Remember how you once told yourself, "When I grow up, I will never do X"? And then, when you grew up, you found yourself doing X all the time? I'm currently in the grip of the same phenomenon, only the editorial version. Robert Elsmere is slated to have a couple of short appendices--short because, well, have you seen Robert Elsmere lately? Granted, the book isn't Clarissa or any given Norton Anthology (aka "the brick"), but in an excessively adorned state, it might pose health risks to unwary readers toting it around in their backpacks. (Speaking of which, I'm still not recovered from yesterday's escapade involving The History of the University of Oxford, VII: Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 2. I may have incurred a permanent neck injury.) In the interest of not injuring any potential readers, then, I need to apply my shears with a liberal hand.
As a result, the print appendices will be "froms," rather than complete texts (er, not that we were ever contemplating appending the entirety of The History of David Grieve or The Case of Richard Meynell...), although more substantive excerpts and/or entire texts will appear in the Kindle version. (Hey, another reason to like eBooks!) I've long joked that anthologies with too many excerpted texts suffer from a bad case of "the froms." Humor aside, the anthologized excerpt poses a number of pedagogical problems, ranging from texts missing what ought to be obvious sections (the Nortonized Past and Present has this problem, apart from it being "Pastless Present") to texts that don't excerpt particularly well (Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua comes to mind). Excerpts pose the age-old problem of representation: what argument does the excerpt implicitly make about the text's larger purpose/organization/function/aesthetics/etc.? The "Pastless Present" trend that tends to follow Carlyle about, for example, obscures how Carlyle's medievalism works, usually leaving us with only a few fragments in the "Present" section--our buddy Gurth, for example.
That leaves me contemplating William Gladstone's review of Robert Elsmere, which is, shall we say, lengthier than is altogether convenient. Chunks of the review focus on the book as a literary object; even larger chunks of the review focus on the book as part of a theological debate; some chunks of the review manage to do both at once. (Mrs. Ward's response to Gladstone, incidentally, focuses entirely on the theological questions.) At least some aspects of the review will have to be sacrificed because a) I can really use only a few paragraphs and b) not everything can be excerpted coherently. Luckily, I have a (short) introduction, which allows me to sneak a bit more Gladstone in through the front door.