Excerpt from A History of Whitby, and Streoneshalh Abbey, Vol. 1: With a Statistical Survey of the Vicinity to the Distance of Twenty-Five Miles
For its numerous and interesting embellishments, the work is indebted to the pencil of Mr. Bird, and the skill of various engravers. Some of the plates are etchings by Mr. Bird himself. To the expense of the portrait of capt. Coon, a gentleman in Whitby contributed five gnineas, from respect to the memory of our illustrious navigator. The mar and plan have been constructed by the author and his friend, with great labour; yet, partly by their own oversight, and partly by that of the engravers, a few inaccuracies have occurred.
The printers, as well as the author, have bestowed much pains on the correction of the sheets; but no work of such extent is wholly free from typographical errors. Mistakes of another kind are also too frequent. Most of these will be found corrected in the notes on subse3 quent sheets; in which form, not only corrections, but supplements, are often introduced. Such blemishes are chieﬂy owing to this circum stance, that in order to save time, the different portions of the work were printed in succession, immediately after they were compiled. The first part of a chapter, and even of a sheet, was gone to the press, before’ the last part was written; so that the author, having the printer close’ at his heels, was unable to avail himself of any new light which might be thrown, during his progress, on subjects previously discussed; except in the way of supplementary notes. This mode of proceeding has been productive of other evils: the latter part of the history is much compressed, while the former is perhaps too diﬂ‘use and the work has swelled to more than double the size originally intended: in consequence of which, the printing of it, which was not expected to occupy more than a year, has required upwards of two years and a half; two volumes have been produced instead of one; and an advan on the price proposed to the early subscribers has been rendered una voidable though this advance is very far from being proportionate to the increase of the book, or even of its embellishments. If it be asked, Why then was this injudicious plan adopted? Why was not the whole prepared, before any portion was printed? My answer is, that, had the latter method been pursued, the work, instead of being now published, would probably not have been ready for the press for several months to come, andthe publication must have been delayed at least two years longer; in which case, one of its principal ends, the relief pf M r. Winter’s family, might have been in a great measure defeated.
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