Title and imprint from colophon (leaf /5r): Here endeth het discripcion of Britayne the / whiche conteyneth englond wales and scotland / [and] also bicause Irlonde in under the reule of englond [and] of olde tyme it hath so continued therfore I have sette the descripcion of the same after the said brituyne / which I have taken oute of Policronicon / And bicause it is necessarie to alle englisshmen to knowe the propertees co[m]moditees [and] mervailles of them / therefore I have sette them in enprinte according to the translacion of Trevisa / whiche atte request of the lord Barkeley translated the book of Policronicon in to englissh / Fynysshed by me william Carton [sic] the xviii. day of August the yere of our lord god M.CCCC. lxxx. and the xx. yere of the regne of kyng Edward the fourthe.
Printed in Caxton's type 4:95B.
Collation: [1-3⁸ 4⁶]: 30 leaves, leaf /6 blank.
Paper format: Chancery folio
Goff, ISTC, and GW consider this title with the Chronicles of England as a single edition in two parts dated: I) 10 June 1480; II) 18 Aug. 1480. BMC divides into two editions, but intended to be sold together.
The Description of Britain is derived from Liber I of Trevisa's translation of Higden's Polychronicon, printed by Caxton in 1482 (BMC).
PML copy leaf dimensions: 25.4 x 18.7 cm.
PML copy missing 7 leaves: /1.8, /2.7, /3.6, and /6 (blank); text leaves replaced in Chiswick type facsimile. Many leaves washed/bleached, causing lombards and marginal annotations to fade.
The description of Britain
Hand decoration: Rubricated, red lombards (small ball terminals on extenders) and paragraph marks (C-type with slightly extended upper stroke, which is also found in parts of the Chronicles, PML 679.2). Annotations: Marginal notations throughout, mostly washed/faded, 16th/17th century (same as in PML 679.2).