View Full Version : Historical Fiction Dumas, Alexandre, père: The Three Musketeers. v1.0. EPUB. 08 Aug 2008.

08-24-2008, 10:56 PM
This is an EPUB edition of the anonymous public domain translation of The Three Musketeers, the first of Dumas's D'Artagnan romances. I've produced this version in the face of existing editions for two reasons:

I've significantly cleaned up the source Project Gutenberg text, using various editions of the translation available through Google Book Search and the Project Gutenberg French edition as references. I've corrected a number of typos, added a few passages which appear to have been accidentally dropped, restored all italics (with proper capitalization), and correctly restored all accented letters (I hope).
I wanted to showcase what it is possible to do with EPUB formatting-wise, and I'd already started this book's production as some point in the past. My intent is for this to be the most beautiful version of this text available in a reflowable e-book format. To that end, I'd appreciate any feedback on areas where you feel I have not achieved this goal.

Because of the significant work I have put into this edition, instead of simply counting it as instance of the public domain text, I am releasing it under the Creative Commons BY-SA license.

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy it!

08-24-2008, 11:44 PM
Thanks for this. The epub looks great on my 505 and this remains one of my "must read yearly" books.

08-25-2008, 06:44 PM
A beautiful edition. I especially like the footnotes.

Could you give us a description of your methodology and tools you used? Did you use InDesign or a text editor? Or both? Thanks.

08-26-2008, 05:05 PM
Could you give us a description of your methodology and tools you used? Did you use InDesign or a text editor? Or both? Thanks.

Sure thing! I'm also planning to post some EPUB/ADE/CSS-for-books things I've learned in producing this when I have enough time to put together something coherent. (I've had this sitting around for quite some time and only posted now because I finished a casual final read-through.)

Tools: This is 100% hand-crafted markup and CSS, written in Emacs in nXML mode. I initially created the SVG cover in Inkscape but then re-did most of it by hand to work around shortcomings in the Adobe DE SVG renderer. I used a few Python scripts to help with things like "educating" the punctuation, generating the markup for the faux small-caps (ADE doesn't support CSS "font-variant"), and splitting the HTML into per-chapter files. I previewed the text primarily in Firefox, verified tricky bits look perfect in ADE & comprehensible in FBReader, and did a complete final read-through on the Reader.

Methodology: I'm not a trained designer, so I kind of bumbled through it, with some help from and a minimalist aesthetic. I identified the elements needing detailed formatting (headings, verse, letters, etc), developed designs for them I thought fit well together, and implemented them directly in markup with styling which degrades cleanly when CSS isn't supported. Production work-flow was to filter the source plain-text through Python scripts which normalized punctuation and spacing and wrapped all text in basic markup, then apply specific markup with various Emacs automation features, and finally hand-apply/-tune markup for areas where the source-text was inconsistent.

Fonts: Bonus section! and me realizing that I should probably release an updated version which includes license terms for the fonts I embedded. The cover page uses TeX Gyre Adventor, an open source OpenType version of URW Gothic L (itself a version Avant Garde Gothic). The body text is in Adobe Caslon, which is not free in any sense -- alas, but no free font does it for me for the text of a book-length work.


05-04-2010, 08:14 PM
Thank you!

06-22-2011, 05:58 PM
Many thanks!