So as promised here is the next two chapters of Five on a Treasure Island, compared to note any textual changes between them. (In case you’re just joining us, I’m comparing a 1965 17th impression to a 1997 paperback.)
CHAPTER ELEVEN: OFF TO KIRRIN ISLAND
I’ll start with the sort of changes we’ve seen a lot of already.
There’s only one use of queer in this chapter and it becomes odd instead. Three whilsts become whiles, and Julian’s clean shorts become clean jeans. Also, hie Tim! is now hi Tim! (last time it was changed to hey Tim!)
The first new alteration I spotted is in George’s long internal monologue. She thinks I wish I was like them. Or in the modern copy, she wishes she were like them. Quite a petty little change, I’m not sure if one is technically more correct than the other but I didn’t see much wrong with was in the first place.
Another petty change is made later to one of Julian’s pieces of dialogue. Originally he says we must find out exactly under what spot the entrances to the dungeons are, but by 1997 it has become under which spot. Again it seems pointless to change one little word in the sentence like that when it still says the same thing.
The last change I spotted is clearly a typing error (at least I hope so.) I can’t imagine what that is, said Julian, puzzled, has become I can imagine, which makes no sense.
CHAPTER TWELVE: EXCITING DISCOVERIES
Again, starting with familiar alterations the three queers become funny, strange and peculiar in that order, and queerest becomes strangest.
After three hours hard work gets an apostrophe added, so it becomes three hours’. I see that written a lot – in fact if you write it in Word without the apostrophe you get the blue squiggly line under it that implies it might be a grammatical error (on that note, how does the blue differentiate from the green in Word? Red is misspellings, green is grammar, so what’s blue exactly?) Not that I trust Word implicitly, it keeps wanting me to write “Its fine,” in dialogue and other foolish things. Anyway, I actually don’t like the apostrophe in those uses. It implies the work belongs to the three hours, when really it’s saying three hours of work. Unless it signifies the missing of, as it would signify the missing o in don’t.Either way it seems to be grammatically correct these days so I probably should just accept it.
I’m not sure about the next alteration. Rings are only let into stones that need to be moved seems like an all right sentence to me. You let a bucket down into water, so in the same way you could probably let a ring into a stone. Anyway, it’s now been changed to set into stones which might make more sense. Maybe.
Tim no longer loses his foot-hold, instead he loses his footing. Foot-hold seems fine and quite clear in meaning to me.
Finally, there’s a bit of editing to the various echoes that occur in the dungeons. I’m not going to type the whole lines out but essentially Blyton uses a mix of capitals and small letters in her echoes (along the lines of “it’s an echo, it’s an ECHO, IT’S AN ECHO etc) but in the paperback all echoes are all in caps. I think Blyton gives a better impression of an echo, as they do change slightly as they bounce around.
On a side note, referring back to the last post (I think) I made where I commented on weird being used, it’s actually in this chapter. And it still looks odd and distinctly un-Blytonish to me despite the fact I’ve read this book countless times. I suppose before I’ve always gotten so swept away in the excitement of reading that I haven’t taken the time to notice every little word.
So that’s another seventeen changes, and if my counting is about right, we’re up to 95 alterations. Nearly at the one hundred mark! (I’m aware my count is in not very accurate as I’ve counted every instance of queer being changed but only the first time to-morrow became tomorrow etc.)
The story’s getting to a quite thrilling part now, and I’ll have chapters 13 and 14 done over the next two weeks.