The book is finally out and available from Amazon or direct from the publisher. Ignore the fact that both of them still have the wrong title up on their sites. This is the first time that I've published a monograph. The mix of emotions is rather hard to describe: relief at it being done at last, tension because I want it to do well, and fear because I know that this is what I will be judged on as an academic (until the next one). There's also a strange sort of apathy - a result of the long drawn out nature of publication and the fact that I've already moved on to fresh projects. It would be fair to say that most of my friends - even my academic friends - seem more excited than me.
The other problem, of course, is that no sooner was the damn thing printed than people began to point out errors. Small things, but important ones. I pondered, for a while, writing my own review of it on this site, but I suspect that would seem too navel-gazing even for me. And provide an easy point of reference for others. No point becoming an easy target (says the man who's just insulted veterans).
But enough of the doom. It looks great, doesn't it? What's inside is even better. You really need to buy a copy. Now. Or get one for the First World War obsessive in your family.
The official launch is at the National Army Museum on Saturday. Enormous party planned, needless to say, for afterwards. I've already informed my friends that they're expected to drink vang blong or whisky, depending on class and social status, and give me some rousing choruses of 'Sister Susie'. The bully beef rissoles have been prepared, as have the army biscuit plum-pudding. Those attempting to leave early will, of course, be shot. It's the only language they understand.