Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Judy Bolton #2 The Haunted Attic

In Judy Bolton #2, The Haunted Attic, Judy and her family move into their new home in Farringdon.  The house is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Vine Thompson, who fenced the jewels that her sons stole.  Judy and Horace hear strange sounds from the attic, and they plan to solve the mystery and reveal what they learn at a Halloween party.

Meanwhile, Judy has trouble fitting in at her new school.  Lois gives Judy a friendship ring, and Judy learns that she isn't supposed to be friendly with the poor girls who live near her.  Lorraine is jealous of Judy's friendship with Lois, and this strains Judy's relationship with Lois.

The text was slightly revised in the 1967 Tempo edition.  The biggest change in the Tempo edition is that the car ride and scene where Lois gives Judy the ring are reversed in order.  The order from the Tempo edition reads smoother and is more logical.

I saw some minor text changes in the Tempo edition to make the story more politically correct.  "Famblies" is changed to "families."  All mention of the Farringdons' colored maid is removed.  "Delightful negro spirituals" is changed to "delightful spirituals."  Finally, "Chinese puzzle" is changed to "puzzle."

Page 132 of the original text has a mistake where it is not clear at one point who is speaking.  This is corrected in the Tempo edition.

In the original text, the white cat is named "The Ghost," and the name is changed to "Ghostie" in the Tempo edition.

After Ghostie (or The Ghost) appears, Blackberry is put outside.  Why?  I thought that was a bit mean.  It's like Blackberry was cast aside in favor of the new cat.

A lot of the text from page 172 was removed from the Tempo edition.  This is disappointing, since the passage shows Judy's despair and strong emotion.  Surely Margaret Sutton could have found something less compelling to remove in order to shorten the text.

In both versions of the text, the young people start a fire in a pail in the attic to remove the bad odor from the attic.  They almost set the house on fire.  Aside from the stupidity, wouldn't the attic then smell like smoke?  I don't see how replacing a foul odor with a smoke odor will help.  I feel like the foolish fire scene should have been removed from the revised text rather than the passage from page 172.

On page 34 of A Guide to Judy Bolton Country, Margaret Sutton mentions that Grosset and Dunlap liked having stereotypes in the books.  Having a colored maid was fine in the original text, but they did not allow Margaret to let Judy declare the maid to be a person just like them.
Margaret originally had Judy speak to the Farringdon-Pett's black maid, only to be told by Lois that  "You're not supposed to talk to the maid!"  To which Judy replied, "Why not?  She's a person like us, isn't she?"
It's too bad that the passage was changed for publication.

This is a very good story.

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