Talk:The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

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Information about this edition
Edition:
Source: Project Gutenberg
Contributor(s): Initially uploaded by EncycloPetey
Level of progress: Text being edited; complete through Book VII
Notes:
Proofreaders: EncycloPetey

Current work from existing scanned texts?[edit]

Gday. The work that you are currently adding, is it from a scanned source? If it is at somewhere like http://www.archive.org, then we can look to get the scan and have it loaded at Commons, and be able to work off that as a .djvu, and have the advantage of being able to import the text layer from the file, and proofread it and transclude it. If it is, then please get back to me, and I will help set this up. billinghurst (talk) 14:13, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

No, unfortunately I am not working from a scanned source but from Gutenberg (as indicated by the templates). Work is slow because I want to read the text thoroughly as I go and add explanatory notes while the information is fresh in my mind. I know of no scanned copy of the text. However, If someone were to scan a First Folio copy of certain Shakespeare plays, I have a strong inclination to work on Henry V, Richard II, Macbeth, or Romeo and Juliet as my next WS project. I own a facsimile copy of the First Folio, but don't know the legal implications of scanning such a facsimile, and so hesitate to do that myself. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:31, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I do see http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=%22The%20History%20of%20Tom%20Jones%22 these are different? billinghurst sDrewth 05:14, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Which item? Different from what? You didn't provide enough context for me to know what you're talking about. I see an audio recording, an 1887 digitized copy (not the original 1749), and a number of other things on the page to which you linked. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:56, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
It is completely legal to copy a facsimile, so long as you exclude modern material, definitely including new notes, but probably not including purely mechanical things like line numbers.
Are you still working on "The History of Tom Jones"? If so, let me know if you would like to collaborate on this. --Gavin.collins (talk) 14:42, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I am still working on that text, but I have started a new job that limits my Wiki-contribution time. I have been doing Tom Jones as an extended project, and hope to make another great push in a couple of weeks. Collaboration with another person would not be simple. I have tried collaboration before, and it resulted in slower progress than working alone. However, I can't speak firmly against collaboration without knowing what kind of collaboration you have in mind. If you have access to scanned pages of a 1749 copy of the novel, then I would be very much interested in collaborating. If you have some other idea in mind, you would need to express the nature of the proposed collaboration. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:03, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry to hear you believe collaboration would result in slower progress. I doubt that anyone has access to scanned pages of a 1749 copy, as the reproduction rights (with GNU Free Documentation License) would be valuable, and have to be bought from, say, the British Library, whilst the purchase of a first edition would probably cost in excess of $22,000. However, it might be possible to purchase a reprint of the 1st or 2nd edition, but identifing such a publication is not my area of expertise.
It is not clear from the Bibliographic Record as to which edition the Project Gutenberg version actually represents. Have you any idea yourself if it is a copy of the 1749 text or a later version? --Gavin.collins (talk) 12:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
No, unfortunately I do not know which editions was used, but there are enough clues in a careful reading of the text to make me believe it is an 18th or early 19th century version. I've been comparing against a modernized edition that I've been reading along with the text, and occasionally find archaic spellings and such that help to date the edition. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I have found an ordered what appears to be an old facsimile copy for rather cheap. It should arrive within a month or two according to the bookseller. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:34, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
[unindenting] My suggestion would be to tackle Fielding's 1751 novel Amelia, which has a Gutenberg text available, but (as you can see from the red link here and at Author:Henry Fielding) has not even been begun yet. It's on my list of "to-do" items after I finish Tom Jones, but if you tackle that one, then I won't have to worry about it.
Part of the problem of collaboration in uploading is the potential for inconsistency in style, coupled with the fact that everything has to be double-checked. If you upload large sections of text, I have no way of being certain they're from the same source or were copied correctly or formatted the same way without checking everything again. So, a dual project really doesn't speed things up unless there is a clear division of labor set up and collaborators who know each other's working methods. Since you don't seem to have done much on WikiSource yet, I can't form any opinion about your editing style to know how a collaboration would turn out.
I'd recommend starting with the same sort of approach I started with: pick a text that doesn't exist yet, and that you think you can handle, and go for it. I started with a missing Tennyson poem "Ode to Memory" before trying anything longer. There is just so many texts that haven't even been started that I'm constantly dismayed at what's missing. I want to see more plays, especially First Folio editions of Shakespeare, and some of those are "next" on my list. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:50, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
What edition is the old facsimile that you have bought? --Gavin.collins (talk) 09:45, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I won't be certain of that until it arrives, which could be anytime in March, since I had to order it from overseas. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:05, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
In the event that no scan can be had else where, there is a suitable edition available for download from the Internet Archive, namely the Legrand edition (1791). According to the notes on Worldcat, this edition is "A Swiss reprinting in English of what appears to be the first edition" (Morrissey, L.J.: Henry Fielding - A Reference Guide). Although there are earlier versions avaiable, all 4 volumes of the Legrand edition are available on the Internet Archive site, and their provenance appears to be excellent. ----Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 13:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

1899 anniversary facsimile[edit]

I've receieved my "facsimile" copy sooner than I'd expected, considering it had to be shipped from Ireland. It's not a photo-facsimile, as I'd hoped, but I knew it was an 1899 edition so I suspected it might not be. The words appear to all be intact, but the type has been reset for this 150th anniversary edition published in London by Sands & Company. Here is the prefatory text for the edition, written by the editor:

This edition is a verbatim reprint of the first edition, published in 1749, of the title of which a verbatim reprint will be found on the page facing this.
This reprint of the first edition of "Tom Jones" is as accurate as it has been possible to make it. In a few instances corrections of obvious misspelling have been made. The quotations have, however, been left with their errors. It is curious to note that, since the first appearance of the novel in 1749, no less than 21,000 alterations have been made in the original text, some of them, indeed, of such a peculiar character that the entire sense of sentences has been completely changed. At times one sentence has been divided into three or four; at others, three sentences have been knocked into one. This volume professes to be merely a restoration of garbled versions, and is presented to the reader in the state in which it was intended to be presented by the author, Henry Fielding. EDITOR.

So, there have been some spelling, and possibly orthographic alterations, but the wording and punctuation are supposed to have been preserved. I have yet to have the time to properly make a comparison against the Gutenberg text. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:03, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

This would appear to be the editon identified in WorldCat. Are you able to upload a scan onto Wikisource? ----Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 13:31, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I would be able to do that, but I'm not sure that it would be worth the effort. The text's "spelling" looks fishy to me. I've found "2ndly" spelled out as "secondly", which is far more than just a spelling correction as the editor claims. It looks as though the spelling has been normalized to 1899 standards, rather than simply having the errors corrected. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:14, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

move discussion[edit]

[Discussion across user talk pages, now moved here. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 17:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)]

I don't undersatnd the reason for move numerous pages that will only need to be moved back into the main namespace. All but one of the pages that was up was itself complete, proofread, and so I don't see how they were "problematic". Only the latest book was not yet fully edited, and only the books not yet entered were truly incomplete. If we're start moving problematic texts out of the main namespace, then I suggest starting with all the Shakespeare plays, as none of them follow any source I've examined and appear to be unidentified modern editions from unspecified sources. By comparison, the Tom Jones text is identified as coming from Gutenberg and has been checked again another restored edition. Yes, it's incomplete, but it's only temporarily idle. I've been constently working on it for a very long time, and will continue again in about two weeks when I again have a block of time to do so. The work is rather intensive, so I can't usually get it done except when I have time off work. It really would have been polite to post a query to me before dismantling the text. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:53, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

replied here CYGNIS INSIGNIS 03:55, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Your replies demonstrate that you didn't read my comments carefully, and didn't pay attention to the edit history of the text:


I don't undersatnd the reason for move numerous pages that will only need to be moved back into the main namespace.

I don't see a problem, when it is finished you can move it back.
I see a problem, and you haven't explained the move.
I have, it is incomplete and not going to be finished anytime because of your current time limitations and refusal of an offer to collaborate on the text (for whatever reason).

All but one of the pages that was up was itself complete, proofread, and so I don't see how they were "problematic".

The work appears to be half finished, not 'all but one page'. I found something problematic, if I recall correctly it was the mixed editions.
Please re-read my comment. I said "All but one of the pages that was up was itself complete", and not that all pages were up. There is no mixed edition. I have no idea why you think there were mixed editions, because there aren't. You made an error of interpretation.

Only the latest book was not yet fully edited, and only the books not yet entered were truly incomplete.''

If you were reading it, wouldn't you think that was a problem?
No, but I would find a problem with the red link at the author page, since there is text in existence with no link. If I were reading it, I would notice the missing books before starting because of the red links form the pages. I find the missing text as a result of your move a bigger problem.
And you would read it anyway!? I would go to PG and read that instead. The move doesn't affect your plans and efforts to complete the work. We don't stub works here, as someone else put it, "we ought not create blue links that are guaranteed to engender dissatisfaction in any reader who follows them". The redlink is information, we don't have that work, if someone went ahead and added the PG text, or a scan-based version, that is a good thing.

Incomplete text are regularly deleted, not moved, I recognise your effort and conserved the history. A reader is not deprived, and google doesn't give a link to something we don't have yet. Why would anyone need to see it, they don't get what they hoped to find and, according to you, are unable to help complete it.

You make an unfounded assumption: That the only purpose for someone to find the document here is to read it. That isn't ever the primary reason I go to an electronic version of a source; I do it to be able to search for terms, phrases, etc. within the text. I have a friend who teaches English and has her students use Wikisource in lieu of a concordance for that work. Her students are able then to find and utilize passages from Melville (e.g.) without having access to a printed concordance. You have thus made unfounded assumptions about what people are looking for and have based your entire argument on this fallacy.
Reading a text is only one purpose of having the text. The edition I'm working on also provides interpretive links to WP articles. Fielding often uses the technique of refering to "Dr. H---" or "Mr. G---", to get around the legal problem of saying potentially libelous things. While an educated contemporary London reader would likely have known the identity of the persons, most modern readers will not, so those portions of the text are linked to biographies of the individuals on Wikipedia. This allows someone to make a study of the availbale portions of the text.
You have a very pessimistic view of Wikisource users: That they will be angry or disappointed at finding a glass half empty, and so prefer to set out a completely empty glass. That's a philosophy I can never agree with. I have a more generally optimistic view of wiki-users, that they will be happier to find a half-full glass of water than no water at all.

By comparison, the "Tom Jones" text is identified as coming from Gutenberg and has been checked again another restored edition.

Mixed editions are problematic. A PG text is acceptable, so is typing in your 'restored edition', but they are different 'sources'.
As I said, there is no mixed edition. I have been comparing against another edition for verification in the absence of a 1749 copy of the original text. I have not altered anything is the PG text except formatting in accordance with their convention for long dashes and italics.
You are using separate sources. No one would be able to easily verify whether you got it right, or what is sourced from where.
You're still not reading what I write, so explaining again that I am pulling text from only one source will probably fall on deaf ears no matter how many times I say it.

Yes, it's incomplete, but it's only temporarily idle. I've been constently working on it for a very long time, and will continue again in about two weeks when I again have a block of time to do so.

I noticed, since 2007. You can continue to do so, how does the move affect that?
Wrong. Another error of interpretation. I have worked on the text as recently as a couple of months ago. The 2007 was the last time I worked on the prologue and I haven't worked on that again because that page was finished. You should have paid more careful attention to the dates before leaping to your erroneous conclusion.
I didn't suggest otherwise. I've been constently working on it for a very long time ... "I noticed, since 2007"
That wasn't the way it originally read to me. I read "...it's only temporarily idle." "I noticed, since 2007."

The work is rather intensive, so I can't usually get it done except when I have time off work.

If you follow the suggestion above to use a scan, you could accept the offer from the collaborator. The primary task is to make the complete and 'clean' text available, you might then think about making an annotated edition, if that is what you are doing. As it is, only you know what is going on and, as you explained above, collaboration is not possible.
There isn't a scannable source available. I have an anniversary text, but it isn't what the seller claimed; it's heavily modernized.
There are numerous editions, already scanned, the bibliographical note to the first I looked at seems authoritative. Despite the limitation of obtaining a pre-1923 text, the trend at the turn of that century was to produce type-facsimiles and explain what was done.
You have very naive ideas about turn-of-the-century works then. I now own a Tom Jones copy published at the turn of the century. It is heavily modernized and altered from the original, claiming that only "obvious errors of spelling" have been corrected, which is falt out misleading. As someone who has worked in medieval texts, I assure that turn-of-the-century editions of old texts regularly use standardization and modernization without saying so. The link you've provided is yet another suspect text, judging by the examination I've made against period British spellings.
I've only made a cursory examination of the 1923 edition to which you've linked, but I already find that some of Fielding's peculiarities of spelling have apparently been eliminated silently by the editor. Easy examples: Fielding's use of the spelling serjeant in Book VII, and his peculiarly numerical form of 2ndly. So, I don't know upon what you are basing your impression that the text is authoritative. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:21, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

It really would have been polite to post a query to me before dismantling the text. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:53, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

I didn't 'dismantle' anything. You know how to read an edit summary, I know you know how to use a wiki. The edit history is intact, it's not like I deleted your edits and refuse to have see them restored, or impulsively made questionable changes without a word to you ;) I moved it, move it back when it is useful to a reader, when it is complete. If you had nominated an edition, found a scan, you could take all the time you like by using the Page:namespace. If you proposed it as candidate for 'Proofread of the Month', then it would probably be done by now. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 03:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Your trackless move has resulted in the deletion of redirects that pointed to the text. Other editors didn't know what you'd done. You've also left a red link on the author page. no one will know that any part of the text exists if they look there. They may well assume that no work has been done and wastefully start the wole thing again from scratch. There is no scanned text to proofread against, and the text I've used is copy-pasted out of PG as noted in the text's talk page. If you can find the 1749 edition on-line, kudos to you. But to this point no one has successfully found that or anything remotely close. I've no interest in investing lots of work into a bastardized later edition (which most of them seem to be). --EncycloPetey (talk) 05:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Trackless move!? Then how did you find me, if not from "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling moved to Wikisource:Requested texts/The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling [redirect suppressed]..." given at the redlink. CYGNIS INSIGNIS
It's on my watchlist (duh!); this won't be the case for most users. A user would have to click on the redlink to find the move. Most users won't know to do that, or won't think of doing that. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:10, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

[Italic added to comments by EncycloPetey for clarity]


  • While you are here: My SUL is not working at wiktionary: it was fine, then wasn't, then was again, but is now cactus. Is this a known issue there? Can please investigate why that is, and how it can be fixed. Thanks in advance. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 03:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    I'm currently not active on Wiktionary and haven't been since November. After the Serbo-Croatian debacle and other community in-fighting I found the whole situation there too stressful, and have move on to other projects (especially Wikispecies). This was to have also freed up more time to work here, but I see I'll have to deal with stress here too... or not. If you want to claim the text is "idle", then let it stay that way. I've no desire to contradict you, so let it be idle. Move things around and hide them from users. I'll continue on Wikispecies. If you care to move the text back and apologize, I'll happily continue the text in the time I planned during my break. If not, let it sit abandoned where no one will find it. Either way, let me know on Wikispecies or WP. Those are the two places I'm currently checking in daily, since I can spot edit in small doses in the evening. Wikisource editing takes bigger blocks of my time, and I can't successfully do that most of the year because of job limitations. --EncycloPetey (talk) 05:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh, thanks anyway.
  • I hope you get over this and help contribute highly desirable texts like Tom Jones. Early users wasted a lot time trying to fix PG texts with print editions, so did I, but scans come with near perfect text layers and the formatting and so on can be seen right next to each page. I recognise that people feel demoralised when they see how much easier the djvu has made things, and the realisation that getting a very good edition, properly published, is going to require less effort than completing what you have attempted is a bitter pill. I moved it, I'm not obstructing you from continuing when you have time. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 06:50, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    I can't get over the problem that you aren't listening to the key points I'm saying. (1) There are no page scans to be used except for later doubtful editions. (2) Hiding the incomplete works will frustrate editors who put in a lot of time only to find that a partial work duplicating their efforts already existed elsewhere. I hesitate now to start on any work here, since I might find partway through that my efforts have duplicated those of some person working in a different namespace. (3) Dumping the unformatted text into the main namespace would not be a good thing. One of the reasons I've edited Tom Jones the way I have was as a result of seeing the sloppy and unprofessional text dumps that exist for a number of other works. (4) I explained clearly the problems with collaborating with the anon in the discussion with that anon. If you didn't bother to read them, and since you haven't been listening to me thus far, then repeating them here will make no difference. I already feel disenfranchised enough, especially since the fact that two of your three reasons for the move have turned out to be in error, yet you maintain your position. Normally, people change their minds when they discover the were not in possession of the facts. The third reason for the move is debatable, and I strongly disagree with you in both practice and principle (see "2" above).
  • Since you seem much happier having an incomplete work moved into a hidden location, instead of a work in progress available in the main namespace, I'll not do anything to make you unhappy. The work will remain unfinished in the hidden alternative namespace, and I'll plan to use my wiki-time productively elsewhere. I don't have the desire to spend time dealing with you on this. If you change your mind, and decide you want me to complete the work in the main namespace, let me know. I wouldn't want to spoil your happiness of having an incomplete work in the Wikisource namespace. Clearly, having made that move is a great triumph for you and gives you satisfaction that I don't want to impinge upon. --EncycloPetey (talk) 07:49, 7 April 2011 (UTC)