John Lydgate

John Lydgate (c.1370–1449/50?) was a poet and prior of Hatfield Regis. He is well known as a translator, arguing in his translation of Giovanni Boccaccio's Fall of Princes that like craftsmen, translators have the "due right" to change a text: "Expert masters have therto licence | fro good to better, for to chaunge a thing: | And semblably these clarkes in writing" (1554, A.i.r). Indeed, many of Lydgate's major works are translations: The Troy Book, mainly derived from Guido delle Colonne's Historia destructionis Troiae is often considered the first of Lydgate's major poems, while one of his best known, The Fall of Princes, is a translation of Laurent de Premierfait's French version of Giovanni Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium. Lydgate's output was regularly linked to that of Chaucer and Gower, and many of his sixteenth-century reprints appear in collections of Chaucer's works.

The Folger's pre-1660s holdings of Lydgate

Troy Book

The hystorye, sege and dystruccyon of Troye. [London : Printed by Richard Pynson, 1513]

Not complete, Gathering †2 and sigs. ²D2-4 in facsimile.

STC 5579

The auncient historie and onely trewe and syncere cronicle of the warres betwixte the Grecians and the Troyans, and subsequently of the fyrst euercyon of the auncient and famouse cytye of Troye vnder Lamedon the king, and of the laste and fynall destruction of the same vnder Pryam, wrytten by Daretus a Troyan and Dictus a Grecian both souldiours and present in all the sayde warres and digested in Latyn by the lerned Guydo de Columpnis and sythes translated in to englyshe verse by Iohn Lydgate moncke of Burye.[London: In Fletestrete at the signe of the Princes armes, by Thomas Marshe], An. M.D.L.V. [1555]

STC 5580, three copies

The life and death of Hector. London: Printed by Thomas Purfoot, Anno. Dom. 1614.

STC 5581.5 (Folger call number STC 13346a), 4 copies

Fall of Princes

Here begynneth the boke of Iohan Bochas, discryuing the fall of pri[n]ces, princesses, and other nobles: translated into Englysshe by Iohn̄ Lydgate monke of Bury, begynnyng at Adam and Eue, and endyng with kyng Iohan of Fraunce, taken prisoner at Poyters by prince Edwarde. [London: Printed by Richard Pynson, 1527 (21 Feb.)]

STC 3176

A treatise excellent and compe[n]dious, shewing and declaring, in maner of tragedye, the falles of sondry most notable princes and princesses vvith other nobles, through ye mutabilitie and change of vnstedfast fortune together with their most detestable [and] wicked vices. First compyled in Latin by the excellent clerke Bocatius, an Italian borne. And sence that tyme translated into our English and vulgare tong, by Dan Iohn Lidgate monke of Burye. [London]: In ædibus Richardi Tottelli. Cum priuilegio, [[1554 (10 Sept.)]

STC 3177

The tragedies, gathered by Ihon Bochas, of all such princes as fell from theyr estates throughe the mutability of fortune since the creacion of Adam, vntil his time: wherin may be seen what vices bring menne to destruccion, wyth notable warninges howe the like may be auoyded. Translated into Englysh by Iohn Lidgate, monke of Burye.Imprinted at London : by Iohn Wayland, at the signe of the Sunne oueragainst the Conduite in Flete-strete. Cum priuilegio per septennium, [1554?]

STC 3178, three copies

Siege of Thebes

The woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed, with diuers addicions, whiche were neuer in printe before: with the siege and destruccion of the worthy citee of Thebes, compiled by Ihon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. [London: by Ihon Kyngston, for Ihon Wight, dwellyng in Poules Churchyarde, anno. 1561]

STC 5075, two copies

STC 5076, two copies, the second imperfect

The workes of our antient and learned English poet, Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed. London: printed by Adam Islip, at the charges of Bonham Norton, Anno 1598.

STC 5078, three copies

The workes of our antient and lerned English poet, Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed. Londini: [printed by Adam Islip] impensis Geor. Bishop, anno. 1598.

STC 5077

The workes of our antient and learned English poet, Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed. London: Printed by Adam Islip, at the charges of Thomas Wight, 1598.

STC 5079

The vvorkes of our ancient and learned English poet, Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed. London : printed by Adam Islip, 1602.

STC 5080, 3 copies

The vvorkes of our ancient and lerned English poet, Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed. Londini : [Printed by Adam Islip] impensis Geor. Bishop, 1602.

STC 5081, 2 copies

Small works

The churle and the byrde. [Imprented at London : In Lothburi ouer against Sainct Margarytes church by me Wyllam Copland, [ca. 1565]].

STC 17014

Here begynneth a treatyse of a galau[n]t. [Enprynted at London : in the Flete strete at the sygne of the sonne by Wynkyn de Worde, [1510?]] STC 24240

The serpent of deuision. VVherein is conteined the true history of mappe of Romes ouerthrowe, gouerned by auarice, enuye, and pride, the decaye of empires be they neuer so sure. Whereunto is annexed the tragedye of Gorboduc, sometime king of this land, and of his two sonnes, Ferrex and Porrex. Set foorth as the same was shewed before the Queenes most excellent Maiesty, by the Gentlemen of the Inner Temple. London: printed by Edward Allde for Iohn Perrin, and are to be sold in Paules Church yard, at the signe of the Angell, 1590.

STC 18685.2