So, continuing with comparing an early edition (1948) to a more recent paperback (2000). You can see my comments on the first two chapters here.
CHAPTER THREE: FIRST NIGHT AND MORNING
The first change in chapter three is that the girls’ eiderdowns become quilts, possibly a more modern term, but eiderdown is probably not so antiquated that it can’t be used now.
Alicia’s threat of spanking Gwendoline becomes shall I throw away her brush? And shortly after that it’s said she had no intention of doing any such thing, instead of the original line of spanking Gwendoline. Perhaps they thought repeating throw(ing) away her brush was unnecessary? In both versions Gwendoline squeals and practically leaps into bed, a slight over-reaction if Alicia’s just threatening to bin a hairbrush really.
Talking of leaping, Darrell originally leapt into bed, now it reads that she leaped into bed. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with leapt, in fact if I’m talking I would say leapt (lep-t) not leaped (lee-pd). Nightie also becomes nighty again.
One change I like is they’ve made her brown orange belt into her brown-orange belt. With a hyphen it implies a browny/orangy, somewhere-in-between colour. Without it sounds like a contradiction.
I also prefer the word prayers without a capital p. For some reason Blyton has the girls do things like attend Prayers in the mornings, (not actual wording), which to me is unnecessary capitalisation. She also capitalises a lot of nicknames given to the girls like Old Thing etc, something I’m not sure about really, but those are also capitalised in the paperback anyway.
The last changes are minor, and in-keeping with previous chapters, some full stops are removed after abbreviations such as san (sanitorium) and exams (examinations.)
CHAPTER FOUR: MISS POTTS’ FORM
One thing I would have almost liked to be changed is the S at the end of Potts’s. Potts’ would be so much neater! Anyway.
Very little is altered here. Mam’zelle Dupont wears pince-nez glasses, and the wording isn’t changed, though in the paperback it is italicized for some reason.
A couple of phrases are de-hyphenated, easy-going and hymn-book, and the capital from prayers continues to be removed, and the full stop after exams also. (Though at the very start of the chapter Blyton doesn’t capitalise one instance of prayers anyway.)
CHAPTER FIVE: THE FIRST WEEK GOES BY
Blyton capitalises break (as in at Break the girls went outside – not actual wording), which I think is unnecessary and that’s missed out in the paperback. As is the full stop after maths (mathematics) which is in-keeping with the other chapters, along with lab and gym. Prayers also continues to lose its capital.
More hyphens are lost, in singing-lesson and boot-cupboard.
Queer (a word which seems to be used a lot less than in the Famous Five books so far) is altered to odd.
I should want to slap her becomes shake her, which is a little surprising to me. Shaking still suggested a level of violence, I thought it would become something like snap at her.
The other difference is that in the original, the characters’ internal thoughts are put in single quotation marks (the same as speech is). This is slightly confusing as sometimes you read something and are surprised a character would say such a thing, then you read thought Darrell at the end and it makes sense. In the paperback, thoughts have no speech marks at all, making them a part of the narrative which is potentially worse in my opinion.
That’s all the textual changes, adding eighteen to the thirteen already noted. I’m going to try hard to only count the first time a change is made – ie if nighty becomes nightie every time I won’t count it with each change, though I may make comment on whether an alteration like that is consistent though the book.
I know this series is meant to the about the text but I can’t help but pass comment on the other big change – the illustrations.
Often paperback titles have less illustrations than their original hardbacks did, but so far this isn’t really the case. There is only one illustration in the first five chapters in both of these copies, though unusually they are of different scenes (when comparing, say Betty Maxey and Eileen Soper [Famous Five) or Rene Cloke and Sylvia I Venus (Amelia Jane), often it is the same scene illustrated.
Anyway. Stanley Lloyd drew the scene in Miss Grayling’s study, when she gives her little speech. Jenny Chapple instead illustrated Darrell and Sally by the tree outside as Darrell is trying to make conversation.
I like both just fine, they’re both good illustrations. I probably prefer Chapple’s though as I had mostly hers growing up. She doesn’t attempt to modernise the illustrations, the uniforms and hair are still in-keeping with the time they come from. Lloyd’s are perhaps a little more period-looking with their details but I think Chapple captures Sally’s closed face brilliantly.