This is volume I of the first scholarly edition of the Golden Legend, the largest and most elaborate production of the first printer in English, William Caxton. It is an English translation of Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda aurea (ca. 1267), a collection of legends for the feasts of saints (the Sanctorale) and other major days of the liturgical year (the Temporale). The Legenda aurea was one of the most popular and influential books in the later medieval Western world; it circulated widely, and was repeatedly translated into many vernacular languages. This volume reproduces Caxton's original text of the Temporale with modern punctuation and capitalization, notes on content, syntax and lexis, a detailed glossary, and an index of proper names.Caxton's complex combination of sources is given particular attention: the principal one was a little-known reworking of the French translation made by Jean de Vignay, but he also used the Latin original and a previous English translation, the Gilte Legende, and made some personal additions. The Introduction considers the structure of the entire book that Caxton created, but focuses on the Temporale and the set of Old Testament legends that will follow in volume 2. It discusses their sources and language, highlighting the differences between the first two volumes and the notable number of new words and senses. It also gives a detailed bibliographic account of this printing in its historical context and descriptions of all surviving copies.
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