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William Caxton’s Multilingualism: The Claims of French and Dutch, English and Kentish
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States + Google Map
CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture
This lecture by Professor Ad Putter (Professor of Medieval English and Director, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Bristol) explores the multilingualism of England in the fifteenth century by examining the life and works of the first English printer, William Caxton. In standard histories of the English language, Caxton and the printing press appear as agents in the standardization of English, but Caxton’s language was in many ways unusual, and shows the impact of the many years he lived in the Low Countries. French, Latin and English are the languages that usually get mentioned in the context of medieval multilingualism. This lecture extends this range by showing how and why Dutch mattered to merchants like Caxton, and how and why that language interfered with his English.
Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of English.