The Twins at St Clare’s – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition? part seven


I’ve just noticed I named the previous two parts as ‘part five’. So I’ll skip six and move on to seven! This will be the last one as I got through the final five chapters tonight. All previous parts: one, two, three, four, five and six.


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: KATHLEEN HAS A SECRET

Only one change in this chapter. The girls had remarked that they could get up the attic stairs in a trice. This is now in no time. Trice is such a nice Blytony word so it’s a shame to lose it.


CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: THE SECRET IS OUT!

Another unremarkable chapter with only two changes. First, what I suspect is a correction – from The class, already in a state of giggle to a state of giggles. I’ve never heard giggle being used like that before, but giggles makes sense.

Then maids become cleaners. Maids have become messengers and staff before, but this time it doesn’t make sense to make them cleaners as their job is taking the trunks down for the girls to pack. That doesn’t sound like a job cleaners would do!


CHAPTER NINETEEN: A SHOCK FOR ISABEL

Not only a shock for Isabel, but a shock for us. Not a single thing has been updated, corrected or otherwise altered in this whole chapter.


CHAPTER TWENTY: THE CONCERT

Slightly more this chapter, perhaps to make up for the dearth in the last one.

The girls had been tying  handkerchiefs round their hair to clean out the cupboards but this is cut entirely, as is when the twins found big hankies and tied up their hair. I know that people don’t tend to use hankies but girls do actually still tie their hair up in scarves for cleaning, and more often fashion!

Bathe becomes bath, though I would more normally say ‘you can have a bath’ rather than ‘you can bath’ as the book has it. Bathe is an action, but bath is a thing.

A pen-knife then becomes a ruler in this paragraph:  “I thought I’d never see that pen-knife again!” squealed Doris, pouncing on a small pearl-handed knife in delight. “Wherever has it been all this time?” The word pen-knife is replaced with ruler, then the longer description is replaced with  a small ruler. Doris must really have loved her ruler to react like that, which seems odd. A pearl-handled knife, however, you can understand.


CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: THE LAST DAY

Three small changes this time.

The loft (previously referred to as both the attic and boxrooms) is changed to boxroom, though all three mean the same thing anyway.

Binks, the dog, is called the most uproarious person.This then becomes most uproarious soul, as clearly a dog can never be called a person even in a humorous line in a children’s book.

And finally, Blyton has the train sound like it’s saying We’re pleased we’re coming back again-TO-ST-CLARE’S! over and over. The paperback renders this as We’re-pleased-we’re coming-back-again-to-st-clare’s!

Blyton’s is much more evocative as a train does not always make a word-word-word rhythm. Secondly, the lack of capitals is just silly as St Clare’s is still the name of the school!


I have counted that as 11 changes. That means our grand total for the book is 83. Quite a lot less than some of the others!

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One Response to The Twins at St Clare’s – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition? part seven

  1. Francis says:

    Well done Fiona – another excellent analysis. Hope Stef has arrived safely.
    Francis

    Like

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