Checking the proofs

Strathclyde & the Anglo-Saxons in the Viking Age

The publisher of Strathclyde and the Anglo-Saxons in the Viking Age is Birlinn of Edinburgh, from whom I recently received the ‘first proofs’ – a preliminary version of the book in unbound form. The author’s job is to see if any last-minute tweaks are required.

The low-res photo above is a snapshot of the proofs. Note the three Pictish warriors on the title page. You might recognise them as the robed spearmen carved on a magnificent symbol stone from the Brough of Birsay in Orkney.  This is the logo of ‘John Donald’, Birlinn’s academic imprint, which is also the stable for two of my other books (Columba and The Men Of The North).

The proofs arrive in hardcopy and PDF format. I’ve spent most of today checking the paper version, a task I started last week. I’m now nearly at the the end of Chapter Five, which is basically a biographical study of the Strathclyde king Dyfnwal who reigned from c.940 to c.970. The title of the chapter is King Dunmail, taking its name from the fabled ‘last king of rocky Cumberland’ mentioned in a poem by William Wordsworth.  The Dunmail of legend and the Dyfnwal of history are one and the same.

Tomorrow I hope to get through another few chapters.

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4 responses to “Checking the proofs

  1. And again, yay! Need new eyeballs yet? Proofreading is one of those jobs that, well, yack. At least the pictures are already proven in the splendiferousnous 😉


  2. It’s said that you find mistakes more easily if you read sentences backwards. I certainly find that that works well for checking numbers (such as bank account numbers).


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