Thursday, July 30, 2015

Abridgement of Breton Holiday and Bernese Holiday

Whenever I have read about Breton Adventure and Bernese Adventure, they are always described as "slightly abridged" versions of the original Holiday books. In Susan and Friends, detailed descriptions are given of two scenes that were edited or deleted prior to the publication of Bernese Adventure, both from Chapter 11. On Page 105, it says that when Caroline and Sara were on the train to Interlaken, "the nice blue-eyed guard came and passed the time of day with them; and when they reached Interlaken, Sara went quite wild over the shops". In Bernese Holiday, the train journey scene is longer, with Sara thinking that the guard's name is Bob because he has the letters BOB emblazoned on his cap. Caroline explains that the letters actually stand for Bernese Oberland Bahn. The other deleted scene takes place the next morning, when Sara awakes early and is delighted to find that it is snowing. After breakfast, Caroline and Vanessa decide to take advantage of the cold snap to write some post cards. The next paragraph begins: "Two days later, the snow had gone, the sun came out again and the flowers reappeared..." However, in Bernese Holiday, while the others are writing their post cards, Sara borrows the hotel owner's skis and has a go at skiing. Caroline eventually has to come out and dig her out of a snow drift. One of the members of the Jane Shaw Facebook group, who has a copy of Bernese Holiday, also recalls what she refers to as some "curtailed dialogue" but could not be more specific as she had conducted her comparison some time ago. I recently purchased a copy of Breton Holiday and looked forward to comparing it with the reissued version. However, as far as I can tell, there was no abridging of the story at all. The above photograph shows the contents page of Breton Holiday on the left and the Adventure on the right. They are identical. So, although the original book is much thicker, there are no extra scenes. The only differences are that the dedication to Jane Shaw's parents is omitted from the Adventure and that the Holiday has a black and white frontispiece drawn by Alice Helena Watson. My copy of Breton Adventure has no frontispiece, although I've been told that some editions of the book did have one. Bernese Adventure has had two frontispieces, one colour and one black and white, which you can see by clicking here and here.