The papers appeared in print only once during James’s life, in a collection of tales, The better sort, published on 1903-02-26. Because there was no prior magazine publication nor any revision for inclusion in the New York Edition, there is no problem about which text to choose for this edition. Only one version has James’s ‘authority’.

Fortunately, at the time I started on this project, the one volume of James’s tales of which my local University Library had an original edition was The better sort, so, with thanks to the staff of Special Collections there for providing access to computer facilities as well as to the copy, I was able to proof read this text against the original. Subsequently I purchased a copy for my own collection of James originals. For details of all publications known to me containing the tale, see my tales in collections index.

Those interested in such minutiæ may like to know that for this, my first Henry James online edition, the initial source was a copy of one of the paperback editions. Parts 1–4 were copy-typed (by me!) but the remaining parts were scanned using Omni-page Pro version 8 on a HP scanner and Gateway 2000 PC. Automated text processing for HTML was done by a hand-crafted Perl script on a Unix machine. Full details of the editorial decisions and their rationale can be found on my standard page about the editorial method used here. Two fairly obvious typographical errors in the source, have been corrected as follows :

location in Methuen
1903 edition
original text correction
page 240, line 44 (bottom line) tha that
page 309, line 12 Frankfort, Frankfort.

The script used in preparing the downloadable ASCII version of this text counted 37,680 words in it.

Because of the production method the text has been proof-read twice, but only by this editor, so it was always possible that errors had slipped through both times. This was confirmed by the need to make the following corrections in December 2009 (thanks to Frank Lekens for spotting and reporting these):

location faulty text correction
ch. 1, para. 6 (end) I don’t way we shouldn’t I don’t say we shouldn’t
ch. 4, para. 4 it amounted really to glimpse, it amounted really to a glimpse,
ch. 5, para. 2 Corner
(two occurrences)

Further proofing assistance will be gratefully received by Adrian Dover.