I missed the FedEx guy, who has eluded me once more, but Christopher tripped over the huge box on the porch and staggered upstairs with it. I unpacked it onto the kitchen table, and…well, here it is. The first pass, with the stack of copyedited manuscript (sent back for comparison purposes) next to it.

And then I had a quick leaf through it, just to see how the book design came out. It’s very similar visually to The Well-Educated Mind; here’s the front page (as with all photos on this blog, click for a larger version):

and one of the pages with an inset map.

The first pass is a stack of manuscript pages, not a bound book, but here’s how the pages will look side by side.

I hauled it down to my office this morning. My desk is already covered with two different phases of the medieval history,

and I’m enjoying myself sorting through barbarian invasions and crumbling Roman administrative systems, so I couldn’t quite bear to clear it all away. I’ll lose momentum if I stop working on the Middle Ages. Fortunately, I’ve been given until September 19 to return the first pass. Unheard-of luxury! So I’ve exiled the first pass to the corner.

I’ll start on it next week. If I leave it on the floor, maybe I can keep working along on the medieval MS at the same time. That would help me stay sane. Reading through the first pass is excruciating. Your work always sounds cheesy and boring when you’re hunting for mistakes. It’s also frustrating to spot errors on pages you’ve already been through again and again. Just checking through the first pass to make sure that all the illustrations were set in, I saw a HUGE ENORMOUS blunder on the temporary chart in Chapter 85, which still needs to be typeset. How did I miss this? I’ve only glanced at it a dozen times. Here it is on the page:

and here’s a clearer view:

I bet YOU can see the huge blunder, can’t you?

These are the pages that go into the bound galleys, unfortunately, so the reviewers will all get THIS version of the chart. Hope that they remember to check their review against the final copy of the book…

Showing 6 comments
  • Denise

    I found it! It’s Maxentius isn’t it.

  • JFS in IL

    I think I see your (to quote Homer……Simpson) “Duh!” blunder…..!

    It is the Empires are switched, right? (If I am wrong please don’t post this!)

  • Susan

    You’re both on the right track–I seem to have put both Maxentius and Rome in the Eastern Empire, when (of course) they belong over in the other column.

    What complicates this a little is that although most histories split the rulers and their juniors into East and West and assign them to different halves of the Empire, the division wasn’t really that neat–all four of them ruled the whole thing and occasionally shifted their center of operations.

    But Maxentius never shifted himself THAT far. Neither did Rome.

  • tonya

    just a side note- it would make more sense to me if West were on the left side and East were on the right side- the way they are on a map- so then basically you just got your titles switched 🙂

  • Lizzy

    First of all, they owe you big time for leaving you in Va. while they go to Alaska. BIG TIME. We were assigned in Anchorage for three years and both our daughters were born there… and we still dream of going back… everyone needs to visit there at least once… you people that live there, I envy you… (sob!)

    Okay, got that off my chest!

    Secondly, props to you all that noticed the error, but I didn’t, because I didn’t retain this from my high-school textbooks, and I haven’t gotten to Rome in the SOTW… we’re still in Ancient Egypt. My first grader will know more by third grade than I do at 29! Seriously, I’m praising God! I am enjoying The Well Educated Mind, Susan, but it is an act of faith for me to work my way through it. I’m hopeful I will find someone to join me in it over the next couple of years, what fun THAT would be! Pilgrims Progress alone is formidable; but I will remember the piles of papers on your desk and keep working.
    P.S. Bob, don’t be so mean. (Brothers!)

  • Kate

    “But Maxentius never shifted himself THAT far.”

    This made me LOL. I love your humor. I think you should leave it in and see all the ancient scholars freaking out over their port.


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