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The First Book Ever Printed in English Sells for Over a Million Dollars

The First Book Ever Printed in English Sells for Over a Million Dollars

http://mentalfloss.com/article/57822/first-book-ever-printed-english-sells-over-million-dollars

“Le Recueil des Histoires de Troye, a 1464 work by Raoul Lefèvre, tells a chivalirized version of the history of the city Troy. The Greek heroes, Hercules and Jason, are recast as ideal knights and founders of the Burgundian dynasty. It was translated by William Caxton into English soon after it was written and found popularity under its new title, The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye. But these days, it is best known for its place in the literary tradition as the first book ever printed in English, and it just sold for over one million dollars.”

“Although the date of his translation is carefully recorded in the prologue, the context of that first printing is more difficult to determine. Historians have placed it sometime between 1473 and 1475 at a workshop in Bruges.

Sotheby’s copy, one of just 18 surviving from that first printing, features annotations in the book’s margins written by multiple centuries worth of readers. It is the first copy to appear for auction in over ten years. Having last been purchased in 1948 for 15,000 GBP, or $25,727, it sold earlier today for a record 1,082,500 GBP ($1,823,363).”

Stephen

Posted on: August 18, 2014, 6:48 am Category: Uncategorized

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