“The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle” is now available in stores (Deseret Book, Seagull, Amazon, Eborn Books, Benchmark Books, etc.) or will be by late June. This book narrates Whitney’s life using his own formerly unpublished autobiographical writings (the first four chapters), and the best and most interesting entries from his diary (spread throughout the rest of the book).
The below should be viewed as something of an errata page, often inserted into finished books by publishers to inform readers of errors that were found too late to be incorporated into the text:
The publisher’s assigned editor made some editorial choices that were contrary to accepted documentary editing practice:
1) In many of the hundreds of cases where I quoted material from Whitney’s diary, the colon I inserted at the end of the wording I used that introduced the diary material was deleted, and replaced with a period. These should have remained colons.
2) The first four chapters of the book are largely made up of previously unpublished autobiographical material written by Whitney himself. I inserted explanatory excerpts from Whitney’s diary into this material using quotation marks, so that readers could differentiate between unpublished autobiographical material and unpublished diary material. The editor removed the quotation marks from the diary material, making this delineation more difficult for readers.
3) I used brackets to change initials in diary entries to full names as per standard procedure: “O[rson] F. Whitney” or “C[harles] W. Stayner”, etc. Many if not most of these brackets were removed by the editor.
This poor editorial procedure was incorporated into the text without my knowledge, and without the knowledge of the editor’s superiors at CFI. They were discovered right before the press deadline date when it was too late to fix them. Therefore, the finished product has the documentary editing errors in it.
Otherwise, the text is solid, sound, and historically accurate. Most readers will not notice the errors, but those with a scholarly background or experience may be annoyed with the departure from standard procedure. My sincere appologies for any annoyance. Be prepared to encounter a remarkably candid and honest and surprising text, filled with contradictions, complexities, inspiration, spirituality, testimony and commitment, and much more; a remarkable life indeed.