University of Virginia Library

THE TWO CAXTON VARIANTS WHICH PROVIDE the topic of discussion for the present investigation are by no means recent discoveries; quite to the contrary, they have been noted for many years in the standard books of reference. It is most strange, therefore, that these well-known variant states have been subjected neither to critical study nor to thorough technical analyses, especially since, as distinct from many other Caxton variants, it is absolutely certain in each instance which is the earlier state and which the later. This circumstance further permits the investigator to ascertain specific details as to the workings of Caxton's printing office, with special reference to the resetting of copy previously printed at the same press.[1] The two variant states to be discussed here are found in: Lydgate, The Pilgrimage of the Soul, Westminster, 6 June 1483 (Duff 267) and Christine de Pisan, The Book of the Fayttes of Armes and of Chyvalrye, [Westminster], 14 July 1489 (Duff 96). The separate states are identified by the fact that one sheet in each book appears in two different settings of type.