|A page from Lincoln Cathedral: A Journey from Past to Present|
Most of the time project editing is like herding cats, but not Lincoln (henceforth to be known as Lovely Lincoln). It’s the most beautiful building for a start. I am not a religious person in any way, but there is something about those great cathedrals that lifts the hairs on the back of my neck. I especially love them in the dark, when they’re all shadowy and the tourists have gone and the choir is singing. Lincoln Cathedral has a bit of everything: a charming close, a spectacular nave, a dramatic choir, a cloister and the most beautiful library, all of which appear in the book of course. And for everyone else who read Anya Seton’s Katherine and was in love with John of Gaunt when they were 14, Katherine Swynford is buried there beside her daughter.
I love editing: I’m the one who gets to set the deadlines and everyone else does the writing for a change. We used to have meetings in a fourteenth-century house in the cathedral close where the walls were so old they were made of linen, and we’d have coffee and cakes sitting around a gorgeous antique table. Once the text was in – and they were fantastic about meeting their deadlines, I have to say – we started to fit the images to the words. The most exciting part of my job was being taken round the cathedral with the photographers, over the ropes, past doors marked private, and up spiral stone staircases to see behind the scenes. In the library, an eleventh-century silver seal was unwrapped for us, and manuscripts opened to show medieval doodlings … I was breathless with the privilege of it all.