Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Clues to Collecting #5

Question: Because of a surgery recovery (needed lots of easy reading to fill lots of extra time!), I started to re-read titles in both series... and when I began going thru some of the Danas, I discovered that unlike with ND (for which I enjoy BOTH the early 25-chapter versions & the later 20-chapters, both are fun for diff. reasons) with the Dana stories, I'm finding I really don't enjoy the later 20-chapter stories very much. But I adore those older Dana books... there's just something about the earlier style and the types of stories... (perhaps I just prefer M.Wirt Benson's style.)

Anyway, what I'm trying to figure out is if any of the #1-13 (or 1-24) DGs were revised from 25 chapters down to the shorter 20 chapters, like NDs were. Sure, like you said in this blog posting, it's easy to understand which NDs are 20-chapter versions (I grasped this fully by reading your webpages and also, the NDsleuth pages). But I'm not seeing the same info about DGs; so it's making me wonder if perhaps they never did "revise and shorten" the DGs? Did those early stories stay the same throughout the first two printing runs?

I think the reason I'm confused is this: my copy of Winking Ruby has only 20 chapters, but it's #19, written in 1957. My copy of #17 Ghost in Gallery has 25 chapters, but it lists to Bamboo Bird. Do you know when they started revising and shortening the DGs? Did they just start doing that with one of the titles (like, with Winking Ruby?), and then NOT go back and revise the earlier #'s? If this is the case, I just won't bother filling-in my collection with anything past #19.

Thanks again so much, your series book knowledge is amazing and so helpful! :D :D

Answer: Dana Girls #1-16 were never revised down from 25 chapters, so each book only has the original text in all printings. These sixteen books all still had the original text in the beige spine picture cover format, and all of them went out of print and never made it to the white spine format, which is where some revisions occurred.

#18 and up only had 20 chapters in the first place, so those titles were not revised, except a couple of titles that made it to the white spine picture cover version had very slight revisions like just a sentence or paragraph in the beginning of the book. The order of the titles changed in the white spine format, and this caused them to have to correct minor inconsistencies like when the Danas returned from various travels.

#17 is the only volume that was revised down from 25 chapters to 20 chapters. The revised version appears in the white spine format.

You don't have to worry about making sure you have the original text for #1-16 in the original set, since all of those books have the original text. The higher-numbered titles with the 20 chapters are generally not as good as the lower-numbered titles, just like in the Nancy Drew series. Lettie Briggs and Ina Mason disappeared from the Dana Girls series in the later books. Not only that, the Danas travel all the time and hardly ever attend school in those books. The series is quite different in the later titles.


keeline said...

The first four Dana Girls were ghostwritten by Leslie McFarlane, the Hardy Boys ghostwriter.

James Keeline

rachel said...

I loved the first 10 or so Danas but havn't been able to finish 'Swiss Chalet', so I found this an interesting question!