# LaTeX Memoir class TOC with “page” preceding first and only first entry

I'm using LaTeX and the memoir class to typeset a book. The book publisher (Cambridge) requests that the table of contents have chapter and headings on the left, page numbers on the right, with the very first entry containing the page number preceded by the word "page".

I tried:

\renewcommand*{\cftchapterformatpnum}[1]{\emph{page} \cftchapterpagefont #1}

and this allowed me to add "page", but it adds it to every entry. I tried:

\renewcommand*{\cftchapterformatpnum}[1] {\cftchapterpagefont #1}

elsewhere in my document to set it back, but there is obviously something I fundamentally don't understand about how LaTeX works. It seems that it only honors this command prior to:

\begin{document}

Can a LaTeX expert tell me the proper way to achieve the goal?

\documentclass{memoir}
\newcommand*{\epage}{\emph{page }} % for convenience
\renewcommand*{\cftchapterformatpnum}[1]{\epage\cftchapterpagefont #1}
\begin{document}
\frontmatter
\tableofcontents* % don't add the ToC reference to the ToC
%\addtocontents{toc}{\hfill \epage\par} % put page above page numbers
\mainmatter
\chapter{One}

Well done for getting as far as you did. The trick is to add commands into the ToC at appropriate places using the \addtocontents{<file>}{<text>} macro; see section 9.1 General ToC Methods in the manual (> texdoc memoir).
• @PeteP Thanks for the correction. Sometime during the night I wondered if CUP wanted page above the page numbers rather than before the first page number. I have added (commented out) code to my answer if this is the case and then you don't have to do all the fiddling around with the \cftchapterformatpnum. – Peter Wilson Aug 15 at 18:18