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DateOriginal Topic
26th August 2005How Can Man Die Better
By Paul Bryant-Quinn

Those of us who had pre-ordered Mike Snook's book through outlets such as Amazon will already have received their copy, or will do so shortly. Mine came this morning.

However, it appears that Greenhill Books are withdrawing this run and reprinting it, owing to errors which occurred during the production stage and which are no fault of Mike's. I spoke to an adviser at their office this afternoon. He informed me that those who have already received their advance copies will now be sent a letter from Greenhill Books' publishing outlet advising them how they may obtain the corrected book. The timescale for the reprint will apparently be about three weeks. If for some reason you do not receive a letter, Greenhill Books can be contacted at

[email protected]

or telephoned within the UK on 020 8458 6314. The adviser assured me that the publishers will bear the cost of P+P in replacing your defective copy.

Paul B-Q
26th August 2005Mike McCabe
Or, alternatively,at least for the German edition, "Wann Kann Man Lesen Bitte?"

MC von McC
26th August 2005Martin Everett
Dear Mike,
Seeing you are in a light hearted mode - we did try and suggest to Mike Snook that his 2nd book - you have guess it - is about Rorke's Drift should be called in true Hollywood style 'How Can Man Die Better II'. But he did not warm to the suggestion.
26th August 2005Dawn
I guess this also affects the copies being sent to RRW where I have my order?
27th August 2005Tim
Yes, it does, I was just in communication with Celia Green at the RRW yesterday, all copies ordered through them will be held up for the estimated 3 weeks.

27th August 2005Martin Everett
Dear Dawn,
I are awaiting fresh copies before processing any orders placed at the museum. The illustrations are in the wrong order at the first printing which means they do not follow the flow of text - this will be put right and the book will be a significant contribution to our understanding of events on 22 January 1879. Thank you for supporting the museum.
27th August 2005Dawn
Thanks for letting me know. Disappointing but obviously necessary.
27th August 2005Paul Bryant-Quinn


Funny you should have made that suggestion to Mike Snook. I wondered whether 'How Can Man Die Best' might have appealed, but no.

Paul B-Q

27th August 2005Mike Snook
Dear All,

Sorry for the delay and for any inconvenience that may be involved in sending back copies. Most were stopped before they went out, so I think it's only a few of you who will be inconvenienced - for which I apologise. It's not anybody's fault really- somebody inadvertently shuffled the plates into the wrong order at the printers. Its one of these things that sometimes happens. The order of plates is not that important to most books - but one of the central objectives of HCMDB is to get right the time and space aspects of the battle - i.e. to recount events in the order that they occurred, and in the correct context one to another.

There are a number of carefully annotated terrain phots, which seek to support this goal, and it is obviously important that these appear in the right order - not necessarily for the veteran AZW buffs who contibute here, and who would be able to work the right order out for themselves, but for the benefit of newcomers to the subject, or youngsters, or those who are never going to be able to get out to SA.

As a man with a keen eye for detail, it's nice to be working with a publishing house that shares one's views on standards and is prepared to go to a bit of time and trouble to get things right!!

So, sorry for the delay - it should be about 3 weeks before the postman appears with the corrected version. Thanks for your forbearance, and, Martin and Paul, thanks for the excellent suggestions on titles! I definitely see Bruce Willis in the cast list!!

Dawn, I saw your post elsewhere on the Day of the Dead Moon. You are quite right to suggest Ntshingwayo intended to attack at dawn on the 23rd. HCMDB will explain what all the other movements were on the morning of the 22nd and hwy the battle was brought on a day early.

Regards to all

28th August 2005Tim Pollard
So presumably this will also be a problem with the cop[y I bought from Waterstones in Nottingham today? If so, do you recommend I return it to them, or direct to the publsihers? Thanks in advance!
29th August 2005Michael Boyle
Tim, if it were me, I'd hang on to it. Mistaken prints of books, as with stamps and coins, can appreciate in value. A first edition of Scott's "Great Gatsby", with the a lower case "G" was recently appraised at over 40,000 USD. (Not that works of history generate as much wide spread interest as works of fiction but hope does spring eternal!)
29th August 2005Tim Pollard
Heh! I must admit that was one of my first thoughts too, but when I foolishly voiced that thought to my ever-loving I was met with a roll of the eyes and a sigh (no change there, though)!

Maybe an 'errata list' of what plate should be where could be posted, if anyone has one?
29th August 2005Mike Snook

Sorry you have one of the few that slipped through the net (well done for being so quick off the mark!) If you contact Greenhill Books(their website gives e-mail addresses and phone numbers) they will advise how best to proceed with obtaining a replacement. I am truly sorry for the inconvenience but at least you get to read it before everybody else!


29th August 2005Mike Snook

Errata - The list of illustrations at the front of the book, gives the correct order. They just don't all appear in that order in the plate section. One can certainly work round it without much difficulty. Read this one and then ask Greenhill for a nice shiny new one for your bookcase!!

29th August 2005Tim Pollard
Heh! I must admit that was one of my first thoughts too, but when I foolishly voiced that thought to my ever-loving I was met with a roll of the eyes and a sigh (no change there, though)!

Maybe an 'errata list' of what plate should be where could be posted, if anyone has one?
29th August 2005Tim Pollard
Oops! Sorry about double-posting, don't know how that happened. <blush>

Thanks very much for the reply Mike, I wondered if that might be the case after I posted. I haven't had a chance to get properly stuck in yet but I'm certainly looking forward to it!
29th August 2005Rich
Well I know where I'll be getting my copy (RRW) so I'll know that I will get the "right" edition. But just a question..will Greenhill note in their subsequent printings that the one the reader is holding in his/her hands is the correct one that Mr. Snook wanted put out?
For the time I've been here, I've learned very much that takng pains for details are important.
29th August 2005Mike Snook

You are on safe ground with the RRW museum. They have not distributed any of the erroneous copies. Greenhill are taking active steps to recover the small number that found their way out. It is no longer possible to find them bookshops and they were on the shelf for about 24 hours only in only a small number of outlets. The rest were headed of at the pass. You make a very fair point though which I will pass on to Greenhill. Thank you for making it.

We all agree on details which is why we are going to the pains we are to recall and reprint (at some expense).

Regards as ever
29th August 2005Rich
You know it was a great idea to go with Greenhill. I believe they are a top notch publishing firm especially in military history. Thanks for taking pains.
30th August 2005Julian whybra
How Can Men Edit Better?
30th August 2005Mike Snook

Ho Ho. You can edit as much as you like but if a man at the printers shop drops the plate section on the floor then these things can happen. The point is that people are going to quite extraordinary lengths to sort it out. Nothing whatsover to do with the editing process.