In book publishing, reviews matter. Before I read Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner, I did something I always avoid doing before reading a book I intend to review. I read someone else’s review of the book.
I’d ordered the book (a hefty $39.95), and then I saw the headline on another reviewer’s story. It was not positive; in fact, what caught my attention was the outrage. Thinking of what I had spent that was soon to arrive, I read the first few paragraphs. And my heart sank. The primary criticism was that the book was filled with misspelled words. This is a book written by an Oxford professor and published by Princeton University Press, and it has misspelled words?
And then the reviewer launched into what he saw as the work’s major shortcoming – no emphasis, or even mention, of the importance of one particular influence (the church) on Chaucer’s life.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.