Help! Wheatley Arrow books cut?

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gloomysundae
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Help! Wheatley Arrow books cut?

Post by gloomysundae » Sat 27 Oct, 2007 23:27:09

"I recently bought RED EAGLE (Arrow, 1976) by Dennis Wheatley. The story of the Russian Revolution. I already had Arrow's 1964 edition of this: when I compared the two books, I noticed that the 1964 version contained 21 chapters, while the 1976 version contained only 17. As far as I can tell, the first 17 chapters are identical in both copies, while the last 4 chapters (90 pages in total) have been compressed into a two-page 'Epilogue' in the 1976 edition. Anyone know if any other Wheatley books were truncated in this way?"

*A query on behalf of a good friend of mine. I don't know anything about this other than the infamous self-censored page in "Strange Conflict" Hope someone can help!*

gloomy

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Post by Jim » Sun 28 Oct, 2007 05:34:29

I just grabbed my copy for a quick look. Since RED EAGLE is primarily about Klem Voroshilov and his part in the Russian revolution, the story more or less ends at the close of chapter XVII. Skimming the next section, I see a lot of speculation on Wheatley's part: "Reports about the state of affairs in Russia are so conflicting that it is no easy matter to assess the true condition of the country." This doesn't prevent him (when did it ever?) from going on for another 70 pages in the hardcover.

At some point in its publishing history, with all the changes in the world after the second War, RED EAGLE's editors must have decided the book would stand better simply as an historical account. (I'm surprised it went untouched as long as 1964.) There's no way to know if DW was consulted about the changes, but by his own showing in STRANGER THAN FICTION, he couldn't be bothered revising old work when there was a new book to be written. When all the outdated stuff and pure opinion was removed from the final four chapters, two pages remained. <g>

I mentioned in another thread (though I don't know it for a fact) that every edition after the first of TO THE DEVIL--A DAUGHTER has allegedly been expurgated in some way, but that's a whole 'nother story...

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Post by gloomysundae » Sun 28 Oct, 2007 12:41:10

Jim, you legend! Excellent post. Thank you very much!

"This doesn't prevent him (when did it ever?) from going on for another 70 pages in the hardcover" :rofl

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Post by Jim » Mon 29 Oct, 2007 03:26:30

I have to add to my own posting, in all fairness, that DW *did* revise the two short story collections for new paperback editions in the early 1960s, though there wasn't any new writing done for them. Those are the versions of MEDITERRANEAN NIGHTS and GUNMEN, GALLANTS AND GHOSTS which were used for the Lymington edition, and which seem to have become the rarest volumes in that series.

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