Toronto – The University of Toronto is now home to the oldest English-language book in Canada.
William Caxton, the first person to print English language books, published the text in 1481.
It’s a translation of essays by the Roman politician Cicero about the ideas of friendship and old age.
PJ Carefoote is the interim head of rare books and special collections at the university’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.
He says a book dealer contacted him about the text last year and donations from the public helped the university acquire it.
He says that at the time, the language was made up of varying dialects so people in one region might not understand those in another.
But Carefoote says Caxton’s books helped standardize the English language because he chose just one dialect to spread across various regions.
He says this text coincidentally marks the Fisher library’s 15 millionth book.
The Canadian Press