Child Whispers by Enid Blyton: A Look at Two Different Dustwrappers
The first edition of Child Whispers was published in 1922 and was issued in orange cardwraps. For the new edition/first edition thus published the following year, the format was changed to a brown, octavo sized hardback with a dustwrapper. Only one other title was published in this same format, namely the first edition of Real Fairies, also in the same year.
As collectors of early Enid Blyton titles will know, copies of these hardback books without a dustwrapper do occasionally turn up on the open market, whereas a copy with a dustwrapper is rarely offered for sale. For this reason it is probably not widely known that there are two different versions of the Child Whispers dustwrapper and that the differences are only found on the rear panel.
Before comparing these two versions, first a comparison between the Real Fairies dustwrapper and one version of the Child Whispers dustwrapper is necessary. Refer to Figures 1 and 2 below:
Figure 1 (left) - Real Fairies 1st edition rear panel
Figure 2 (right) - Child Whispers version 1 rear panel
It can be seen that the text format is the same. In particular note the following:
1. The first half of the text is used to advertise the companion title.
2. Below this comments from four critics are given in Figure 1 and two in Figure 2.
3. Underneath the price of 3/6d the words UNIFORM WITH THIS EDITION are used on both dustwrappers.
Now compare Figure 2 with Version 2 of the Child Whispers dustwrapper - see Figure 3 left:
Note four differences between these two dustwrappers:
1. The words A delightful book of verses for children are only used in Version 2.
2. Two critics are quoted in Version 1, eleven are quoted in Version 2.
3. A brief physical description of Real Fairies is provided in Version 2 only.
4. The words UNIFORM WITH THIS EDITION are only used in Version 1.
There are two reasons which suggest Version 1 is the original dustwrapper and Version 2 is a reprint:
1. The Real Fairies and Child Whispers (Version 1) dustwrappers have an identical text format.
2. Version 1 lists only two critics. For there to be eleven critics listed in Version 2 means this dustwrapper had to be issued on a later occasion than Version 1.
Having established that two dustwrappers were issued for Child Whispers , this does beg the question - was a reprint dustwrapper also issued for Real Fairies ?
Stella and Rose's Books would like to express their thanks to Mr. Lupson for his hard work in gathering the information in this article and for his kind permission in allowing us to publish it.
Contribued by G. Lupson