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A fantastic book but a terrible edition
on 28 February 2014
Since my old, much-thumbed paperback was falling to bits, I bought the Kindle version. I'm a huge fan of the book and its author. But MacCulloch has been done a terrible disservice by Penguin. It's clearly been OCRd from the original source and the text is littered with typos; if anyone at Penguin did any proof reading, I'd suggest they find a new career.
None of the illustrations and plates are zoomable, so small that they're largely unreadable/unusable. And while there are hyperlinks to some (arbitrary) sections of the book from within chapters, there are none to either illustrations and plates. So trying to follow the narrative and examine illustrations/plates at the same time is a dispiriting and tortuous experience. Especially given the poor quality of the reproductions.
As a historical narrative, the book is almost peerless. As an edition, it's an abysmal failure. Shame on Penguin for a sloppy job.
All Kindle/e-reader users are familiar with OCRd versions of texts that are less accurate than we'd like. But for the most part those books are either free or cheap. For Penguin to take this little care with one of its flagship titles is unforgivable. When will respected and reputable publishers start to deliver quality e-products?
If I were Professor MacCulloch I would be very angry about this.
If you have a choice, get a hard copy. Give this version a wide berth.