printing press was invented by Johann Gutenberg around 1450. William
Caxton (1422?-1491) was the first English printer. Caxton began his
business life as a merchant in Bruges, where he traded in textiles. In
1474 he set up a printing press and published his translation of the
French romance The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye by Raoul
le Févre. This was the first printed book in English. In 1474 he also
published The Game and Play of Chess Moralised, a translation
of the first major European work on chess. It was the first printed
book in English to make extensive use of woodcuts.
returned to England in 1476 and set up a printing press at
Westminster. There he published the Canterbury Tales by
Geoffrey Chaucer in 1476, and the Tretyse of Love based on a
French adaptation of Ancrene Riwle (Rule for Anchoresses)
in about 1494.