Although he probably would have thought of himself as primarily a merchant, and perhaps also as a diplomat, Caxton is now remembered for his role in bringing printing to English textual and literary culture. As the first Englishman to print books, bringing the printing press to England in 1475 or 1476, Caxton is arguably the most important figure in the history of the book in the English-speaking world.

Very little is known of William Caxton's early life. Born sometime between 1415 and 1424 (current thinking favours the latter end of that period), nothing is known of his family or place of birth, beyond the fact that it was in the weald of Kent: any specifics beyond that have not been identified in the historical record. We do …

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Coleman, David. "William Caxton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 December 2005
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