The Secret Island – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition? part three


So we are on to chapters six to nine of The Secret Island. The earlier chapters can be seen here and here. The original text I’m using is from the sixth impression from October 1949 and the updated text is from an Award paperback from 2009.


CHAPTER SIX: WILLOW HOUSE IS FINISHED

There weren’t all that many changes made to this chapter. Like before granddad becomes grandad which is probably the more common spelling now.

Handfuls becomes hand-fuls, rather going against the trend of removing hyphens but this may just be an error. Also, rain- and wind-proof becomes rain and wind-proof.

Jack no longer wishes that Mike was with me when I got these hens, instead he wishes you were. Presumably he means Mike, Nora and Peggy and this is an attempt to make the book less sexist.

Originally there were three illustrations for this chapter while the paperback sticks with one.


CHAPTER SEVEN: THE COW COMES TO THE ISLAND

The two uses of queer in this chapter are removed, a queer sight becomes a strange one and Daisy’s swimming in a queer sort of way becomes a funny one.

When the girls come down to the water to greet the boys after their midnight excursion originally they come with a candle, but in the paperback they come with the candle. I’m not sure why the candle suddenly becomes more important!

What’s also interesting is what they haven’t changed. The girls washed up as usual is left alone despite several alterations in previous chapters to remove the idea that the boys do the manual jobs and the girls do the housekeeping ones.

Again we have three illustrations in the hardback and one in the paperback, though we do get to see Daisy swimming behind the boat in the modern edition.

Daisy swimming behind the boat by Wynne

Daisy swimming behind the boat by Wynne


CHAPTER EIGHT: A LAZY DAY – WITH A HORRID ENDING

The only change here is that instead of hearing a gramophone on the trippers’ boat, they hear a radio playing. 

This time there were two illustrations in the hardback, and still one in the paperback.


CHAPTER NINE: THE TRIPPERS COME TO THE ISLAND

This chapter sees gramophone changed to radio three or four more times, and then instead of the gramophone blared through the air it is loud music blared through the air.

Then another hyphen is inserted and flittermice becomes flitter-mice.

Three illustrations versus one again, and as with all chapters none of the same scenes are illustrated though both artists do show us their depiction of the trippers.


That’s only seven changes to the text (I’m not adding on each time a hyphen is removed or queer is altered.) There have been 27 up to now, so with those added it’s now 34 altogether.

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One Response to The Secret Island – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition? part three

  1. chrissie777 says:

    It’s too bad that the paperback versions have less illustrations!

    Like

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