The book is getting to some of its most exiting scenes now, so I wonder what effect that will have had on the editor’s pen? [I’ll admit to one of my grammar problems now, I really struggle with affect and effect. Someone, please correct me if I’ve got it wrong just now!]
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: DOWN IN THE DUNGEONS
Well, a disappointing moment for my theory. Hardly anything got edited in this chapter. Maybe the editor got swept up in the story.
What was changed was the usual stuff, queer becoming weird and then strange, whilst being altered to while twice, and a bit of de-hyphening if that’s a real word. The modern edition has is a little more consistent here, Blyton uses key-hole twice and keyhole once, whereas this is altered to read keyhole in all three instances for the paperback.
On the plus side, I was able to enjoy more of this chapter instead of constantly putting the book down to make notes! Anyway, onwards.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: PRISONERS!
Well, we seem back on form already. By the second line of the chapter we’ve got a silly change. In the original, George is dumbly staring at the ingots, and holding one in her hand. This has been changed to in her hands. The previous chapter tells us they walked in, flashing their torches, so I wonder if George has a third hand secretly, so she’s got two on the ingot and one on her torch. I can’t think why this has been changed, unless they think George (who’s just been smashing a heavy door with an axe) is too weak to hold an ingot with one hand.
Next, capitalised words are made lower-case. Julian is yelling down the passage; WE’VE FOUND THEM! HURRY! HURRY! the capitals adding volume and drama. In lower-case, it lacks the same punch. I’m not advocating using capitals every time someone raises their voice, but sparingly they do add to the story.
Another baffling alteration, George originally tells the men that The island and the castle belong to my mother. It gets changed to This island… I’m sure both are perfectly correct but I’m not sure why they went to the effort of changing it.
There were two queers in this chapter, but of course they are now strange and odd. And finally, worth while is altered to worthwhile which is a more common way of saying it these days.
So still not many changes for quite an action-packed chapter.
We were at 95 changes by my rough count, now it’s 107 as there were only 12 changes between these two chapters. I think that’s the least yet, and as someone who loves to come up with theories, may I suggest the editor got bored and/or tired by this stage?
In fact, this post is so short I’m going to treat you to a third chapter. (Also, there’s an odd number in the book so it’s this or a whole post on a single chapter later!)
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: DICK TO THE RESCUE!
Another barely-touched chapter here. We’ve got two whilsts to whiles, which is consistent anyway.
Also, Dick thinks it’s lucky that he’s good at gym, in the original this has a full stop after it to signify it’s short for something, and that’s been removed in the paperback, presumably as gym has been adopted into normal usage. It actually made me stop and wonder exactly what it was short for. Gymnasium, the room you would do gym in doesn’t make sense in the context, so I’m left thinking gymnastics. He’s talking about climbing ropes so that makes sense, though at school when we said gym we meant any sort of physical lesson – what was known as PE (physical education) at high school, or games if you went to a posher school, and it covered everything from swimming and running to tennis, hockey, volleyball, badminton, basketball and so on.
And last but not least, something that’s happened a few times, hie becomes hi. This time Dick is speaking, calling for Julian and George, Hie, Julian! Hie, George! who are locked in the room with the ingots. He’s not saying hello, and if he was he wouldn’t say hi, he would say hallo most likely.
Another four changes takes us to 111 then, and a good place to stop. Only two more chapters to go, so that’ll go on in about two weeks, and then… well, I’m tempted to do another book, but looking at the 2010 (I think) editions where they become Mum and Dad. But I don’t know, I might have a fit of apoplexy and never write again if I did that.