The Naughtiest Girl in the School: How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition? Part 4


You can find part one, chapters 1-4, here, part two with chapters 5-8 here and part 3 which has chapters 9-12 here.

I am comparing the 1944 5th reprint by George Newnes (which should be more or less identical to the true first edition) to a 2012 edition by Hodder and Stoughton.


CHAPTER XIII The Third Meeting / CHAPTER THIRTEEN THE THIRD MEETING

The first two changes are to do with money (I think we will see that every time there is a Meeting!).

Someone is given a whole pound for their birthday and this becomes a whole ten pounds. Most of the money changes so far have worked on a one shilling = one pound. So one pound should be 20 pounds as there are 20 shillings to an old pound.

Also at the meeting someone asks for a shilling to get her watch mended and that’s changed to a pound. Could you get a watch mended for a pound in 2012?

The editor clearly can’t decide if gramophone is too old fashioned or not. It has been alternately edited and left alone in previous chapters. This time a beautiful gramophone recording becomes just a beautiful recording.

One use of italics is cut from my mother and father have taught me good manners, and perhaps by mistake a paragraph break is lost on page 99 of the paperback.

A boy is still told to buy some yellow distemper and cover over his scribblings on the wall, however. Google nowadays primarily links distemper to the illness in dogs and other animals, but if you search for distemper paint you can find out it is an early type of whitewash. It is described as ancient, traditional and historic, and I’m almost certain it is not something often used today! I doubt many children would even know the word, so if you are updating a book with the view that children are too stupid to find out what a word means I would think distemper would need changing.


CHAPTER XIV A Lovely Week / CHAPTER FOURTEEN A LOVELY WEEK

After being changed in the last chapter gramophone is left in this chapter twice.

The only change is one loss of italics where Elizabeth is thinking how nice it is that everyone is eating her cake.

Perhaps the editor fell asleep again.


CHAPTER XV  Two Tricks—and a Quarrel / CHAPTER FIFTEEN TWO TRICKS – AND A QUARREL

The editor was presumably still asleep in this chapter, or had sudden concerns that maybe all these edits to Enid Blyton’s books weren’t such a good idea. Anyway, they didn’t change a single thing.

Not even the little girl slapped Harry hard in the face or [he is] too much of a gentleman to slap you back are changed. Darrell no longer slaps Gwen in the first Malory Towers book instead references to slaps are replaced with scoldings or shoves. It’s interesting that Elizabeth still slaps Harry instead of shoving him or just scolding him.


CHAPTER XVI An Apology—and another Meeting / CHAPTER SIXTEEN AN APOLOGY AND ANOTHER MEETING

Another meeting and more money problems.

One swap is a straight one shilling for one pound. The other is half a crown to buy a little red handbag which becomes two pounds. Half a crown is two shillings and sixpence so should really be £2.50, if one shilling is one pound (which it isn’t always).

Neither £2 or £2.50 would be enough to buy a handbag in 2012, however, unless it came from a charity shop. Both editions state the handbag was seen in a draper’s shop, however. If you’re think a children’s book needs modernised surely draper’s shop would also need changing?

No other changes were made to this chapter, but I noticed that gramophone appeared twice in relation to a gramophone record and Mr Lewis’s fine gramophone.


The count

Already counted:

Roman numerals to words
Case change for chapter titles
Removal of hyphens from good-bye, to-day, etc
Removal of italics for emphasis
Extra word capitalised at start of chapter
Quotation marks
Dash length

Unique changes:

Ten pounds
One shilling
Half a crown

Total this post: 3

Over all total: 35

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