Melvyn Bragg and William Caxton

October 8, 2012
by matthewgreen

I’m sure you all listen to In Our Time on Radio 4. Well, on Thursday 18th October the venerable Baron Bragg presented a fascinating program on William Caxton who, as anyone who’s been on our Fleet Street tour knows, first introduced printing to these fair isles.

Listen to the program here; read about our tour here.

In the program, Bragg and guests painted a vivid picture of the crudeness of the late medieval printing. But although words were illegible and pages topsy-turvy, Caxton’s little printing shop triggered an intellectual revolution that would sweep away the medieval world.

Nowhere was this transformation more evident than on Fleet Street. It was along this muddy, rambling thoroughfare that printing was transformed from a medieval mystery into a mind-moulding instrument of mass communication, ushering England from the gorge of ignorance into an age of enlightenment and back again with the launch of the Daily Mail in 1896.

To find out how, join us on our critically-acclaimed guided tour of Fleet Street, Hawkers, Harlots and Hacks, tomorrow at 3pm. Led by media historian Dr Matthew Green, it visualises Caxton’s legacy. Book here.

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