Caught by the River

A publisher's right to reply

7th June 2016

In his review of the recently published edition of Edward Thomas’s In Pursuit Of Spring (CBTR, Sunday 5 June) Cally Callomon aired his dissapointment with certain production issues. The publisher, whilst acknowledging the positives in the review, was disappointed to read the criticisms and requested a right to reply. Here, Jon Woolcott, from Little Toller Books, puts the publisher’s point across:

Cally – thank you for reviewing our new edition of In Pursuit of Spring – we were delighted to publish it, and to be the first to publish Thomas’ extraordinary photographs. But while we thoroughly agree about Alexandra’s brilliant introduction, and our inclusion of the full text of the book, with all its marvellous and lyrical idiosyncrasies, we’re moved to reply to your comment about the way we published the photographs themselves. Through our Nature Classics we seek to bring a wider readership to the works of the great nature writers – with new introductions from contemporary writers, these are affordable paperbacks which are nevertheless carefully designed and high quality, in the spirit of the early editions. In Pursuit… was never intended to be a photographic book – and even had we been able to reproduce the small prints at a larger size, this would have necessitated an increase in price, putting Thomas’ genius with the pen, and occasionally, with the camera, beyond the reach of many. Having said that it’s true that we would have preferred a slightly thicker paper stock – we’re correcting that for all future reprints and for all our Nature Classics, and there is certainly merit in a wider book taking into account much else held in the wonderful Thomas archive, a project we’d be happy to be involved in. Your recreation of Thomas’ trip in 2017, the one hundredth anniversary of the poet’s death, is a splendid idea and at least one of us is minded to accompany you, if you’ll have us. We’ll bring a bag for you to carry the book in…