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The Art or Crafte of Rhetoryke   By: (ca. 1495-)

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First Page:

[Transcriber's Notes:

About this book: The Art or crafte of Rhetoryke was originally published c. 1530; the second edition was published in 1532. It is considered the first book on rhetoric in English.

Typography: This e book was transcribed from microfiche scans of the 1532 edition. The original line and paragraph breaks, hyphenation, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, including the use of a spaced forward slash (/) for the comma, the use of u for v and vice versa, and the use of i for j, have been preserved. All apparent printer errors have also been preserved, and are listed at the end of this document.

The following alterations have been made:

1. Long s has been regularized as s.

2. The paragraph symbol, resembling a C in the original, is rendered as ¶.

3. Superscript letters are preceded by ^.

4. Missing hyphens have been added in brackets, e.g. [ ].

5. A decorative capital followed by a capital letter is represented here as two capital letters, e.g. COnsyderynge.

6. Abbreviations and contractions represented as special characters in the original have been expanded as noted in the table below. A "macron" means a horizontal line over a letter. A "cursive semicolon" is an old style semicolon somewhat resembling a handwritten z. "Supralinear" means directly over a letter. "Superscript" means raised and next to a letter. The "y" referred to below is an Early Modern English form of the Anglo Saxon thorn character, representing "th," but identical in appearance to the letter "y."

Original Expansion

&c with macron &c[etera] q with cursive semicolon q[ue] superscript closed curve [us] long final s [e]s crossed p p[er] or p[ar] p with looped downstroke p[ro] p with macron p[re] vowel with macron vowel[m] or vowel[n] consonant with supralinear upward curve consonant[er] w with supralinear t w[i]t[h] y with superscript e y^e (i.e., the) y with superscript t y^t (i.e., that) y with macron y[at] (i.e., that) y with supralinear u y[o]u (i.e., thou)

Greek: Phrases in ancient Greek are transliterated in brackets, e.g., [Greek: outos esti].

Pagination: This book was printed as an octavo volume, and was paginated using a recto verso scheme. In octavo printing, the printer uses large sheets of paper folded and cut into eight leaves each, creating 16 pages. The front of each leaf is the recto page (the right hand page in a book); the back of each leaf is the verso page (the left hand page in a book). For this book, the printer apparently used six sheets, lettered A through F, and each leaf is numbered with a lower case Roman numeral, i through viii. Thus, for example, the first leaf (i) from the second sheet (B) is numbered B.i.

In the original, page numbers are printed only on the recto side of each leaf, and are not printed at all after the fourth or fifth recto page of each sheet, until the first leaf of the next sheet. For the reader's convenience, all pages in this e book, even those without a printed number in the original, have been numbered in brackets according to the original format, with the addition of "r" for recto and "v" for verso. Pages A.i.v and F.viii.r are blank and are not numbered in this e book.

Sources consulted: This e book was prepared from microfiche scans of the 1532 edition, which can be viewed at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) website at The uneven quality of the scans, and the blackletter font in the original, made the scans difficult to read in some places. To ensure accuracy, the transcriber has consulted the following sources:

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