New Abbey Girls 1923 and 1966

For those interested in appearances of books, the first edition of The New Abbey Girls is dark blue and has the picture of a girl with a tennis racquet on the cover. Assumed to be Maidlin, but as she wasn’t ever anxious to exert herself with sports, one wonders. The girl has black hair in two plaits and is wearing a  green  outfit which has white edging to the short sleeves and a white band around her waist. The spine has a schoolgirl standing against the silhouette of a skyline with a church spire. There, she is wearing a hat with a green/white stripe. a green blouse, black skirt, stockings and shoes. The dust wrapper on my copy which I believe is also a first, has an almost identical girl –  slightly prettier – with a tennis racquet but in that one  she is wearing a pink top with very dark blue bands on the sleeves, a thinner band around the neck, a narrow band of deep pink at the waist while her skirt is the same colour as the binding. The spine is of Jen dancing a morris jig in the orchard, taken from the frontispiece. There are two other illustrations: Joy and Jen arriving at the Pixie’s flat and Maidlin showing herself in her new pink dress to Joy, Jen and Jacky-boy.

There were Children’s Press reprints for more than one year;  the cover of the one dated 1966 used for this exercise, is plain green with various sporting  items  (hockey and skating boots, football, assorted hats plus  cricket  stumps  and  such  like)  at  the top. The dust wrapper shows Joy and Jen, in front of the abbey. Jen in a blue top and skirt, Joy in a yellow dress and both rather more modem as to clothes and hair styles , than we normally associate with any of the abbey girls. The spine  picture  is of Joy, this time with short, fair hair, writing letters in front of the abbey which has been given what looks like a high tower or turret.

The chapters are the same in  both with the numbers and titles of their chapters.  New Abbey Girls in the first edition has 312 pages followed by half a dozen pages listing a few other Collins titles.  The Children’s Press reprint is 124 pages.  But the reprint is cut drastically, mainly in removing parts of conversations, reminiscences in both speech or thoughts as well as scenic descriptions.  For the sake of brevity, the books will be referred to as New AG and CP. It will be assumed that members know the basic story, even if only via reprints.

Chapter I – Morning in the Abbey

The opening sentences in both versions are identical but CP leaps over a lot of what has already happened in the few previous books. On the first page of CP Maidlin was “fascinated by her aunt’s stories of the monks” but there is no mention of Ann thinking back to Joy’s schooldays and the desecration of the chapter house  wall when defaced by Dick Jessop. Nor of Ann’s thoughts about Joan and Joy’s inheritance or “if Ann felt kindly towards visitors she told of Sir Anthony’s romantic behaviour until his death when he left his property to the cousins”, then Joan’s engagement on her return from Cheltenham, which Ann mused over as she continued with her washing. There is nothing either about Joan and Joy saying “Ann yarns about you and me and grandfather’s will, no end!” All of which are in New AG.

CP has Ann smiling as she listens to Joy singing but the lyrics aren’t quoted in CP. “Joy was talking to herself” goes back over their stay in Cheltenham in New AG and is followed by quite a long description of her appearance and how often she wears her gym tunic. Joy’s thoughts as she settles to her letter-writing are cut in CP until she comes across a letter from Miss Macey. Jen appears at that stage in both books but a lot of details are omitted in the reprint as the girls discuss the fact that Miss Macey has written to ask if Joy will take in a girl who isn’t settling to the air in Wycombe. More cuts in CP, largely Jen saying how she felt when “you took me in, in the dip. time”.

At the end of the chapter Madam arrives for another look at the abbey.

Chapter Il – Enter Madam

Once it has been decided for how long she can stay, Joy offers to take her to Wycombe after lunch in Belinda ; a little has been removed there about the accident when Jen was so ill. Much of their conversation is ignored after that and while they are looking at the old books in the refectory, until Maidlin “fell, rather than climbed down” to warn them that visitors have arrived and, to avoid being seen by them, Joy, Jen and Madam try to escape in the underground passages.

Chapter III – Buried Alive

In the third chapter six pages from New AG are cut by half, including Madam asking to be told again how Joan and Jen found Jehane’s jewels, before the three of them are trapped as the light from the torch fails. Nothing is said in CP as they talk together in the dark about the time Joy nearly killed Jen in the motor bike crash, but the details about Maidlin are recounted in both books, leaving out the fact in CP that Maidlin’s father was thought to be courting the daughter of the house rather than  “the pretty housemaid”. Those details end with money sent for her “to be properly brought up” and CP doesn’t pick up the thread again until “Is he still  alive?” To keep them warm Madam makes the girls dance in turn, criticising from the sound of their steps. More is left out there in CP including talk about Joan’s wedding until Jen hears voices and “yells” for help.

Chapter IV – The Novelette Girl

The second paragraph in the original included Jen’s laughter as she recounted their dilemma to Ann. After “pursed in a whistle” in New AG, Jen assumes that Ann will have told the visitors “a lot of gossip”. When Jen stops to speak to the novelette girl, CP omits “Maidlin’s eyes had been on her with a touch of suspicion” also Maidlin pushing back her hair while not moving, since Jen “wouldn’t expect to be treated with deference”. Where Jen says Ann wants to see Joy later and Maidlin “sped  across the garth” some of Jen’s musings are removed from CP until she reaches the Hall and waits for Joy to arrive from having taken Madam “tucked into Belinda’s sidecar” which little piece is only in New AG.

Oddments of their conversation aren’t in CP such  as, when Joy reported Maidlin had “dashed headlong into the road”.  Jen laughed  about killing a hen, then recalled how she and Jacky-boy once ran up that same road when they were locked out of the abbey. Joy’s thoughts when she learns who rescued them are nearly all left out, particularly about wanting to use the lake next door . So are parts of their discussion about what Joy will write to Miss Macy.

Chapter V – Ann’s Request

The opening is the same in both books. Ann explaining about the death of Maidlin’s grandparents and the fact that Maidlin is now an heiress. Joy, in her usual unseeing way, doesn’t grasp what Ann wants until Jen tells her but even then merely offers to ask around to see if anyone might take the child . Much is omitted of Ann thinking how suitable the Hall would be for Maidlin, while Joy tells her about having nearly run over Maidlin that afternoon. At the very end of the chapter the  girls discuss Ann not being the best person to help Maidlin and the possibility of taking Rosamund in for a while, but both books end with the decision to “have a heart-to-heart with the Pixie!”

Chapter VI – A Dumping-Ground for Girls

The first half of the third paragraph is missing from CP as Jen thinks back to the Pixie and how Joan and Jack met in one of her classes. That night, when Joy “drifted into Jen’s bedroom”, New AG explains that Jen’s room was the one she always had at the Hall and has a page about the girls talking and brushing their hair before going on to “It’s all your fault, Jenny-Wren!” Joy’s thoughts there about how she nearly killed Jen aren’t given in CP, nor are Jen’s reactions. Neither is a lot of why Joy, since the time of that accident, has been trying to be more helpful to other people. Odd sentences are omitted such as when Jen asks if because her father isn’t well, she may continue to stay at the Hall, what treatment is needed for him, and talks about being missed in the village at home.

Chapter VII – Consulting the Pixie

New AG starts this chapter describing the weather and what the girls are wearing when they set out for London in Joy’s small car. Much of their conversation is ignored in CP apart from Jen telling Joy she’s a good driver to which “‘I’ve had the fright of my life” Joy said grimly “and I don’t want another.”‘ It leaps on to “We’re almost there” then ignores what they think of the Pixie’s block of flats until she calls down to them “from the upper regions.” Some of their conversation is left out of CP, as is a certain amount of description of the main room until they have “tea with hotters”.

Once settled for their moral talk Joy says she can give her money away but only in New AG explains her “new feeling of responsibility”. Some of the Pixie’s comments about people who could be helped are omitted in CP as are those she makes about Joy having a fortune so being a good person able to understand what Maidlin will need. CP ends with the Pixie preparing a meal for her flatmates but New AG carries on to her telling the girls how once she put some potatoes on to boil, then went and forgot them. She had to return to the flat to rescue the saucepan. That is followed by a little about Madam, and the Pixie asking to be told how Maidlin settles.

Chapter VIII – An Evening with Jacky-Boy

On reaching Jacky-boy’s home, the description of her isn’t included in CP, or where to put Joy’s car. Odd sentences have been removed from Jacky-boy’s comments on learning rappers with Madam and what happens when Madam’s husband joins in any dancing. Some conversation is also cut at that stage, and when envying Jacky-boy her ability to attend classes, New AG has “you have advantages we poor country cousins haven’t!” New AG includes Jacky-boy taking the other two for a look at Regent Street and what it looks like before “Now come on, or we’ll be late”  to the end of that page.

Chapter IX – Old Friends and New

Another scenic description is left out following on from there at the opening of the chapter which in CP starts with “In a dressing room were girls in all stages of undress;”. One or two sentences don’t appear in CP and a paragraph explaining how the waiting dancers were keeping warm is cut altogether. New AG has a long paragraph about Jen watching a class once Madam has gone to teach morris in another room. That version also gives a lot at the end of the first dance  as the dancers chat to each other, talk about their work and make arrangements for future Vacation Schools, until “She’s interesting, isn’t she?” and the Writing Person comes to sit beside Jen. A lot of their conversation is ignored in CP although the piece where the Writing Person says she wouldn’t miss a Friday class as it helps her work, is in both editions.

Chapter X – The Heiress in the Pulpit

Trifles such as remarks about not bothering to visit Miss Macey merely to hand in a note, then what Joy changed into (“a pretty brown house-frock”) and her thoughts before going to tell Ann that she is prepared to take Maidlin, are not given in CP. Not all Ann’ s reactions are quoted, nor are Joy’s comments about not sending Maidlin to school right away then her thoughts about Ann not being the best person to be guardian to an heiress. From the point where Joy joined Maidlin in the pulpit, a lot of the conversation between them as they discuss why Maidlin didn’t want to go to the Hall and Joy ‘s replies about why she didn’t feel fit to be a guardian, is removed from the CP. ln New AG there are nearly 8 pages of their discussion against a mere two and a half pages in CP, until they go to the Hall via the underground passage.

Chapter XI – Jen’s “Think”

Since the door at the Hall end is locked they have to call for Jen; comments about it being lucky Madam is not with them and Maidlin having an attack of giggles aren’t included in CP, neither is the complete discussion Jen and Joy have about having forgotten the door was locked. Details about tea being at individual tables, and Joy and Jen telling Mrs Shirley about having seen the Pixie aren’t included. When Joy suggests going to stay with Jacky-boy and going to a party, odd sentences have been removed, such as, in New AG, Jen long having wanted to go to a party to “get some good out of being a member”, leaves out four sentences.

The gist of Jen’s ‘big think’ is in CP but a lot of details have been left out, like personal facts the Writing Person had told her about the girls attending the Friday night classes. When Jen asks Joy to play the piano and is asked what she wants to hear, in New AG Jen suggests “something about the woods in spring. or weddings, or dances; whatever’s in your head at the moment” none of which is in CP.  Nor is the description of Maidlin “sitting on a stool by the hearth, watched her with spellbound eyes” while Jen commented on what she thought she heard in the music. After Jen sings “O you Rio!” the CP goes straight to “Maidlin listened in growing surprise and delight” until the end of that chapter. A few sentences have been removed such as Joy saying Maidlin will be sitting in a comer to watch the dancing. Towards the end while Joy and Jen are singing, CP stops at “folk-songs of the countryside” which, in New AG is enlarged by “songs from Somerset, from Gloucestershire , from Dorset, from the Midlands; all learned the summer before under the leadership of their ‘Prophet.’”

Chapter XII – Joy’s Twins

This opens with Maidlin waiting to talk to Joy before going to sleep but although the substance of what she tells Joy is in CP. It only takes two and a half pages there against five and a half in New AG. Next morning when Jen is picking daffodils she asks for enough to send to the Pixie for her East End girls; that reason isn’t mentioned in CP. Neither, when Joy reports what she and Maidlin had spoken about the previous night, are her and Jen’s thoughts about Maidlin’s speech and her past education. They wonder what Rosamund will be like but CP doesn’t have the New AG extras there about the school being anti-snobbery since Cicely began the Hamlet Club and what Joy says about secrets and the fact that Rosamund is “a keen member of the Hamlet Club.”

Chapter XIII -The Unknown Quantity

This opens as Rosamund waits at school to be collected to go to the Hall; some of the seniors speak to her about going and send messages to Jen but not all those are in CP. An unnecessary change is that when Rosamund tells the girls Joy is fetching her by car, “Isn’t it topping of her’ ?” has been altered to “Isn’t it super of her?” While a minor point when Joy arrives is that in New AG “Joy, in her chauffeur’s leather suit and cap”, in CP has become “wearing her suit and no hat.” After “pitch your things in” CP omits what is already in the car in the way of Joy’s shopping. When the car drives away, CP doesn’t have the “Lucky little bounder!” and other comments by the watching girls. As Joy begins to tell Rosamund about Maidlin, some paragraphs  have been left out and when it comes to “Now you understand the situation!” to “Joy said frankly.” a lot of Joy’s account of the possible problems and Rosamund offering to return to school rather than complicate the situation doesn’t appear in CP. Neither does much of their subsequent discussion that Maidlin is shy. Then, when they reach the Hall and Jen comes out to welcome Rosamund “There was only, after all, two years in age between Jen and the Schoolgirl.” has been cut.

They discover Maidlin is missing and Jen has to explain to Joy how Maidlin probably feels, going back over all they had talked about, the previous night. In New AG that takes three and a half pages against just over one in CP, ending in New AG with their suppositions as to where Maidlin may have gone.

Chapter XIV – The Wisdom of Jenny-Wren

Searching for Maidlin at the start of this chapter, some remarks are left out of CP. Rosamund asking if she may go with them, then , once they have found Maidlin, comments about homework to be done. Further on, Rosamund telling Maidlin how to join in general conversation says she expects Joy and Jen “go on like that all the time” in New AG . There are more reminiscences about Cheltenham before the girls go down for their tea, which are excluded in CP. As are the majority of Jen’s remarks about the differences between the two girls after she asks Joy if she is happy with her new family.

That is the pattern throughout the two versions; the story line is in CP and there are a few alterations but no end of omissions.

Chapter XV – The Pixie and the Club

The first page of this as far as “Be nice to her, won’t you?” is the same in both but then goes straight to “If she were perfectly honest” six lines further down, to the end of that paragraph then another gap until “I shall miss you all fearfully” after which in CP a lot has been removed about seeing the party dresses to be taken to London and even the famous remark by Joy about “always wearing black”. But how difficult her hair colour is since she follows Marguerite in her strawberry-pink in the May Queen processions is given in CP. Rosamund went to school next morning, after lunch the others “pack themselves into Eirene” is in both books then another space until Joy, Jen and Maidlin reach London. A small omission in CP is Joy’s comments on the Tower which is followed by some of her thoughts as they reach the building where they are to meet the Pixie. More conversation and thoughts are omitted as are all the Pixie offers them for tea. In CP it’s “tea, toast and bread and butter and cakes for four” but in New AG it’s longer with “Toast and cakes’? Sandwiches’? Eggs’? Oh, you’ve had lunch! All right;” then onto the order for tea and toast and the rest as above. A lot of conversation is left out during tea, mainly about Maidlin and Rosamund but also how the Pixie deals with people attending the Club who stop to speak to her, then the Pixie telling Joy how best she can help people living in rather sordid surroundings. Finally CP ends with “She added practically.” In New AG that was followed by a few more sentences before the Pixie asks if anyone wants more tea, then takes them to see over the club.

Chapter XVI – A Morris Pipe and a Pixie

As before, odd sentences haven’t been included. Both start with “I’ve no words left!” But CP goes from there to “Pixie had led the girls to the  beautiful gymnasium”. That paragraph has been shortened by not telling them how she gets up to the piano. The reaction of the girls is left out until Jen and her “Three cheers for the YMCA”. Two sentences about who provided it are only in New AG. Once the Pixie has changed into her tunic, there are two pages in CP but nine and a half in New AG going over how they had all met at Cheltenham. Joy, in both, asked about how music is provided but CP has nothing about the tunes and their names as the Pixie played them on her pipe, apart from odd sentences in CP such as  “Jen treasured this new picture for her letter to Joan.” and Pixie telling Maidlin  she’ll have to sit on Jen as they watch the dancing until “Molly! Show these friends of mine the way down, will you’?” A little is left out of Maidlin’s reactions to all she has seen, as is the end of the Pixie’s advice about how she should treat Rosamund since Maidlin had been at the Hall before Rosamund’s arrival there. The paragraph which begins with “‘Darling”‘ stops in CP at the word ‘piano’ but in New AG follows that with what the Plaistow girls were doing while waiting for the next dance to start. Joy and Jen’s thoughts once they were in Eirene again aren’t given in CP while the last paragraph doesn’t use three sentences from the original. In  fact, chapter 16 in CP is less than two and a half pages altogether but in New AG takes just over eleven.

Chapter XVII – Educating Maidlin

This opens with Jacky-boy’s “She’s a bit stodgy” but a lot of Joy’s reasons  for the her denial and Jen pointing out that she was using her arguments, then Joy saying she is going to try and see other peoples’ points of view, have all been cut from CP. Once Joy joins Maidlin in bed that night and hears all her thoughts about her own character and inability to express her feelings, they have a long discussion – and a small lecture from Joy about the way Maidlin treated Rosamund on her arrival – as well as talking about the people living in Plaistow and what the Pixie is doing for them. That takes nearly ten pages in New AG against two in CP, ending with Joy admitting that she too has a temper, inherited from her grandfather.

Then Joy says “You want to learn to fool about as Jen and Jack do.” New AG explains how she put the light on before going on to “How? What?” after which Joy says the others will be talking in bed which doesn’t appear in CP nor does Joy telling Maidlin whereabouts the bed is, to throw her pillows. A lot more is cut in CP as the girls have their pillow fight. Joy whispers to Jen why she instigated it, then what they say after Jacky-boy has foraged for food. The last paragraph in CP is the one starting with ‘Then the cuckoo on the mantelpiece” and ends with ” Lead the way, Jacqueline!” New AG  adds more with Jen advising Jack-boy not to help the others to their bedrooms, a suggestion about dancing the Helston Furry and Jack giving Joy and Maidlin her opinion of “a disgraceful way to behave in a respectable house!” Joy asks her to “apologise to the maids in the morning” before “Jack fled back to bed.”

Chapter XVIII – “Cuckoo’s Nest”

CP begins with “When Maidlin met Jen and Jack at breakfast” while New AG had four sentences before there. More sentences have been removed until Jen is summoned from Eirene to help with shopping. “Joy, fresh from trousseau-hunting with Joan”, leaves out the New AG piece in which Joy and Jen had decided previously how best to guide Maidlin’s choice and quite a lot about colours and tastes, also the way Jen has tried to introduce colour to the lives of her village girls at home. Nothing is said about the other clothes the girls bought until “Maidlin arrayed herself.”

Details aren’t included in CP about the fact that Jen is stiff after having danced so little lately or that one girl is being taught how to master a movement. The Writing Person arrives, saying she’s come for the party. But in New AG she explains her inability to do as much dancing as some people do. Joy and Jen ask her to look after Maidlin in both books, which she does. There is an alteration where the Writing Person tells them about the dancer with “Got two children, a boy of three, and a girl of five.” In New AG is “but she was nineteen, and it was in 1914. She’s a war widow.” In CP it is “but she was nineteen; it’s terribly sad; her husband –  an air pilot – was killed last year.” When the Writing Person tells the girls about her Camp Fire she says it would take too long to tell them all about it. CP omits her “But see my Guardian’s pin; isn’t it neat!” and a little more about her ring  and  its symbols. No details are given about their first attempt at Earsdon which take three pages in New AG. A few sentences aren’t included at the end of that chapter,  when the Writing Person arranges to take Maidlin out for “buns in the shop at the comer.”

Chapter XIX – One Jolly Evening

A lot of what Maidlin notices as she sits watching the party in and the fact that in New AG the Writing Person joins the girls between dances and tells them about one of the Pixie’s parties, are lacking. Also not given in CP is how she once managed to write a chapter while in a train on her way to Plaistow. At the end of that chapter when Joy is talking about Madam and says she ‘danced all the time, and in a way nobody else does, quite”, the New AG version has an additional sentence of “Cicely and Joan say so, anyway.” CP only has a third of the length about that particular evening which New AG took nearly nine pages to cover. The omissions are mostly descriptions of different kinds of dances and what people were wearing.

Chapter XX – Madam at Home

The first paragraph in CP ends on line 4 with “laid before them”. New AG explains in another half a dozen lines that this “represented years of patient, careful work.”  As the girls wander around Madam’s flat, a few items have been left out of CP including a description of the china on the table and some of her husband’s remarks about tidiness. New AG gave a long description of the flat and, after Jen thanked Madam and told them what they thought about having been there which is in CP, some of their conversation is left out until “Maidlin, my infant, you’re very quiet”. Joy’s thoughts as “confessed that night, alone with Jen” are omitted as are comments about some of the reasons for having taken Maidlin there, but all those further on about having taken her to meet some of their friends are given in CP. When Joy explains why she hasn’t been doing as much as she should for the Hamlet Club, a few sentences have been removed. A small change is that when Joy says they’ ll “give the girls the two new dances” in New AG Jen says “Topping!” . In CP that is changed to “Good!”.

Chapter XXI – Maidlin Thinks for Herself

This opens in CP with “Here’s a peaceful domestic picture for you” while New AG had given the best part of a complete page of conversation as Eirene neared the Hall. A few details aren’t in CP when Maidiin apologises to Rosamund about her previous behaviour. Some of the things they have seen and done are omitted altogether as are details about the Writing Person and the Camp Fire book which had been left behind for Rosamund to read. Another bit is left out of Jen surmising that Maidlin will tell Joy later how she became able to make the apology.

Later, discussing making a dance frock for Maidlin, Joy asks “what colour will you have, kiddy?” which in CP is “what colour will you have, Madalena?” and doesn’t say anything about (which was given in New AG), the making of her own first dance frock, and how selfish she was at that time. Also cut there are the indignant responses from Rosamund and Maidlin , and that Mrs Shirley said “only rather thoughtless.”

Maidlin asks Joy to visit her in bed that night after more missing sentences,  to tell  her that Joy and Jen are only doing the same thing,  in their own ways, as Madam and Pixie, in wanting to pass the dances on  to  others.  Another  alteration  there  is “You had a ripping time last night” which in CP has become a “super  time” .  When  Joy thanks Maidlin for having said all she had, the penultimate paragraph has been shortened in CP, leaving out why the  Pixie  in  particular,  but  all  the  teachers, continue to teach. Joy’s repeated thanks to Maidlin for the way she approached Rosamund on their arrival home, are cut from CP.

Chapter XXII – “Ros and Maidie”

The first and third paragraphs have been left out of CP and many of the subsequent ones have been shortened. For instance where Joy and Jen wonder if Rosamund is likely to be the next Hamlet Club Queen and the fact that Rosamund would like Meg to be chosen is only in New AG with “Rosamund hasn’t any idea of it”.

CP goes straight on to Joy explaining to Jen everything Maidlin had said to her the previous night, with no mention as in the original, that Jen is another who is carrying dancing to her village children at home. Most of the next two pages in New AG are left out of CP, talking about the fact that Joy is already being looked up to and admired by the younger girls and that if this worries her, to discuss it with the Pixie. Where Jen teaches Maidlin a few steps on the cloister garth, there is no mention in CP about “At night Joy went to the piano” then a few of the dances Rosamund, Maidlin, Jen and even Mrs Shirley danced to help the girl, which are all described in New AG. Joy and Jen recalling their first class at Cheltenham isn’t in CP and in the penultimate paragraph where Joy comments on the shortened names the girls have given each other, after “Since when?” New AG adds “I bet it was Rosamunda started it!”

Chapter XXIII – “Spring Garden”

Mrs Shirley comes downstairs at the beginning and “smiled at the picture of the four girls in their dancing frocks as they waited for the members of the Hamlet Club to arrive.” No description is given of their colours in CP which moves straight from there to “In Joy’s memory” and stops after “It was the most eventful meeting of the Hamlet Club she had known”. The following paragraph ends after “spring flowers into full glory”. The next five pages are cut a great deal, omitting descriptions of the grounds, the girls thinking how fortunate they are to live in such a lovely place then Jen teaching the Club those two new dances. Some of that is in CP, particularly Joy telling Jen she is “Madam! you’ve got her style to a T!” but nothing is in CP about “Now be the Pixie” and getting the dancers to watch each other “to see the pattern you’ve been making.” From “Visitors, Joy” to the end, is the same in both books.

Chapter XXIV – Another Queen from the Abbey

The final chapter in CP only takes three pages altogether instead of sixteen and a bit. Joy explaining her dancing attire to Lady Marchwood and the dances to her son have been removed. In New AG Joy sent Maidlin to ask Jen to dance Molly Oxford for the girls but that, as with telling Andrew about Jen’s accident, has been left out of CP.  In both Joy finally manages to get away from the Marchwood visitors, using the need to vote for the next May Queen as her excuse. Having handed her voting slip to Barbara, she returns to the house and finds a letter from Maidlin’s lawyer. The piece about speaking to the group of visitors in the abbey has been shortened in CP as has Joy’s explanation of the lawyer’s letter to Ann which, in CP, gives no details at that stage as to what happened to Maidlin’s father. In fact, CP stops at “Now I’ve got to go and tell her” which in New AG was “tell the kiddy.” Joy didn’t tell Ann about “there are people in Italy who will see to all the business” or more about what Joy is prepared! to do for Maidlin.

When Rosamund is told she has been elected as the next Queen, a few sentences have been taken out of CP. Calling for Joy to tell her, after “Diving under the arms” should continue “colliding with astonished Edna as the ring went round  again”. Joy’s “What’s the hurry Rosamund?” in New AG followed that with “Stockings coming down?” More sentences have been ignored in CP as Maidlin saying in New AG, “Won’t it be fun to have the Queen living in the house with us?” and  Joy  saying, “I’m glad the Club has had such good sense,” then a paragraph about how Rosamund would have liked Maidlin as her Maid, or to choose Meg since Maidlin isn’t going to school yet. CP doesn’t say anything about the secondary discussion at that point about roses and colours.

Rosamund goes to tell Mrs Shirley her news after which Joy tells Maidlin her father has died, giving all the details as she knows them. A little is left out of CP when Maidlin recalls the last time she had seen her father and says she hopes  he won’t take her away as “I’d rather stay here.” Maidlin asks if she may stay at the Hall in both books but over two pages aren’t given in CP about Maidlin’s reaction to the news and Joy’s realisation that “already the child had grown beyond the farm-folk who had brought her up” until Joy “had her reward for all the efforts  at understanding and patience and sympathy she had made during the last two weeks.” Joy suggests Maidlin should go to school, but doesn’t go beyond that, although in New AG she says that “some day” perhaps they’ll go to Italy together. Jen comes to call them to join in the dancing again, then Rosamund “came flying over the grass to meet them” which New AG embellished by the addition of ” the embodiment of joyous, excited life.” Rosamund says she’d like Maidlin to go to school  so she can be her Maid. Her reasons about Meg not wanting to do it in New AG  aren’t  in CP  but the closing few sentences about another dance “then all go home to bed!” are given in full in both versions.

Monica Godfrey