Narrative of Edward McGowan, Including a Full Account of the Author's Adventures and Perils While Persecuted by the San Francisc
The Narrative of Edward McGowan needs no introduction, or foreword: it is so well known to collectors of Californiana, and to old Californians, especially San Franciscans, that all that is necescessary to be stated in presenting a new edition thereof is, what has been done by the printer and publisher in the reprinting.<br><br>No attempt was made to edit the work, nor was there any disposition to do so, or to make any changes from the original. Most of the problems arising during the reprinting, where apparent inaccuracies were met, were solved on the instant, without looking forward for parallel instances, fearful that a Scylla avoided on one page might be succeeded by a Charybdis on another, the line-for-line limitation precluding the correction of many of such typographical errors.<br><br>A preference was expressed by several persons interested in the publication of the book, for a reprinting "exactly as McGowan wrote it." This could not be done. Evidence is abundant that McGowan's copy underwent compositorial editing, or that of the proof-reader, - a common practice, and one not always making for betterment, as many a writer has found to his sorrow. On page 69 we find this phraseology: the "sweeper out of Everett's hatter's shop in Clay street." McGowan, of course, did not write this phrase: it is redolent of Bow-bells; its cockneyism is apparent. The work of the compositor guilty of this change can be traced throughout the book. The other "compositors" were of the "woods-and-templed-hills" order, or had gleaned a knowledge of type in some "Tar Flat joint." No indications are there of that "sweeping superficial knowledge" supposed to be possessed by the old-time book-printer. Thus it is that the disposition to make no changes lost its restraining curb as the work progressed, and typographical inaccuracies were corrected in many instances.