I’ve had to wait for input from outside before I could start blogging the two conferences to which I’ve recently been. In the meantime it seemed worthwhile to record something that happened just before I went. The authoritative work on the monastery I was presenting on at Leeds was written in 1998 and published by an academic house in the city of Vic, where so much of my material survives or lived, called Eumo Editorial. Nowhere in the UK had a copy of the book, so I ordered it from them direct. I don’t have a credit card (long and very old story) so this was a bit tricky; I eventually decided it was worth the bank charges to pay by transfer, but because they are rightly used to the Continental system where this is everyday and easy, not the UK one where it requires special signatures, can only be done online over a certain value and generally costs one a lot, there was a prolonged exchange of e-mail in which I tried to get the information I was told, by three different bank staff with different stories, that I needed and which, it transpired, Eumo had already sent me but the first two staff hadn’t recognised. (I don’t recommend my bank, but they’re still solvent and I don’t know of a better.)
End of a long story: I got the book. But I also asked about another book they published not long after, a fat volume of conference papers that I’ve mentioned here before many times, and which when I read it had had to be inter-library-loaned from Madrid. (Their copy was disintegrating even as I had it, too; 700 pages is just too much for a paperback binding.) Eumo, who had been sending me delightful e-mails that switched from Catalan to perfect English halfway through in response to my lousy Catalan written in a mailer with no accents, said that they no longer had any print copies, but they would send me an electronic copy. The relevant staff member’s junior then sent me something else entirely by an author with a related name, but then followed up with the full 700 pages in crystal-clear PDF, in six separate e-mails to avoid blowing up my INBOX. It would have been I-don’t-know-how-many Euros in the paper, they own it and rights to it, I would happily have paid; but no, they sent it me gratis, just because I’d asked about it. I didn’t even do my “it’s really important for my work and publishes some absolutely vital sites and archæological synthesis” pitch, although that would have been true, but now I have it. So all hail Eumo Editorial, because they are lovely. If any of my eventual books ever want a Catalan publisher I’m going to them first.
The books in question here are Teresa Soldevila, Sant Pere de Casserres: història i llegenda, l’entorn 35 (Vic 1998), and Immaculada Ollich i Castanyer (ed.), Actes del Congrès Internacional Gerbert d’Orlhac i el seu Temps: Catalunya i Europa a la Fi del 1r Mil·lenni, Vic-Ripoll, 10-13 de Novembre de 1999, Documentos 21 (Vic 1999).