Presenting authorial & editorial notes in a Kindle edition of a 16th century bilingual text

Hints gratefully received…

Someone suggested I whack out a Kindle version of an amusing, informative and mildly obscene 16th century educational text which is isn’t available in usable form anywhere else, and I was just wondering how one would structure the information on a 600*800 screen. Here’s one classification:

Speaker name C16th French C16th English C16th author sidenote C21st equivalent for difficult word in C16th Eng/Spa C21st footnote

One concept that works in theory is to leave the original (classes A-D) more or less intact and do my class E with rollovers and class F with footnotes thusly:

Speaker name C16th French1 C16th English C16th author sidenote

1. C21st footnote

Unfortunately hovers on Kindle and similar devices appear to be a pain in the arse, and I’m not sure how well that kind of structuring would survive transfer via Calibre or whatever. Over to you, experts.


Here are a couple of serendipities from along the way. First, my class E hung on line-ends in an edition of Caxton’s Dialogues:

Second, three-column layout of English, French and a French phonetic version of the English from Bellot’s Familiar dialogues:

Finally, parallel footnoting in a bilingual edition of Juan Francisco Manzano, Autobiografia de un Esclavo:


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  1. None of that’s going to work for the simple reason that Kindle doesn’t do anything but tiny, simple tables. Here’s the doc:
    Back to the drawing board. Possible solution: cut it down to one column by
    * concatenating the speaker, the Spanish and the English with suitable dividers
    * removing the author’s footnotes from their column and including them with yours.
    A bit messy, but might work. I don’t think reading 3.5 column on 600px would be much fun anyway.

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