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"Longene to the Playe": Caxton, Chess, and the Boundaries of Political Order

"Longene to the Playe": Caxton, Chess, and the Boundaries of Political Order Chapter 10 : Caxton, Chess, and the Boundaries of Political Order University of Massachusetts, Amherst Among late medieval literary figures, William Caxton poses perhaps the greatest challenge to the task of periodizing literary history, and his double identity as author and printer troubles the generally acknowledged boundary dividing the medieval and early modern worlds. On the one hand Caxton's role as printer marks him as a contributor to the English Renaissance. His publication of Malory's Morte Darthur in 1485 felicitously coincided with Henry VII's ascension to the throne, making this date a "natural" starting point for the early modern era. On the other hand the works Caxton printed do not pander to Renaissance sensibilities. As with many texts that came off his press, both the style and subject of his most famous publication, the Morte Darthur, hearken back to earlier literary forms. This tension between "medieval Caxton" and "Renaissance Caxton" makes itself felt clearly in the most recent edition of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. Unable to categorize Caxton as one or the other, the editors include a discussion of Caxton's printing press in their "Introduction to the Sixteenth Century" yet place selections from Caxton's Morte Darthur http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Essays in Medieval Studies West Virginia University Press

"Longene to the Playe": Caxton, Chess, and the Boundaries of Political Order

Essays in Medieval Studies , Volume 21 (1) – Mar 31, 2004

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Illinois Medieval Association.
ISSN
1538-4608
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Chapter 10 : Caxton, Chess, and the Boundaries of Political Order University of Massachusetts, Amherst Among late medieval literary figures, William Caxton poses perhaps the greatest challenge to the task of periodizing literary history, and his double identity as author and printer troubles the generally acknowledged boundary dividing the medieval and early modern worlds. On the one hand Caxton's role as printer marks him as a contributor to the English Renaissance. His publication of Malory's Morte Darthur in 1485 felicitously coincided with Henry VII's ascension to the throne, making this date a "natural" starting point for the early modern era. On the other hand the works Caxton printed do not pander to Renaissance sensibilities. As with many texts that came off his press, both the style and subject of his most famous publication, the Morte Darthur, hearken back to earlier literary forms. This tension between "medieval Caxton" and "Renaissance Caxton" makes itself felt clearly in the most recent edition of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. Unable to categorize Caxton as one or the other, the editors include a discussion of Caxton's printing press in their "Introduction to the Sixteenth Century" yet place selections from Caxton's Morte Darthur

Journal

Essays in Medieval StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Mar 31, 2004

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