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I have finally nerved myself to tackle the edited manuscript of the History of the Medieval World–which is a good thing since I’ve just learned that it needs to be back, with all illustrations and timelines and as many maps as possible, before the end of February.

Which is almost possible. Dealing with the edits is going very quickly–so far the suggested changes are along the lines of, “You’d better explain how Julian got two hundred ships into the Euphrates” and “You’d better pick one spelling for this name and stick with it.” The timelines are a little more complex. I have two commitments I’m trying to keep: to make sure that every place mentioned in the book is also on a map, and to make sure that all major dates and reigns go on timelines at the end of each chapter. These timelines have the dates from the current chapter on the right and the dates from the previous chapter on the left, like this:

Timeline for Chapter 6:


Timeline for Chapter 7:


It’s not always possible, in a world history narrative, to find a natural and intuitive transition from one chapter into another, and the timelines help hold the story together.

So that’s my task for the next few days. More soon.