Posted by: janesandell | February 11, 2010

Revising and Updating Books: some thoughts occasioned by re-reading Jean Estoril

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been re-reading the Drina books by Jean Estoril (Mabel Esther Allan).  I really liked these books as a child; I discovered them for myself in the library in Lossiemouth.  The first one I read was Drina Dances in Italy, the fourth title in the series, which was a bit confusing but I struggled through!

I read the first six titles eventually and thought for a long time that that was them all.  I was reading them as published by Collins as part of the Collins Ballet Library and, to the best of my knowledge, only these six were ever published in that edition.  The next one I read was Drina Goes on Tour, at that time the last in the series.  I discovered that in a charity shop or a secondhand bookshop and from it I found out that there were another three titles (numbers 7-9 in the series).  I got hold of those eventually and that’s when I realised that there had been some updating going on.

Later on (I think in the 1990s) the books were published in paperback by Simon & Schuster.  They had beautiful covers and I couldn’t resist buying them.  Naturally that meant I read them again and saw that they had been updated further.  Exctingly for me, another title was also published at this time.  As far as I know, Drina Ballerina was newly-written and it clearly went with the updated updated books!

I don’t know who decided that the books needed revised or why it was thought necessary.  In this case, it only works to an extent, partly because of the travel element of the books.  It made me wonder how other people feel about revisions and if there are any other good or bad examples…

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