The Codex Canadensis and the Writings of Louis Nicolas has won the 2013 Canada Prize in the Humanities.
Celebrating the best Canadian scholarly books across all the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, the Canada Prizes are awarded to books that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.
Jury's citation: "François-Marc Gagnon, Nancy Senior, and Réal Ouellet have prepared a stunning bilingual edition of two remarkable and little-known manuscripts: the Codex Canadensis and the Histoire naturelle des Indes Occidentales by Louis Nicolas, one-time Jesuit missionary to New France. The picture-book of the Codex and the description of the Histoire naturelle provide fascinating and fresh evidence for how a seventeenth-century European understood the peoples, flora, and fauna of the New World and for how lives were lived and bodies adorned among First Nations peoples. In a masterful introduction and extensive notes, François-Marc Gagnon unravels the mysteries of the dating and authorship of the manuscripts, identifies the flora and fauna, and recreates Louis Nicolas’ mentality, still infused with late medieval ways of interpreting nature, yet open to surprising observation. Réal Ouellet’s fine edition of the Histoire naturelle holds on to its lively French prose, while making its spelling and archaic words accessible to the modern reader, and Nancy Senior’s English translation adds to the pleasures of the text. Beautifully produced by the Gilcrease Museum and the McGill-Queen’s University Press, The Codex Canadensis and the Writings of Louis Nicolas is a gift to the peoples of Canada and the world of scholarship beyond."
The Codex Canadensis has also won the 2012 Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, the 2012 Melva Dwyer Award and is a selected entry for the AAUP Book and Jacket Show.