On reading a published review of one’s book.

The other day, my regional Broadview Press sales rep stopped by my office. We chatted briefly, and on her way out she said, “Oh, I saw your book in the TLS!” And I was like, “…MY book? Ha ha, no, I don’t think so.” And she said, “I’m pretty sure it was your book. Your name is distinctive.” And since I could not argue with this, I told her I’d look it up.

My book! Was reviewed! In the TLS! (The January 31, 2014 issue—access for subscribers only.)

The review was written by a very well-known historian of material culture, whose work deeply informed my own understanding of luxury commodities in eighteenth-century Britain. Having spent so much time with her books, I get a little wibbly thinking about her reading mine. Her review treats my book as if it is also a work of history, which it is not, and so it reads a bit like someone biting into an orange and declaring, “This is not the best apple.”

So, basically, this was me:

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