There are so many oddities in this list. The first book on the list is perhaps what you might expect for a man of John Paston II's station, a collection of histories, or what were believed to be histories, and chronicles, bound together in one volume. What is peculiar is that he claims to have acquired it from "mine hostess at the George". Did pub landladies run little bookselling businesses on the side? If so, were they legitimate? Was it a gift for favours unspecified? Better stop right here or we will lurch right into the realm of speculation, which is very wicked in historical thought.
The second item, a romance of Troilus, also has a bit of provenance. Someone called William had it for ten years and lent it to someone evidently called Daniel (or Dame Somebody - opinions differ) and then when John Paston saw it there, he was so excited that he lapsed into Latin. Quite how he then acquired it, he doesn't say.
|List of English Books, 1475-79 (British Library, add. ms. 43491, f.26), by permission of the British Library.|
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