The History of Reynard the Fox
William Caxton's English Translation of 1481
Originally published as part of Early Prose Romances (George Routledge and Sons London, 1889)
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About this Text
Reynard the Fox was medieval Europe's trickster figure, a nasty but charistmatic character who was always in trouble but always able to talk his way out of any retribution. The Reynard stories were (and are) available in several languages and with many variations. The digital text published here is a version translated to English by William Caxton in the late 15th century. Caxton printed his translation himself on his own printing press, one of the first in England. In editing this edition in 1889, Morley modernized the spelling of words still in common use in his day, but did not attempt to modernize the style of the text. The result is a readable text that has all the flavor of the original.
The print edition of this text was published in London in 1889; the digital edition was created from the original in 2003 by David Badke. The digital edition includes only part of Morley's introduction and all of the text of The History of Reynard the Fox. The original print edition by Henry Morley (1822-1892) is believed to be in the public domain.