35 votes
Accepted

Why is the order of The Chronicles of Narnia changed from original publication?

The question of reading order for The Chronicles of Narnia is a complicated one, with much debate even among avid fans of the series. But you've asked only why publishers changed the order, which is ...
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  • 63.4k
30 votes
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What is the origin of this contradictory poem?

It's old. Like, really old. So old that it's impossible to tell where it originated. The book The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren by Iona and Peter Opie, published in 1959, catalogues many ...
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  • 63.4k
24 votes

In which version of "Snow White" is her name really "Lips Red as Blood, Hair Black as Ebony, Skin White as Snow"?

Here’s the start of the story ‘Sneewittchen’ as given by the brothers Grimm: Es war einmal mitten im Winter und die Schneeflocken fielen wie Federn vom Himmel, da saß eine schöne Königin an einem ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Are there any recorded discrepancies between The Odyssey as oral tradition and The Odyssey as Homer transcribed it?

On the answer Much of the structure of this answer is based on the very clear history of The Odyssey and The Iliad written by Nicolas Bertrand in a 2009 Article (PDF). The primary sources discussed ...
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  • 1,828
18 votes
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Why are there three different versions of the "solid/sullied/sallied flesh" line in Hamlet?

Since Hamlet was published in several editions during the Jacobethan era, it is worth looking at how these early editions rendered these lines, using the old-spelling editions published by Internet ...
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  • 38.5k
16 votes
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When and why did "No man is an island" start being regarded as a poem?

Independent versifications The versification of this passage from Donne predates the widespread use of the Internet, as you’ll see from the earliest examples below. Moreover, it looks as though ...
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13 votes
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Is the original manuscript of Don Quixote extant?

In 2016, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Cervantes' death, Taberna Libraria published a facsimile edition of all of the author's manuscripts. This edition contains only 12 manuscripts. For ...
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  • 38.5k
11 votes

Did Cummings' editors try to fix his works' eccentricities?

They cut his work a lot, and he couldn't do much about it. His first book of poetry, Tulips and Chimneys (T&C), was especially edited. The original manuscript contained 152 poems, but only 86 ...
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10 votes
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How does the editor know that seven lines are missing from Wordsworth's Home at Grasmere?

TL;DR: Line numbers in the margin of manuscript A indicate that the missing page 9r in manuscript B had 24 lines, of which 17 can be restored from manuscript A, meaning that 7 are missing. Manuscript ...
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10 votes

Which of these sources is right about "The Tempest"?

Shakespeare wrote his works in a variety of English known as Early Modern English. At that time, English spelling had not yet been standardised and plays were not highly regarded as a form of ...
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  • 38.5k
9 votes
Accepted

When did Robert Frost write "Two Tramps in Mud Time"?

Wikipedia's List of poems by Robert Frost includes it in a collection published in 1937. Robert Frost and the New England Renaissance by George Monteiro claims: "Two Tramps in Mud Time" was first ...
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  • 6,634
8 votes
Accepted

Where can I find details on the original manuscripts for the Miyamoto Musashi texts?

William Scott Wilson writes in the introduction to his translation (Shambhala Publications, 2002; p. xii), Musashi's original manuscript of five scrolls no longer exists, but the various copies ...
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  • 38.5k
8 votes

In "It", was Derry, Maine said to be named after Derry or Londonderry?

The Internet Archive has three editions of It, spanning more than 30 years: November 1986, New York: Viking September 1987, New York: Signet July 2017, New York: Scribner All three have the same ...
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8 votes
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Which short stories are falsely attributed to Guy de Maupassant, and why?

The ‘which’ and ‘where’ parts of the question were answered by Maupassant’s biographer Francis Steegmuller: A smart American publisher and bookseller named M. Walter Dunne, whose specialty was large ...
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8 votes
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If I find a book by Nietzsche, how do I know if it's Friedrich's original work, and not work that was edited by his nazi sister, Elisabeth?

That Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche falsified her brother's letters and other writings was something that several scholars had already been aware of before her death in 1935. This includes scholars such ...
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8 votes
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Did "Gargantua and Pantagruel" originally have illustrations?

The original edition of the first novel, Pantagruel, was most likely published in 1532 by Claude Nourry in Lyon and only one copy of this edition has survived. This copy is in the archives of the ...
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  • 38.5k
7 votes
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How was Crime and Punishment originally published?

It was published during 1866 in the issues 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12. Dostoyevsky was still writing the novel in 1866 during the publication and finished it only in November or December. January issue ...
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  • 1,125
7 votes
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Difference between editions of A Game of Thrones from 2016

I am inclined to say that they are the same book, just produced under different publishers. When searching on Amazon (in the United States) for "A Game of Thrones: 20th Anniversary Illustrated ...
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  • 3,686
7 votes

What is the 'full' version of The Epic of Gilgamesh?

What you want depends on what you mean by "full version". Translators have taken different approaches to translating the Epic of Gilgamesh. This is due to the fact that only two thirds of ...
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  • 38.5k
6 votes

What is the 'full' version of The Epic of Gilgamesh?

Assuming the online version you read was by AINA (the Assyrian International News Agency), which indeed sits at 27 pages (and is the third result when I Googled "Epic of Gilgamesh"), note that the PDF ...
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  • 6,634
6 votes

How can I find information about the editions of a book?

It depends on whether you are interested in lifetime editions or posthumous editions. There are, for example, three lifetime editions of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818, 1823, and 1831); but there ...
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6 votes
Accepted

What texts are the sources for the difference between "sometime were" and "some time are" in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar?

Some of Shakespeare's plays were printed individually in quarto editions during Shakespeare's lifetime, but Julius Caesar is one of the plays that was first printed after Shakespeare's death in the so-...
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6 votes
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Why was Far from the Madding Crowd first published anonymously?

It was the policy of Cornhill Magazine to publish all articles and serializations without a byline, so Hardy surely had no choice in the matter. If you look at volume 29 (January–June 1874), you’ll ...
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6 votes

Which of these sources is right about "The Tempest"?

There is no consensus on who is right. The punctuation placement, the spelling - editors disagree on all of these points. First, I should give a note on why the punctuation would change. At the time ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Matthew Arnold's anthology of literature for use in schools

Hunter may have been referring to the four-volume "The English Poets. Selections with Critical Introductions by Various Writers and a General Introduction by Matthew Arnold", edited by Thomas Humphry ...
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6 votes

Does this edit in The Magician's Nephew (from "had her bathe" to "had her bath") fundamentally change the meaning of the sentence?

According to the OED, the intransitive verb "to bathe" means "to take a bath; or to plunge or immerse oneself in water or other liquid, so as to enjoy its influence". "To bath&...
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5 votes
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Did Viktor Frankl ever publish his manuscript?

After writing the question, I Googled around a bit more, and found that the pieces of the manuscript were used to write Man's Search for Meaning. On his first day, Dr. Frankl was separated from his ...
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  • 5,646
5 votes
Accepted

Where did Gerrit de Veer publish his diary?

There is some history of the early publication of his diary in various languages to be found in the Introduction to the First Edition pages clvi-clxviii of the English translation, The Three Voyages ...
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