Friday, August 3, 2012

Nancy Drew Moss-Covered Mansion Anomaly

I bought this very interesting book recently on eBay.

What makes the book unusual is that the cover and spine have the title as The Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion.  The title of the book is actually The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion.  The inside of the book is normal with the title as The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion. What is especially baffling is that all other copies of this book that I have ever seen printed from 1941 through the last 1971 original text printing have "at" instead of "of."   When the book was revised in 1971, the title was changed to Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion.  Even that title does not match this book exactly, since "The" was removed from the title in 1971.

Aside from the problem with the title, the book and jacket meet the points for the 1947B-17 printing according to Farah's 12th edition.  Farah has noted with this printing that "some copies have Endpapers #2."  Those endpapers are the orange silhouette endpapers, which this book does have.

When I first saw this book on eBay, I knew that I wanted to buy it, but I had to wait a week for the auction to end.  In the meantime, I tried to reason out how this book exists.  I thought about international editions, but no, "Grosset and Dunlap" appears on the spine.  I wondered whether this could be some kind of trick just like I did when I found this book.  The seller had such good pictures that I thought that the book must be as it appeared.  I finally came up with an explanation after either two or three days, which is what I still believe now that I have the book and have thought more about it.

The 1947B-17 Farah's Guide printing is the second printing of the solid blue book, which is the binding style of this book.  The solid blue binding is the binding seen in the 1947-1951 section of my Nancy Drew Formats page.  Even though a book might be designated as the second printing of a certain format in Farah's Guide, sometimes bindings, endpapers, and other aspects of the book might match a printing right before or after that Farah's Guide printing.

My supposition is that the binding, or rather, cover stock, of this book was one of the first ones printed for The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion in the solid blue format.  Further, a mistake was made and the first ones printed had the title wrong on the cover and spine of the book.  If I am right, then this book is not the only example that exists.  I doubt that only one book has the misprinted title.  Surely other books were printed with the same mistake.

If so, then someone should be able to confirm that other examples exist.  If you own a solid blue binding of The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion, check to see whether the title is correct on the book.  I am confident that there is no reason to check any books other than the ones that have the same binding style as this book.  Does anybody have one with the wrong title?

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I have just figured out that I have two copies of this anomaly. Since I have two copies, I am certain that others exist. Likely, an entire print run has the error on the cover.