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About the Cover Illustration - Pg. xxi

about the cover illustration The figure on the cover of MongoDB in Action is captioned "Le Bourginion," or a resi- dent of the Burgundy region in northeastern France. The illustration is taken from a nineteenth-century edition of Sylvain Maréchal's four-volume compendium of regional dress customs published in France. Each illustration is finely drawn and col- ored by hand. The rich variety of Maréchal's collection reminds us vividly of how cul- turally apart the world's towns and regions were just 200 years ago. Isolated from each other, people spoke different dialects and languages. In the streets or in the country- side, it was easy to identify where they lived and what their trade or station in life was just by their dress. Dress codes have changed since then and the diversity by region, so rich at the time, has faded away. It is now hard to tell apart the inhabitants of different conti- nents, let alone different towns or regions. Perhaps we have traded cultural diversity for a more varied personal life--certainly for a more varied and fast-paced technolog- ical life. At a time when it is hard to tell one computer book from another, Manning cele- brates the inventiveness and initiative of the computer business with book covers based on the rich diversity of regional life of two centuries ago, brought back to life by Maréchal's pictures. xxi