Caxton and the Printing Press

Released Thursday, 18th October 2012
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Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and influence of William Caxton, the merchant who brought the printing press to the British Isles. After spending several years working as a printer in Bruges, Caxton returned to London and in 1476 set up his first printing press in Westminster, and also imported and sold other printed books. Caxton concentrated on producing popular books that he knew would sell, such as Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' and small liturgical 'books of hours'. The standard of Caxton's printing may have lagged behind that on the continent, but he was a skilful businessman and unusually for printers at the time, he managed not to go bankrupt. The advent of print is now seen as one of the great revolutions in intellectual history - although many scholars believe it was a revolution that took many generations to have an effect.

With:

Richard Gameson
Professor of the History of the Book at the University of Durham

Julia Boffey
Professor of Medieval Studies in the English Department at Queen Mary, University of London

David Rundle
Member of the History Faculty at the University of Oxford

Producer: Natalia Fernandez.

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Episode Details

Length
41m 59s
Explicit
No

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