In Twain's youth the great American humorist worked as a printer's devil, a boy who sets type for printing presses. He and a fellow devil had just finished setting the type for a long, tightly-spaced page for a religious tract when they realized they had left out the words "Jesus Christ" near the very beginning. Having strong, personal objections to the extra work that would be involved in re-setting the entire page, the two devils determined that they could—just barely—squeeze in the initials "J.C." at the requisite place near the top. Feeling very pleased with their ingenuity, they ran off the print order and congratulated themselves on a job well done.
The reverend who had ordered the job was not amused when he saw the liberties the devils had taken with his sermon, and he gave the boys the wickedest tongue-lashing possible, adamant that they were never, ever, ever to abbreviate the name of their blessed Saviour in any way. Then he insisted that they re-do the entire print order (which naturally involved resetting the entire page of type), and he left them to their onerous task.
Out of sheer cussedness one of the devils (I forget which one) determined that if the good reverend would not tolerate ANY abbreviation of the good Lord's name, well, then, neither would he. When they re-set the tract, for every reference of the Emmanuel they very carefully set their printing slugs: "Jesus H. Christ."
The reverend was still not amused. He made the boys re-set the order again, but this time Twain felt that it was worth it.
Because publishers try not to let flawed work out onto the market, errata slips have always been fairly rare. Like mistakes in postage stamps or coins, errata slips can significantly increase a book's value to collectors. (For more details, read this excellent article by Kristin Masters: "When Mistakes Are Worth Money.")
When I received my author copies of the paperback edition of Victorian Secrets last week, I was disappointed to see how dark the photo insert had turned out. I hope that purchasers of the paperback will accept my sincere apologies and consider the pictures below as the "errata slip" for this edition.
Please print out and paste these pictures into the back of your paperback copy of Victorian Secrets. It will increase your book's value to future collectors—plus, you'll get to be a bit of a devil.