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A False Dawn: The Incunabula Era

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Chapter Summary

In the wider European context, the appearance of the presses in Brittany was surprisingly rapid. The printing industry first appeared in France almost twenty years after the first works came off Gutenberg's press. The trade in printed books could build on the achievements of a flourishing manuscript market that had also witnessed rapid growth in the fifteenth century. It was in this favourable context that the presses first appeared in Brittany. But it would not have necessarily been expected that the first printers should set up their workshop not in the vicinity of the ducal court or in one of the two largest towns of the duchy but in the small village of Bréhan-Loudéac. Beyond the presses of Bréhan and Lantenac, the incunabula production of Brittany involved three other centres: Tréguier, Rennes and Nantes. Enterprising Breton booksellers created an environment too competitive for the small local print shops.

Keywords: Bréhan-Loudéac; Brittany; incunabula era; Lantenac



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