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INSIDE the Bordeaux Copy
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Ordering the Bordeaux Copy
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The Story Behind the Bordeaux Copy Reproduction
The color reproduction of the Bordeaux Copy of Montaigne's Essais was published in July 2002.

After more than four years of hard work rhythmed by administrative and scientific hurdles, this editorial project comes finally to an end! Such scientific endeavor was made possible with the support of the French Ministry of Culture, the City of Bordeaux, the Montaigne Club of Dallas, the University of Chicago and Montaigne Studies, and has required a heavy financial investment and unprecedented technical innovations. In order to complete this edition, the Bordeaux Copy of Montaigne's Essais was photographed in the vault where it resides. Strict technical specifications were imposed by the City of Bordeaux and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France technical services. The numerous photographic sessions occurred at the Bordeaux library, the electronic conversion of the ektachromes was done at the University of Chicago and the printing on high quality paper (close to the original) was done in Italy by Grafischena. Finally, the leather (morocco) binding-identical to the Bordeaux Copy for the first 120 numbered copies-was done in France.

The result is a fantastic monument (more than 13 pounds!) to the memory of Montaigne and a unique research and teaching tool for scholars working on the Renaissance. Montaigne's handwriting has never been so legible (richer and more readable than the black and white reproduction published by Hachette in 1912 and far superior to the "reproduction of the reproduction" published by Slatkine). The color reproduction allows students and scholars to multiply endlessly the famous layers of Montaigne's text as the visible differences in the ink colors open new possibilities of interpretation for key passages of the Bordeaux Copy.

I invite you to order this color reproduction or at least have your library order it. It is an indispensable research and teaching document. All the specialists of Montaigne and the French Renaissance will finally be able to have access to this important book.

Philippe Desan
Editor, Montaigne Studies

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