I’m sure by now these posts don’t need any real introduction. This one looks at chapters nine and ten, and continues to suggest that more action equals more editing!
CHAPTER NINE: THE BOX FROM THE WRECK
The first change is a tiny one, more of a correction than anything. In the original we have the windows at the house referred to several times, specifically as french window twice and then french windows once and windows once.
The paperback makes it a bit more consistent with three uses of french window. I think though, all the references should be plural as french windows are, as far as I know, traditionally used in pairs or more (the illustrations certainly show a pair). I had been wondering if the first word should have been capitalised but it would seem not according to most sources I’ve checked.
Spanking is removed twice, both times becoming a much less threatening telling off. It’s interesting that though the course of the book no violence ever occurs; all the uses of spanking are purely threats or the children worrying about consequences.
Some of the charm of the original is lost next, when Julian’s excited cry, Hie, he yelled. Hie! I’ve got it! becomes plain of hi! The two aren’t even the same. Hi is a short greeting, hie is much more of an exclamation (often used when telling Tim off “hie Tim, get down!” etc.)
Very oddly Tim, don’t nibble my bathing-suit had been changed to don’t lick me. I cannot fathom why!
Blyton has used a capital letter for the ingots, presumably to make them sound more important, but the updated version does away with these capitals. I personally don’t like the use of Capitals to make words sound Important except in a few well-done stylistic cases, so I can’t decide if I feel this one should have been left alone or not.
Another strange change, while the four children are examining the map Tim is trying to but in and see what’s going on. The narrative says but for once in a way not one of them paid attention to him originally, but that gets edited to remove the in a way. Those three words are possibly superfluous, they don’t add a great deal to our understanding of the situation, but at the same time they are utterly inoffensive that I can’t see why someone deliberately went to the trouble of removing them.
Not long after, George remarks he [Tim] can’t understand our excitement. Which in the paperback has become your excitement, which to me rather changes the meaning of her words. Until that point George had been ignoring him too, yet in the modern edition it sounds like she is shifting blame to the others alone.
CHAPTER TEN : AN ASTONISHING OFFER
Less happens in this chapter; it’s mostly talk and following my theory nicely, there are less changes, and those that are made are incredibly minor (aka petty.)
First is one that just HAS to be a mistake. Uncle Quentin originally says he gets more [money] even than I could expect for the writing of my book. In the modern edition he says more even that I could expect. I can’t see any way that could have been intentional. Than compares, more than I thought. That makes no sense to me in the context.
Again Ingots becomes ingots, and at this moment I realised something else I had failed to notice so far. Bear in mind I’m at least a hundred pages in by now and I’ve just realised that the original has used double quotation marks for speech, thoughts and highlights, whereas the paperback uses single ones for everything. Have to say I prefer the doubles, especially for speech.
A few more very minor alterations: week-end becomes weekend (can’t say I ever noticed that word ever had a hyphen before!) business man changes to businessman, and an hotel becomes a hotel.
A mixed bag there. I understand taking away the hyphen, as nobody uses that any more, it’s as obsolete as to-day and to-morrow. On saying that I’m not sure it’s necessary to remove it. I think it’s interesting to know we used to use hyphens then, like it’s interesting to see people say ‘plane ‘phone etc as they tell use these shortenings were new to them, much like the full words must have been not so long before.
Possibly going against the grain but I prefer business man to businessman, same for businesswoman and I despise businessperson/businesspeople (they look bad and they’re harder to say clearly). Honestly, who thought ramming two words like that together was a goodidea?
I do prefer a hotel to an hotel though, as the h in hotel is pronounced as a consonant. I feel the same about when the person on the news says ‘an historic’. Just NO!
And (grammar rants over now I promise!) lastly, we’ve got another in a way, this time removed from for once in a way George didn’t push it [Julian’s arm] away.
So that was eight changes in chapter nine and six in chapter ten, bringing us to a total of, I think, 78 alterations. How many more before the end?