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 Literary irritations .... 
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Midshipman
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susan wrote:
Dr. Fred wrote:
What school did you go to btw? Mine certainly didn't offer Scots Gaelic or or any other Celtic languages.

I went to Bryn Mawr.

I audited the Celtic Civ class at Bryn Mawr because my class schedule was already full that semester, but I took the British Folklore class at U Penn for credit.


Ah. Not a school I could have chosen to attend then. :wink:

Well, you clearly remember your lessons. :)

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Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:20 pm
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Dr. Fred wrote:
Ah. Not a school I could have chosen to attend then. :wink:

Well...if you went to Haverford or Swarthmore or was a grad student then you could have.

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susan


Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:55 am
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Post Reprints of rare or out-of-print books
Reprints of rare or out-of-print books

In general, I think that companies that offer reprints of long out-of-print books do a great service to readers who, even if they could afford to purchase rare books, may not be able to find them at any price.

However, I am having a strange experience with one particular book published by Kessinger Publishing. I recently bought a reprint of "The Press Gang Afloat and Ashore" by John R. Hutchinson. It is an inexpensive soft cover about 8" x 11" in size. It is NOT a facsimile reprint but a completely new formatting of the book. Neither the original publication date nor the publication date of the reprint is shown.

Since the new page format does not match the original book, the publisher left the page numbers in the index completely blank. The index is useless. Seems like, after the formatting was complete, the page numbers should have been inserted into the index.

Where there is supposed to be an illustration, the word "illustration" appears in brackets, but no illustration appears. I seem to think that the bracket notation is to alert the printer to insert the proper illustration but the printer just copied the bracket comment and ignored the instruction. The same with footnotes.

I am very disappointed as the book is a lot less useful with no useable index and missing illustrations. I wrote them a letter but it has been weeks without a response. Does anyone else have a copy of this reprint or any other reprints from Kessinger Publishing? Anyone with similar experiences with other publishers?

Click Herefor their website.

Click Here for the book.

Don


Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:12 am
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I bought a book from Kessinger last autumn; it was literature, not history, but I was disappointed enough to toss it aside. I wasn't familiar with the literature and expected, at least, an informative introduction. Nothing.
I bought a Scholar's Bookshelf reprint of J. F. Cooper's Lives of Distinguished Naval Officers in December. Though the book was interesting enough, the original Cooper was published in two volumes and the reprint was only of the first volume. A query sent to the publisher earlier has gone unanswered. I've since downloaded an electronic (PDF) file of the books and have the complete text.
Recently, I ordered a volume called Jack in the Forecastle by J. S. Sleeper. It is an attractive book, well-printed and easily read, but without any material to confirm the provenance of the memoir. The subtitle refers to Incidents in the Early Life of Hawser Martingale, obviously a pseudonym.
I worked for a company that converted text to data some years ago and it seems that the process has gotten easier, opening the way for a lot of niche publishers. As always, I suppose, caveat emptor applies.
PT


Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Reprints of rare or out-of-print books
timoneer wrote:
I am very disappointed as the book is a lot less useful with no useable index and missing illustrations. I wrote them a letter but it has been weeks without a response. Does anyone else have a copy of this reprint or any other reprints from Kessinger Publishing? Anyone with similar experiences with other publishers?

I've come across examples of their books through Google books. I think it's a case of maximum profit through minimum effort. It looks like they take scanned text and flow it into a basic template. I'm guessing they didn't include the illustrations because that would require extra effort to scan them and then place them in the layout. No new index because they would have to pay someone to do the work.

They do seem to have books that are just straight reproductions (scanned) of the originals.

The yellow covers are just plain ugly. There's another company...name escapes me at the moment...that is putting out AoS related books. At least they make some attempt at producing a palatable cover design.

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susan


Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:15 am
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Post Re: Reprints of rare or out-of-print books
susan wrote:
I've come across examples of their books through Google books. I think it's a case of maximum profit through minimum effort. It looks like they take scanned text and flow it into a basic template. I'm guessing they didn't include the illustrations because that would require extra effort to scan them and then place them in the layout. No new index because they would have to pay someone to do the work.

They do seem to have books that are just straight reproductions (scanned) of the originals.

Susan, I agree with your "maximum profit through minimum effort" comment. I wonder how many complaints they get about this stuff.

The few reprints I have purchased prior to this one were facsimile reprints which are fine with me. I guess I need to make sure that any such purchase in the future be an exact copy. Or, at least get some assurance that the index, illustrations, etc. are handled properly prior to ordering. For right now, I will avoid this company.

From PT's comments, it appears that the "Jack in the Forecastle" book was reprinted by a company called Bibliobazaar. Is this the other company you were thinking of?

Don


Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:52 am
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Post Re: Reprints of rare or out-of-print books
timoneer wrote:
From PT's comments, it appears that the "Jack in the Forecastle" book was reprinted by a company called Bibliobazaar. Is this the other company you were thinking of?

The company I was thinking of is Elibron. Similiar business of scanning and producing POD books. As I said earlier, at least they make some effort with the covers.

Here's an example of one of their books: Life of Vice-Admiral Edmund, Lord Lyons

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susan


Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:41 am
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….. an extract from POB’s The Unknown Shore:

“ …..'Ye're the pairson wha's tookit yon pigwidgeon cabin,' said Campbell. From this point onwards it must be understood that Campbell spoke broad Scotch at all times, although his remarks will be put down in English; for the representation of a dialect is tedious, inaccurate and often incomprehensible …..”


How appropriate are those words, especially bearing in mind my post in another thread and Don C’s comment on page 2 of this thread, i.e. “ ….I am currently reading a novel* where the Scottish dialect is printed as it is spoken. Frankly, the Scottish language (dialect) is very difficult for me as a non-British subject. I love the fact that the author is trying to make his novel realistic but this, to me, is like trying to read a foreign language, because it is…..”

Well said, POB!!
:lol:

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Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:46 am
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Mil Goose wrote:
….. an extract from POB’s The Unknown Shore:

“... for the representation of a dialect is tedious, inaccurate and often incomprehensible …..”

Well said, POB!!

Mary, I've said before that POB was a genius and now that it appears that he agrees on this particular point with me... what can I say but to join your "Well said!" :D

Don


Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:08 pm
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Post Glossary
Note: I moved this to the proper thread on 11/16/07.

While I applaud when an author includes a Glossary of terms, I wish that the glossary was specific to the novel rather than some general dictionary of nautical terms.

I dislike looking up a term that does not appear in the glossary.

I dislike looking up contractions when the contractions appear in the text but not in the glossary. If "t'gallant" appears in the text, it's easy to find "topgallant" in the glossary, but I would prefer for both spellings to appear even if only in one listing. Such terms as "boatswain" and "bosun" might really puzzle new readers.

It might also be helpful for a note to appear in the front of the book that a glossary (or any other helpful information) is present at the end -- rather than discovering it upon completion of the novel.

Creating a glossary specific to a novel would allow the author to include foreign terms, etc. as well and add to his readers enjoyment.

Don


Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:20 pm
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Post Re: Glossary
timoneer wrote:
While I applaud when an author includes a Glossary of terms, I wish that the glossary was specific to the novel rather than some general dictionary of nautical terms.

One thing I failed to mention in my list of dislikes about poor Glossaries is when the glossary has errors.

As I continue to read William C. Hammond's "A Matter of Honor" I am checking the Glossary he included. I ran across this definition of "manger" (which I know has been discussed to death here but I find I cannot pass by a mention :). Click Here for the previous thread.)

This book states "A small triangular area in the bow of a ship in which animals are kept." It would seem from the other discussion that this is wrong. Since one of the blurbs on the dust jacket of this book compares Hammond to Patrick O'Brian, I wondered what POB would have considered as the correct definition. Since POB did not include a glossary, map, or most other support in his books, I turned to Dean King's "A Sea of Words" reputed to be a companion book for O'Brian's works. King seems to straddle the fence by stating "A small triangle area in the bow of a ship-of-war set off by a movable bulkhead and used to prevent water that enters through the hawse-holes from flooding the deck. Also, the same space used for keeping a ship's animals." Did King find both uses in POB's works?

When Glossaries differ, confusion reigns for the reader.

Don


Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:00 pm
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Post Cliffhangers
Cliffhangers -

I have had changing feelings about cliffhangers in novels over the years. At one time, they did not bother me so much but lately I have come to despise them. Maybe it is just the way that the most recent cliffhangers are presented that caused this shift.

I generally do not like them on TV but a cliffhanger in a weekly series is resolved in the following week. End of season cliffhangers have always bothered me. When an author publishes only once a year, a cliffhanger is pure torture. Of course, some of the Star Wars movies made fans wait for 2-3 years (or longer) between movies, so novelists could make it worse, I suppose.

Anyone else have strong feelings about subject - either way?

SPOILER: I have just finished Peter Smalley's "Barbary Coast" and the cliffhanger ending really hit me hard. The cliffhanger "event" is so closely connected to the events in this book, that I wish the author had just included it rather than make me wait for another year to find out what finally happened.

Don


Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:12 am
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Post Reprint errors or reprint improvements.
Reprint errors or reprint improvements.

This is to continue the previous comments in this thread about reprint problems.

As I said before, I love the fact that reasonably priced reprints of expensive books are available for readers. I’ll continue to buy them even if they are unsatisfactory in certain aspects.

I’d like to use my recently purchased copy of "Ned Myers" by [as told to] James Fenimore Cooper as an example. Since there were several editions available, I just picked the one at the top of the list when I searched at Amazon. I really didn’t know what I was getting but the Bibliobazzar edition seems just to have reformatted the text without adding any new information, even the opening lines by W. C. Bryant are repeated. There is a 2006 copyright date for Bibliobazzar’s edition.

There are general misspellings in this reprint that occur in the original: Jaffrail instead of Taffrail. There are misspellings of proper names: Sheafe instead of Sheaffe. There are errors in fact that a modern fact-checker should find but the original author/editor did not. I realize that if the original text is scanned, the reprint might have even more errors introduced by that process.

I realize that, previously here, we seem to agree that publishers of reprints seem to want to maximize profits more than publish a quality product. I also realize that a publisher can make an exact copy of the pages (or reformat them), add an introduction or drawing, and copyright it. I assume that the new format, drawing, introduction, etc. is really the only copyrighted material.

How could I have gotten a copy of this book that had had some effort made to correct the original errors? Or even find out if such an animal exists? Actually, I do not want to buy another edition of "Ned Myers" but, since there were several publishers of this particular book, this might make this a good book to examine.

Is it too much to expect any publisher to take some care with a reprint? Could we start a list of publishers here to give some guidance for future purchases of reprints?

Don


Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:32 pm
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I hate "the" before HMS: we went to see the HMS Victory... (and to be a real pedant, when HMS is in italics along with the name).

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Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:38 pm
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Badger wrote:
I hate "the" before HMS: we went to see the HMS Victory... (and to be a real pedant, when HMS is in italics along with the name).

It makes me cross too, especially when I hear BBC announcers use it - they should know better, surely.
What do you make of it in the context of this page of <a href="http://tallship.typepad.com/">Traditional Boats & Tall Ships Magazine</a>? At the bottom of this page there is an entry that begins: "The HMS Surprise is arguably one of the most well-known vessels in naval fiction..." Do you think that it is OK to prefix "the" here, since "HMS Surprise" is the complete name of a fictional ship?


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