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Copland, Robert


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Robert Copland ( fl . 1505–47) was active in the printing trade for over 40 years, as translator, printer, editor, and poet. The prologues and envoys he added to his works carefully document Copland's professional life from his ‘fyrst werke’ of translation in 1505. The reliance on these paratexts for biographical details, however, has led to disagreement concerning Copland's birth and early career. Copland's statement prefacing Kynge Appolyn , that he was ‘folowynge the trace of my mayster Caxton’, has led some scholars to conclude that Copland was William Caxton's apprentice, meaning a birth date somewhere before 1473. But Copland's reference to ‘my mayster’ may simply signal his respect for this influential forebear. Similarly, Frank Charlton Francis's suggestion (1961) of a northern origin for the printer derives from a beggar's comment to Copland in The hye way to the spyttell hous that he is ‘lyke your maystershyp / of the north’. Copland's work provides evidence of a French influence on Tudor literature. Early in his career Copland translated popular French texts for Wynkyn de Worde's press. His first recorded translation was A complaynt of them that be to soone maryed (c.1505), followed by The complaynte of them that ben to late maryed (c.1505), The kalender of shepeherdes (1508), Kynge Appolyn of Thyre (1510 ), and The knyght of the swanne (1512). Copland's ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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