Originally Posted by cybmole
that is easy
<p class="para c2">(.*)</p>
<p class="para"><span class="italic">\1</span></p>
but having span in the replace is superfluous
<p class="para" "italic">\1 </p>
PS so in fact why bother - just define class c2 to mean italic & you are done!
I thought the same thing but was just trying to follow along with the techniques the publisher had seemed to be using in other areas of the epub.
Still, this little exercise taught me quite a bit.
Thanks for all of your help and advice everyone.