[DWJ] News from the archive - The Pinhoe Egg

Hannah Green hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk
Mon Jun 6 10:58:56 EDT 2011

I've just been reading a partial manuscript of 'The Pinhoe Egg', which appears to be an early version of the story.  There are only two chapters, but there are some significant differences between the two.  Most notably, Irene Pinhoe appears much earlier in this version, in chapter two - the Pinhoe family decide Gammer can no longer manage Woods House by herself, so she is moved out (forcibly - the lovely scene of the levitating bed appears in the early draft as well) and the house is sold to Irene Pinhoe.  In this version, Irene is a widow with a young son, Donovan, who is about the same age as Marianne.  And it is Donovan who discovers the egg in the attic, not Cat, and asks if he can have it.

The focus of the story is still Marianne, although she is not the only female born to Gammer's branch of the Pinhoe line, as Gammer has three daughters and there is a suggestion that the issue of who will be the next Gammer could be hotly disputed.  The draft breaks off with Gammer discovering that the new residents at Woods House are Pinhoes, and not being too thrilled about the discovery!

There is a subsequent, complete manuscript draft which is much closer to the published book, although interestingly this manuscript suggests there was originally a chapter preceding what is now chapter 1, which Diana discarded.  The manuscript starts in much the same way as the book starts - "At the beginning of the summer holidays, while Chrestomanci and his family were still in the south of France, Marianne Pinhoe and her brother Joe walked reluctantly up the main street of Ulverscote in answer to a summons from Gammer Pinhoe." - but this first page is numbered '5', not 1, and the chapter number 'II' has been crossed out and replaced with 'I'.  What happened to pages 1-4 and the original chapter 'I' is a mystery!
Hannah Green
Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Design Works, William Street, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0JP
Tel. 01914952707
E-mail: hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk<mailto:hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk>

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