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Old 05-14-2018, 03:59 AM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Re-Habbing and Re-vamping Public Domain Works

I would love some opinion feed-back about altering *Chapter Titles* of public domain books.

Here is the scenario: I have begun work on "The String of Pearls," which is a huge 740-page (177-chapter) expansion of the original 39-chapter penny-dreadful, "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

My problem? I am so glad you asked...

Apparently, when they decided to expand upon the original, they arbitrarily set some chapter titles, and the author(s ?) simply began writing new content. Be that as it may, it ends up that those titles refer to contents sometimes two or three chapters later. So you will find, for example (these are imaginary examples) a title "Mrs. Lovett Visits Sweeney." The chapter itself does not contain any reference to Mrs. Lovett or Sweeney. The visit will take place 3 chapters further along in the book; and that title might be something like "Toby Falls Out of the Boat."

To add to the confusion, the typesetters apparently lost their place a few times, and skipped chapter numbers or re-used chapter numbers.

I am NOT intending to re-create the print edition. I am never married to the printed edition as far as missing punctuation, obvious typos and mis-spellings (which this book carries in lavish abundance, such as through the pain of glass, assend the stairs, etc, etc ), and silently correct such where I find them.

This Chapter Title issue is a bit different, though, and I would love to get your feedback on how I should proceed with this. Should I re-arrange the chapter titles, and invent new ones where the existing ones are totally unrelated to the content?

Or, do you think the chapter titles should be left as-is?
I think they are confusing, but I may be too close to the problem to be objective.

Let me hear your views!

EDIT TO ADD link to the book in question:
https://archive.org/details/stringofpearlsor00ryme

Last edited by GrannyGrump; 05-14-2018 at 05:10 AM. Reason: add link to book
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:19 AM   #2
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By all means leave the chapter titles. I think they will make up a big part of the charm.

I think in the case of a book like this it might even be fun if you added your own editor's comments on the chapter titles (as subtitles, for instance). Like "Mrs. Lovett Visits Sweeney (But Not in This Chapter)" or "Toby Falls Out of the Boat (And Mrs. Lovett Visits Sweeney At Last)". perhaps silly, but I'd enjoy it.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:17 AM   #3
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Ha! That is a good suggestion.

(like I said, I am too close to it to be objective --- only seeing the downside!)
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:44 AM   #4
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A link that might save you some work:

http://www.salisburysquare.com/TSOP/

Found it following the trail of the hashtag at the bottom of your IA link.

It's far from finished, but at least it's an e-text of about the first third of the book.

Last edited by doubleshuffle; 05-14-2018 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:00 PM   #5
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@GrannyGrump: If you are working from a book, you are not working from the original and may be encountering errors introduced by those producing the book version. This opus was first published in serialization form. It is that version that you should use for reference.

The books "chapters" may not correspond to the original. You may be encountering a mix of chapter titles and sub-chapter section titles which the book producer did a poor job of "transmutating" into book divisions.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwig View Post
@GrannyGrump: If you are working from a book, you are not working from the original and may be encountering errors introduced by those producing the book version. This opus was first published in serialization form. It is that version that you should use for reference.

The books "chapters" may not correspond to the original. You may be encountering a mix of chapter titles and sub-chapter section titles which the book producer did a poor job of "transmutating" into book divisions.
The scan at the Internet Archive is the original printing of the expanded version.

http://www.salisburysquare.com/TSOP/introduction.html
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:09 PM   #7
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There are two places for chapters. I would make the inline chapters like the book if you wish but the separate TOC file should be useful and thus corrected IMHO

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Old 05-15-2018, 05:11 AM   #8
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@DoubleShuffle -- yup, I found that link, and am now shamelessly using their transcription (which is far from perfect, but saving me a lot of time). I do not feel guilty, since they seem to have abandoned the project two years ago.

I am using the scan of the print book for proofing (and btw, that jpg2pdf is really fast and easy, I love it. It took much more time just to convert to jpeg, the pdf conversion took about 2 minutes to convert 100 pages to a pdf. I had to break into sections or file size got too unwieldy for my Sumatra reader. The entire job took about 20 minutes. So thank you again for giving me that link!)

Anyway, comparison of this expanded version to the original serial shows identical titles and text up through chapter 33, and then things rapidly fall apart. Text of the final six chapters of the original serial is probably still scattered throughout the 140 new chapters --- upon a quick glance, the original final two chapters have seen great revision.

@DaleDe ---I will definitely re-number the chapters accurately, for both inline and TOC.
Perhaps I will try to create new chapter titles, and put the original titles in parentheses. Or something. I am not sure, as this could involve 100 or more titles, and I don't know what kind of results I will come up with.

I've never had a project with this sort of problem before... (but of course, I *have* lived a sheltered life).

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Old 05-15-2018, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyGrump View Post
@DoubleShuffle -- yup, I found that link, and am now shamelessly using their transcription (which is far from perfect, but saving me a lot of time). I do not feel guilty, since they seem to have abandoned the project two years ago.
Strange, in their Introduction:

http://www.salisburysquare.com/TSOP/introduction.html

Quote:
We have been adding chapters since, and now have 60 online in draft form; 1-10 are proofread and finalized. In 2018, we will continue to proofread, fill in missing notes, correct encoding and formatting errors, and add a carousel of images of the original 1850-1 engravings. In time, we’ll have the complete 1850-1 text, with the original illustrations, available for close reading and machine-supported distant reading.
Seems like they are still working on it, but only have the first 60 chapters up so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyGrump View Post
Anyway, comparison of this expanded version to the original serial shows identical titles and text up through chapter 33, and then things rapidly fall apart. Text of the final six chapters of the original serial is probably still scattered throughout the 140 new chapters --- upon a quick glance, the original final two chapters have seen great revision.
Do you have a link to the original serial as well?

Or are you basing that off of the 2007 edition edited by Robert Mack?

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-15-2018 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I've never had a project with this sort of problem before... (but of course, I *have* lived a sheltered life).
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:42 PM   #11
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@Tex --- I dunno, somehow I got the impression that nothing new had been posted in 2017. However, theirs is planned to be a "scholarly" reference, with all misspellings and typesetting errors faithfully reproduced --- ANATHEMA! I just can't, I simply can't, I tell you!

It is strange that I have not been able to find any scan of the original serial --- or perhaps, not so strange --- it was apparently an inexpensive magazine, and I can't find any archive for Edward Lloyd's "The People's Periodical and Family Library". And that was way back in 1847.

The only texts of the original serial I have found are actually transcriptions. And who knows how faithful those are....
At VictorianLondon.org:
http://www.victorianlondon.org/myste...ey_todd-00.htm

And a "community text" transcription at archive.org:
https://archive.org/details/TheStrin...rOfFleetStreet

Gutenberg Australia has a very truncated version, which can also be found in our own MR library, and probably many other places as well.
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602581h.html


I AM determined that I will not flee, screaming in defeat. I will beat this book into submission, though it cost me my sanity!

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Old 06-25-2018, 08:57 PM   #12
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wikisource also has what I believe is the serial version at
<https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_String_of_Pearls>

I grabbed the expanded version from IA. I downloaded the entire set of files (huge!) I took the jpeg2000 files, converted then to png and attempted to run OCR on a few pages. I think I could copy type them almost as fast. Actually some of the other pages might be better, I only tried pages, 1, 2, and 3.

Generally, images fare very poorly in IA pdf files. I have found that getting the original scans (usually jpeg or jpeg2000 format) results in far better quality images. In the case of A String of Pearls, the pdf quality is quite good, perhaps because the individual images are very big (5103x8052 pixels). Good luck!
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:40 AM   #13
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@Grumbles -- I posted the finished book last week, and the project went much more smoothly than I feared. Don't know why I could download the zip of jp2 images, but not the pdf. I never could download the huge pdf from IA (it kept losing connection, probably due to file size), and did have to convert the jp2 images to pdf. Got a great freeware app suggested by DoubleShuffle, and that went quite fast.

I am definitely taking a break from illustrations for a while!
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:30 AM   #14
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You are probably lucky you were able to find the expanded edition at all. I remember that "Varney the Vampire or the feast of Blood" (another long serial from that time) was hard to find. I think the whole thing was only at one site through (I think) the University of Virginia or some such. Not sure that the page is even still there now. Most copies only seem to have partial copies of the manuscript. Probably many serials from that time are incomplete though. People would read them and throw the paper away afterward I imagine, much like OTR recordings. The radio stations often didn't preserve them. It was the average person who had a recorder who is responsible for a lot of what we still have of those shows.
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