First Term at Malory Towers – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition? part 7

Thankfully this week I hadn’t lost either copy of the books so I was able to jump right back in with comparing them.

Earlier posts are here: parts one, two, three, four, and five.


We’re back on the good old slapping problem again, from quite early in this chapter. Emily tell the Riverses that Darrell just gave a most exasperating girl some jolly good slaps in the pool. You could almost hear them up at the towers. This is changed to a jolly good shaking and  You could almost hear her squeals up at the towers. Likewise when she mentions how We’ve all wanted to do a bit of slapping where that particular girl is concerned it also becomes a bit of shaking. Alicia’s reference to slapping, when she asks Darrell what she did to Sally, also becomes shaking. At least they are being consistent within the chapter.

As usual queer is removed every time it appears. It gets traded for peculiar, strange, odd and strange again which is quite normal. But when Darrell smacks her hand down on the piano keys, a queer sound of clashing notes becomes a discordant sound of clashing notes. I’m fairly sure discordant and clashing mean the same thing though. It’d be like saying a loud sound of noisy notes. Sort of superfluous when they could have just gone with strange or odd again.

An editing mistake has crept into this chapter though as they’ve formatted two paragraphs together, violating that age old ‘new speaker needs new line’ rule. (Incidentally how many of you had NSNNL written on your work at school?)

In the hardback there is an illustration of the scene where Darrell pushes Sally over, but there’s none at all for the chapter in the paperback. As an aside, I’m glad the update didn’t try to tone down that scene, it just wouldn’t work as a scolding or a shaking!

Darrell pushes Sally Stanley Lloyd


We become a bit inconsistent now, as the hyphen in bed-time gets removed, but only in one instance, and Darrell thinks that Miss Grayling would hear about her scolding Gwendoline, rather than shaking her as the last chapter referred to.

As probably mentioned before the San. has become simply the san, consistently. More queers have been cut, becoming strange, peculiar and odd.

And lastly, instead of Sally’s people being telegraphed for, they are simply sent for. (Never mind that the phrase her people is probably about as out of date as the telegraph.)


There are mostly small changes in this chapter, but a fair number of them. As always queer is lost and becomes odd, peculiar and strange (twice). Almost makes you long for a phantasmagorical or two (see here for an explanation that still might not make sense.)

Worth-while becomes worth-while, and Miss Grayling’s drawing-room becomes her sitting-room instead. Gay,as in Sally being merry and gay is changed to merry and happy, which although blander is certainly more politically correct.

Lastly, when Miss Grayling reads Darrell’s letter and comments that There is something puzzling here – where the is is italicized in the text – the italics are lost in the paperback. Originally it is clear that the head mistress is agreeing with Sally’s mother that the letter is odd and worrying, in the update she is just saying that it is odd.

This is one of the rare chapters where there are ‘matching’ illustrations. On the left by Stanley Lloyd and the right by Jenny Chapple. Chapple’s Darrell is how I imagine her, even now I have to say. Unfortunately her depiction doesn’t quite match the text as Darrell is sitting on a window-seat in this scene and then jumps off to move through the curtains, shouting on her father. I do wonder, also, why Darrell would have put on a hair ribbon or hair band when she snuck out of her dorm in the middle of the night. It’s certainly not in the text.

I count that as 7 unique changes so we are not at 74 in total. Not many chapters to go, so I wonder if we will reach a hundred by the end?

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1 Response to First Term at Malory Towers – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition? part 7

  1. Francis says:

    Thanks, Fiona – excellent as usual. I am really enjoying your analysis.


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