minnow at minnow at
Sat Apr 26 07:28:55 EDT 2003

Dorian replied to my reply to Jennifer:

>In my experience, you cannot *absolutely* rely on a book being unabridged
>*unless* it actually says "complete and unabridged".  For some reason,
>abridged books rarely admit the fact, and it's very bloody annoying.  You
>have to rely upon knowledgeable friends a lot of the time.

It is always annoying when people decide they know better than you do
yourself about what you want to read/what you ought to read/what is

I was going mostly by the fact that Puffin have admitted to committing
abridgement or revision, often enough for me to think that when they have
they 'fess up about it; so when they don't say they have, they probably
haven't.  (I think that makes sense: it's very late at night in my head at
the moment.)

[snip] the Fenris Wolf and renaming of same
>::frowns in puzzlement::  I just checked my copy of "Weirdstone" (I did
>remember Maugrim!), and sure enough, you're right about the name...but my
>copy is published by Lions, which is (or was) an imprint of Collins, so
>presumably Kaye Webb would have had nothing to do with it.  And the
>publishing history on the copyright page doesn't mention Puffin or Penguin

My Puffin *Weirdstone* is 1963, and guess what?  It says "This _revised_
edition published in Puffin Books 1963".  It also says "First published by
Collins 1960".  And the dedication is "This edition for my parents".  So it
was Collins' first, they let Puffin have it for a bit and Garner made
revisions for Puffin, then Collins took it back, I suppose, and just didn't
re-revise the Puffin revisions.  But as I recall (it's been a while since I
read the hardback, which didn't belong to me) there was nothing
particularly striking in the way of drastic change between hardback and
Puffin; I just happened to notice the Fenris vanishment.

>> (And I once wasted a lot of time getting hold
>> of a hardback copy of a book they had marked as "abridged", only to find
>> that they had been *absolutely right* to cut out as much as they had,
>> because the original was greatly improved by having all the verbiage
>> trimmed away!)
>Could that have been Frances Hodgson Burnett's "A Little Prince", by any
>chance?  That is actually marked as being abridged in my Puffin Classics
>edition, so I went and got the complete version from Project Gutenberg, and
>I can *quite* see why the chunks of vaguely Eastern mysticism were chopped.
>They're hugely dull, scarcely credible, and add almost nothing to the story.

No, I think it was called "Finn, the Wolfhound" or some very similar title;
I no longer have it, I wasn't that struck on dog-books after a bit.  Thanks
for the warning about the FH-B (they hyphenate her in Puffin, don't they?)
book, but can you clarify: is the one you mean *A Little Princess* or *The
Lost Prince*?

>Until the sky falls on our heads...

Along about next Thursday...

>Dorian (who would like the *choice* to reject bits of books, dammit!).

Heartily seconded.


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