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Journal article

A purchase of books in 1615

1981

Abstract

WHILE making a study of manuscript annotations and marks of provenance in English incunabula for the forthcoming volume of B.M.C. xi, I was pleasantly surprised to come upon a priced list of twenty-three books, transcribed below, in a copy of the English translation of Cicero's De Senectute printed by Caxton in 1481 (Duff 103; BL, IB.55046 = C.10.b.6; fig. 1). Few priced lists of books have survived from the beginning of the seventeenth century and the item is therefore interesting on its own account; this interest is, of course, greatly enhanced by the inclusion in the list of an identifiable copy ofa book printed by Caxton (i.e. the 1481 Cicero itself). The list, which is dated 16 December 1615, is written in a fluent italic hand on the verso of the last leaf.

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