Caxton's Blanchardyn and Eglantine, c. 1489 : from Lord Spencer's unique imperfect copy, completed by the original French and the second English version of 1595
edited by Leon Kellner
Page  1


Unto the right noble puyssaunt & excellent pryncesse, my redoubted lady, my lady Margarete, duchesse of Somercete / Moder vnto our naturel & souerayn lord and most Crysten Kynge henry þe seuenth, by the grace of god, Kyng of englonde & of ffraunce, lord of yrelonde, & cetera, I, wyllyam caxton, his most Indygne humble subgette and lytil seruaunt, presente this lytyl book vnto the noble grace of my sayd lady. whiche boke I late receyued in frenshe from her good grace, and her commaundement wyth alle / for to reduce & translate it in to our maternal & englysh tonge / whiche boke I had longe to fore solde to my sayd lady, and knewe wel that the storye of hit was honeste & Ioyefull to all vertuouse yong noble gentylmen & wymmen for to rede therin, as for their passe tyme; for vnder correction, in my Iugement / it is as requesyte other whyle to rede in Auncyent hystoryes of noble fayttes & valiaunt actes of armes & warre, whiche haue ben achyeued in olde tyme of many noble prynces, lordes, & knyghtes / as wel for to see & knowe their walyauntnes for to stande in the specyal grace & loue of their ladyes, And in lykewyse for gentyl yonge ladyes & damoysellys, for to lerne to be stedfaste & constaunt in their parte to theym that they ones haue promysed and agreed to suche as haue putte their lyues ofte in Ieopardye for to playse theym to stande in grace, As it is to occupye theym and studye ouer moche in bokes of contemplacion; wherfore, at thynstaunce and requeste of my sayd lady, whiche I repute as for a commaundemente, I haue reduced this sayd boke out of frenshe in to our englyshe: whiche boke specyfyeth of the noble actes and fayttes of warre, achyeued by a noble and victorious prynce named Blanchardin, sone vnto the kynge of Fryse / for the loue of a noble pryncessePage  2 callyd Eglantyne, other wyse named in frensche 'lorguylleuse damours,' whiche is as moche to saye in englyshe, as the proude lady of loue, quene of tormaday: And of the grete aduentures, labours, anguysshes / and many other grete dyseases of theym bothe, to-fore they myghte atteyne for to come to the fynall conclusion of their desired loue / as alonge by the grace of god it shall be shewed in thistorye of thys present book / Bysechynge my sayd ladyes bountyuous grace to receyue this lityll boke in gree of me, her humble seruaunt / and to pardoune me of the rude and comyn englyshe, where as shall be found faulte; For I confesse me not lerned, ne knowynge the arte of rethoryk / ne of suche gaye termes as now be sayd in these dayes and vsed: But I hope that it shall be vnderstonden of the redars and herers: And that shall suffyse.

¶ Besechynge allmyghty god to graunte to her moste noble goode grace, longe lyffe / and thaccomplysshement of hir hihe, noble, and Ioyes desires in thys present lyff,

¶ And after this short and transytorye lyff, euer lastynge lyff in heuen.

Amen /