From Ritual to Romance

Jesse L. Weston

About the text

   |    E-text's table of contents    |    About the text    |    About the formatting    |   

Original publication:

From Ritual to Romance by Miss Jesse Laidlaw Weston was first published in 1920 by Cambridge University Press, London.

Weston's synopses

Weston's table of contents page had a synopsis of the contents of each chapter. At this website the synopsis for each chapter has been copied to the start of each webpage that contains a chapter of her book. This synopsis did not appear there in the orginal work.

Source of online text:

The text used for this online edition came from consolidating three sources:

  1. A text version of the book found online. This appeared to be from an American reprint of the book. American spellings were used and some of Weston's tortuous phrasing was modified. English translations of foreign words and excerpts were used instead of the original. Because of that the work was likely copyright protected.
  2. A HTML formatted version at the Celtic Twilight website. This consisted of about 250 webpages. This version used footnoting on each page while this site renumbers each note sequentially and uses endnotes at the bottom of each chapter.
  3. An inexpensive paperback copy of From Ritual to Romance published by Dover Publications Inc., Mineola, NY, 1997 (ISBN 0-486-29680-6). It claimed to be unabridged republication of the first edition of the book.

The American plain text version was broken down to form a multi-chapter version. The Celtic Twilight pages were transformed to remove the HTML formatting to become plain text and the pages combined to form another chapter by chapter version and edited so that each line in each chapter started and ended with the same words that were in the American version. Then, for each chapter, the two different versions were compared on a line by line basis to generate a third version. Where there were differences between the two online versions the Dover reprint was consulted and the newer, third version being created used the Dover reprint version of the line.

This doesn't guarantee a perfect copy of Weston's original but it should be accurate enough for most purposes.

The new plain text version of the file was donated to the Project Gutenberg online book repository. After that however the two texts are likely to change. The copy at this website is being converted to be HTML formatted (more on that at the page about formatting.)

Page numbers:

There are currently no page numbers within the online text. Perhaps in the future some HTML comments will be embedded in the source text to contain page numbers as they appeared in the original book or in some easily available reprint.

Because there are no page numbers in the e-text, in the few places where Weston directs us to a specific page number within the book the page number has been replaced by three hyphens ("---"). Future online editions may hyperlink this page number placeholder to the proper paragraph.

The lack of page numbers is one reason why the index to the book is not being supplied at this time.

Weston's notes:

Weston used footnotes. The notes for each page started with number 1 and the notes appeared on the bottom of the page (sometimes continuing on the bottom of the next page.) For the online edition the numbering is done sequentially for the chapter instead of the page. For the online edition that has separate webpages for each chapter the notes appear at the end of the webpage. For editions that contain the entire text on one webpage the notes for all chapters appear at the bottom of the webpage.

The note numbers in the online edition are surrounded by square brackets (although possibly they are not visible, see the page about formatting.) Although the format may be somewhat ugly it is valuable to find the notes if the webpage is converted to plain text.

Editor's notes:

The online edition has a few notes added by the editor. These appear within bracketing like [*** ***] and may also be displayed in a different color.

Foreign text:

Weston has many quotations of foreign text in German, French, Latin and Greek. Additionally much of the German and French appears to be archaic or a dialect. This text has been retained as is except for the two occurances of Greek. For the shorter occurance the Greek has been phonetically transcribed to a western alphabet. In the second case an English translation has been provided. Editorial comments inserted into the text should clearly indicate that these are not the texts provided by Weston.

Additionally there are some words using shwa and macron accents and a number of words in Sanskrit(?) that cannot be displayed using a standard western character encoding.

A edition of From Ritual to Romance that has English translations of the foreign text is:

Weston, Jesse L.  From Ritual to Romance.  Mary McLaughlin, tr.  Anchor Books, 1957
(I hope I have the details right.)


Italics are used in the original text for various purposes:

  1. Emphasis (e.g. "My opinion")
  2. Foreign words used in lieu of English (e.g. "Vide supra")
  3. Titles of literary works (e.g. "the prose Gawain)
No italics are displayed in the current online edition but this will be worked on so future editions will have them. See the page about formatting.)

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