us all, and in the meantime I shall be doing useful work for my country, instead of living in a corner of the house in England, perpetually worried by financial trouble, and perhaps increasing instead of decreasing the family liabilities.

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