14 September 2010

Balzac manuscript

" Eugénie Grandet autograph manuscript and corrected galley proofs signed, 1833."

I would hate to have been his copy editor or typesetter or whoever came next in the publishing process.

Source (with zoomable image), via book-aesthete and Uncertain Times.


  1. I'm a typesetter by trade, and that thing is an utter nightmare.

    I thought some of the work I get sometimes is bad!

  2. The next time anybody complains about proofing something, I'll trot this out. Amazing! I wonder how much is total rewrite?

  3. To make it worse, for each book Balzac wrote, printers had to course through this sort of thing several times. Balzac would first send a draft to the printer, have it typeset and printed, and then he would make this mess of notes, then send it back; this would be repeated several times. The printer apparently had a Balzac specialist who was the only one allowed to set type from his manuscripts. As you can imagine, this process made it a costly endeavor to publish a Balzac novel!


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