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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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32 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

Censorship of African-American characters in "Tintin in America"

The first efforts to market Tintin to an American readership happened in the early 1960s, in the ill-fated "Golden Press debacle", when, among other things, the American publisher Golden ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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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 ...
VicAche's user avatar
  • 1,908
18 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
18 votes

Is this a typo in my copy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Yes, it is an obvious typo, be for he. The original has: Cependant, tandis qu’il haranguait, la satisfaction, l’admiration unanimement excitées par son costume, se dissipaient à ses paroles; il ...
verbose's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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16 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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

What words sung by Gloria Gaynor correspond to the line written in the lyrics of I Will Survive as "It took all the strength I had not to fall apart"?

Gloria Gaynor recorded two versions of ‘I Will Survive’. The original 1978 version has the lyric “It took all the strength I had not to fall apart” that is quoted on many lyrics sites. But in the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

Why are so many Agatha Christie novels published with multiple titles?

This is because Christie was published in both the United States and the United Kingdom. These are the two largest markets for English-language books, and in the mid-20th century when Christie was ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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12 votes

Can I trust that Shakespeare's sonnets will always be published with the same numbering system?

Since the numbering that we have become familiar with stems from the first edition, printed in 1609 by Thomas Thorpe, this is also the numbering used in most modern editions. However, it has been ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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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 ...
Beastly Gerbil's user avatar
11 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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.2k
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 ...
muru's user avatar
  • 6,900
9 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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
8 votes
Accepted

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 ...
DrTyrsa's user avatar
  • 1,245
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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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8 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&...
MichaelMaggs's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Skooba's user avatar
  • 4,011
7 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 ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Are Barnes & Noble editions of public domain works of reliable quality?

Unlike, say, Dover Editions which are photoreproductions of public domain texts, the Barnes & Noble classic editions are, in fact, newly typeset texts. They don't give any attribution to their ...
D. A. Hosek's user avatar
  • 3,145
7 votes
Accepted

What were the poems other than those by Donne in the Melford Hall manuscript?

The Melford Hall Manuscript was acquired by the British Library after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport placeed an export bar on the work in a bid to save the manuscript for the ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar

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