The invention of the printing press and it’s promotion by William Caxton, a while back now – exact dates elude me presently – marks a corner-stone in the development of the sciences and education as we know it. In fact if it were not for Caxton’s zeal to print the first ever fully English King James Bible in a fairly large quantity, the importance of which is difficult to comprehend these days, then e-publishing, and me blogging right now would most likely be a wild imagining in the mind of an illiterate wanna-be writer.
If it were not for this one man’s mission to spread the holy word so that all could understand the Christian faith for themselves in their own language, then we simply would not be in a position to express our views for or against with such ease and ambiguity, and actually with the freedom that many of us have these days. Education and literature are terms that have become synonymous for us with entire institutions built upon the printed word. Countries are run by the printed word, though that word is no longer just about god and religion, it is about the distribution and dissemination of information, so that all of us may be able to consider our lives in an academic, and thus ‘educated’ context. Before printing, unless you spoke and read Latin [few did] then religion was a rumour, a tall tale presented by the local priest reading from the skin of a dead goat once a week, and special occasions.
If only the old geezer knew what he had unleashed, he would possibly think it was the devil himself!
That’s egges in your face Caxton! [that was an in-joke for Sociolinguists by the way]
You see, being a published writer has always been and still is a very powerful position to be in. And we have the zeal of religion to thank for that, oddly enough. Thank gawd for that!