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Bod-Inc: R-048


The hystorye of Reinard the foxe [English] (trans. William Caxton).


Analysis of Content

A1r The hystorye of Reinard the foxe. Translated by William Caxton. The History of Reynard the Fox, translated from the Dutch original by William Caxton, ed. W. H. Rhodes and N. F. Blake, EETS, 263 (Oxford, 1970) 1-112. On the relationship of this book to Caxton's first edition see N. F. Blake, ‘English Versions of Reynard the Fox', in William Caxton and English Literary Culture (London, 1991), 259-73. For the view that Caxton translated from the Dutch version in Gouda: G. Leeu, 1479, see D. B. Sands, ‘William Blades's Comment on Caxton's “Reynard the Fox": the Genealogy of an Error', Notes & Queries, 199 (1954), 50-1; N. F. Blake, ‘William Caxton's Reynard the Fox and his Dutch Original', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 46 (1963-4), 298-325; Painter, Caxton, 111. This is disputed in J. Goossens and T. Sodmann, Reynaert, Reynard, Reynke: Studien zu einem mittelalterlichen Tierepos, Niederdeutsche Studien, 27 (Cologne, 1980), p. viii; in the same volume N. Witton, ‘Vorlage des Reinke', 7, who notes the view that the English version was based on a Dutch edition with more authentic readings than the 1479 Gouda edition; see also VL VIII 11-19. W. and L. Hellinga argue that Caxton probably worked from a lost Dutch edition that preceded Leeu's 1479 edition: see W. and L. Hellinga, ‘Between Two Languages: Caxton's Translation of Reynaert de Vos', in Studies in Seventeenth-century English Literature, History and Bibliography: Festschrift for Professor T. A. Birrell, ed. G. A. M. Janssens and F. G. A. M. Aarts (Amsterdam, 1984), 119-31, at 121-3.

[Last leaf recto] [Table.] Incipit: ‘In the first howe the kyng of al bestes, the Lyon . . .’


Imprint: [London: Richard Pynson, c.1494]. Folio.


Collation: A8 B–F6 . . .

Types: Type: 100 B.

Leaves: 48-50 leaves, according to Duff.

Line number: 2 columns, 38 lines.

Type area: Type area: 193 ×127 mm (B1r).

Remarks: A1r: ‘¶ Here begynneth the Hyſtorye of rei | nard the Foxe. || [I]N this hyſtorye ben wry // | ton the parables. goo | de lernynge and diverſe | poyntes to be marked. | by whiche poyntes men may lerne | to come to the ſubtyll knowleche off | ſuche thinges as now dayly ben v // | ſed and hadde in the counceillys off | lordes and prelates goſtly and worldly | and alſo emonge marchauntes and | other comone people . . .' Last leaf recto: ‘This is the table of the hi | ſtorye of Raynart the fox || In the firſt howe the kyng of al | bestes the Lyon helde his courte. Ca // | pitulo primo || How Iſegrym the wolf complay | ned first on the foxe ca ii |'. Last leaf verso, col. 2, line 1: ‘How Iſegrym the wolf was ouir | comen and the battayl fyniſſhed. And | how the foxe hadde the worſhippe ca | pitulo xli. | An example that the fox tolde to | the kyng whan he hadde wonne the | felde ca. xlii. | How the foxewith his frendes de | parted nobly fro the kyng and went | to his caſtelle marleparduys ca xliii.’


ISTC: ir00137200

Hain: H 860;

Proctor: Pr 9817;

Others: Duff 360; Sheppard 7536; STC 20921.

LCN: 14113181


Copy number: R-048(1)

Wanting leaves F1, F6 and all after, except the leaf containing the table; Duff reckons that when perfect the book would have contained 48-50 leaves.

Binding: English, c.1700, calf with gold-tooled border; the spine rebacked; marbled pastedowns.

Size: 271 × 197 × 14 mm.

Size of leaf: 265 × 189 mm.

A tabular collation and four leaves containing notes in Douce's hand, and a note on other editions in an earlier hand attached to front pastedown.

A few marginal jottings (mainly pen-trials) in a sixteenth-century hand.

Provenance: John Ceb[ ]y(?) (sixteenth century); cancelled name on A8r. ‘George A[ ]' (eighteenth century). James West (1704?–1772); sale (London, 1773), lot 2479 (for £1. 10. 0). Francis Douce (1757-1834); armorial book-plate. Bequeathed in 1834.

SHELFMARK: Douce V 245.

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