I have just written a longish post on copyright over on my Book Depository blog Editor's Corner. Basic thrust is that publishers who publish out of copyright books, like Penguin Classics and OUP’s World Classics, show that, in some ways, copyright might not be that big an issue after all. My focus in the piece was on Oneworld Classics (the folks who have just purchased Calder Publications).
Oneworld Classics have, very kindly, sent on to me a number of their new books. And they really are quite beautifully produced. Oddly, I got two copies of Chekhov's Sakhalin Island:
In 1890, the thirty-year-old Chekhov, already knowing that he was ill with tuberculosis, undertook an arduous eleven-week journey from Moscow across Siberia to the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. Now collected here in one volume are the fully annotated translations of his impressions of his trip through Siberia, and the account of his three-month sojourn on Sakhalin Island, together with author's notes, extracts from Chekhov's letters to relatives and associates, and photographs.
Highly valuable both as a detailed depiction of the Tsarist system of penal servitude and as an insight into Chekhov's motivations and objectives for visiting the colony and writing the expose, Sakhalin Island is a haunting work of tremendous importance which had a huge impact both on Chekhov's subsequent work and on Russian society.
Sounds good. So, who (in the UK, please, so that it doesn't cost me a fortune to post it!) wants my spare copy? Email me, and I'll pop it straight in the post to you. First email gets it.
Update: Sakhalin Island has been claimed. Stop emailing already!