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The Printing Types Of The Young Robert I Estienne; 1526–1530

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Chapter Summary

The Paris printer Robert I Estienne is certainly one of the most fascinating characters of sixteenth-century book history. In the field of type design, he is mainly remembered for his role as the initiator of the Grecs du Roy, and the introduction in the autumn of 1530 of three splendid Romans in a new style. This chapter attempts to find out what typographic trails Estienne followed before that momentous date of September 1530, when he introduced those three new Romans. There are several paths leading to some understanding of this question. First, one can explore the books he printed in this early stage of his career, say from 1526 to 1530. Second, one can follow the indications that Estienne himself gives in the introductions of his publications and in his autobiographical apology of 1552. Finally, there are the notes of one of his apprentices, the typefounder Guillaume I Le Bé.

Keywords: Paris printer; Robert I Estienne; Romans; type design; typographic trails



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