The idea of starting a publishing endeavour grew out of my desire to ensure that the superb sermons and writings of my priest, the Reverend Dr. David Widdicombe of St Margaret’s Anglican Church, should not be lost to the knowledge of men. Having decided to do this, I cast about for a suitable name and hit upon The Theodosian Press, in honour of two very decent Roman emperors.
In order to learn the mechanics of the e-publishing business I compiled a sample book which emerged in 2016 as The Kindly Curmudgeon: Assorted Writings from an Ink-Stained Life. It is a collection of my shorter pieces: academic papers, encyclopedia entries, op-eds, humorous essays, blog posts, and whatever else fit. It once reached #5 on the amazon.ca Humour category and it does contain the odd giggle and nugget of wisdom.
As the reverend doctor tarried in his assembly of pieces suitable for publication, I found that I had time to add to the pile of books on Christmas, a topic on which I had become an expert for lack of a better career. Thus emerged the modestly-titled collection World’s Greatest Christmas Stories. There are some real gems included, and you are all the poorer for not having bought it.
Two years later, I decided that what the world really needed was the definitive treatment of Tudor Protestant thought on violent resistance to tyranny. Why no one else had taken advantage of this potential literary goldmine was a mystery to me, but I was willing to monopolize the market niche and retire on the royalties to the south of France. I just happened to have an old doctoral dissertation on this very topic, which I brought up to date. The fools at Cambridge University Press who had rejected this work years ago will be gnashing their teeth in impotent rage as I drive by their offices in my Rolls Royce Silver Wraith spewing gold sovereigns from my exhaust pipes. Sales to date have not matched my fond hopes but the book, True Obedience, is still the best thing on the subject.
But, lo! What is this? It is a Theodosian Press book that is not by Gerry Bowler. Welcome, world, to Road to Emmaus: the New Deal, a novel by Sean Carlson. Snap up the first edition, readers; get Sean to autograph it, and then put the copy in a safe place so that your kids can sell it and retire to the south of France.
And the mighty Theodosian publishing juggernaut rolls on. Behold: A Curmudgeon’s Commonplace Book, a collection of wit and wisdom drawn from the very words of all the books I ever read. I cannot think of a better volume to grace the bathrooms of the nation.
And finally, the work that inspired the press. Behold, Empire, Justice, and Mercy by the Revered Canon Dr. David Widdicombe, late of the parish of St Margaret’s, Winnipeg. A collection of 41 gems of the rhetorical art.