Most block books are primarily image, but the example above is an exception.
It is a page from a Latin grammar of Donatus, a school text.
He was also the translator of many of the books he published, using his knowledge of French, Latin and Dutch.
In the early 1470s Caxton spent time in Cologne learning the art of printing.
He returned to Bruges in 1472 where he and Colard Mansion, a Flemish calligrapher, set up a press.
The colophon reads “Reverently made for universal distribution by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents” followed by the Chinese calendar date for 11 May 868.
Block Books & Playing Cards The print above is the earliest known woodblock print in Western Europe.
Resembling coloring books in their design, they were meant to be colored by hand or with stencils.
Many early woodcuts served as illustrations for the new printed books, and the demands of book illustration caused the medium to become more sophisticated and its subject matter more varied. The cards were printed by placing paper over an inked wooden block and rubbed to take an impression from the raised areas.Dated 1423, it was found pasted inside the cover of a manuscript.The strong influence from earlier Chinese prints is evident in the stylistic treatment of the water.Caxton affiliated himself with the household of Margaret, the duchess of Burgundy, sister of the English king Edward IV.She became one of his most important patrons and encouraged him with his translation of 'The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye' from French to English.Amongst the books he printed were Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales', Gower's 'Confession Amantis' and Malory's 'Le Morte d'Arthur'.