A medieval bestseller
The Golden Legend, 1527
by Jacobus de Voragine, translated by William Caxton
printed by Wynkyn de Worde in London
The Legenda Aurea is a 13th-century collection of saints lives which circulated widely in Latin and vernacular languages. Over 1,000 mediaeval manuscripts survive and in the first century of printing it was printed even more often than the Bible. One of the most influential books in the later mediaeval western world, it remains an essential key for art historians to unlock the past. English readers know it mainly through William Caxton’s translation and adaptation, printed here by Caxton’s colleague and successor.