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Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustration!

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Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustration!

Postby Rob Houghton » 08 Dec 2016, 15:13

Not sure where to post this - is there an official 'Rockingdown Mystery' thread, or Barney Mystery thread? Anyway - its a bit of a mystery in itself!

Maybe someone has spotted this before and surely I can't be the first, lol - but I was taking photos of various pages of a copy of The Rockingdown Mystery in order to sell it on eBay, and I came across a strange illustration. It's not in The Cave - and might not even be drawn by Gilbert Dunlop! (hard to tell!).

The edition is the 1958 impression, with 'new' cover design but not a wrap-around cover (its white with other books advertised on the back cover). The chapter is Chapter 24.

Usually, in editions where an illustration starts every chapter, this is the illustration for Chapter 24 - as seen in The Cave -

Image

But THIS is what's shown in the 1958 edition -

Image

I've NEVER seen this illustration in any other edition of The Rockingdown Mystery. Has anyone else? Does it appear in any other editions or was this a one-off? Is it even by Gilbert Dunlop?! :?
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Daisy » 08 Dec 2016, 15:26

That picture of the children, dog and man is in my copy which is a 1955 reprint.
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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Rob Houghton » 08 Dec 2016, 15:38

So it obviously started to appear in the mid 1950's at least, perhaps? By the 1960's it had been removed - along with half the other illustrations, so was maybe only in one or two reprints. 8)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 08 Dec 2016, 15:52

The second picture is in my own copy too, Robert. But not the first one!

8)
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"See that? It's the black Bentley again. KMF 102!"

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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Rob Houghton » 08 Dec 2016, 15:56

what edition is yours, Julie? Interesting to see how long it was used - not very long, I don't think! Its a very hastily scribbled illustration compared to the others - so maybe Dunlop was asked to replace the rather dark illustration in the first edition. :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Daisy » 08 Dec 2016, 16:01

Yes, I was wondering if the change was a conscious decision to improve on the very dark one.
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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Lucky Star » 08 Dec 2016, 16:05

Mine is the same 1958 edition you are selling so obviously I too have the picture of Mr King and the children. I would assume it's by Gilbert Dunlop. Would they have been likely to have stuck one single illustration by someone else into a book otherwise illustrated by Dunlop?
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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Courtenay » 08 Dec 2016, 16:29

That picture is in my 1957 copy, which says "this edition first published in 1956", so perhaps that's when the replacement illustration first appeared.
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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 08 Dec 2016, 16:43

I'd forgotten I have three copies of this book. Two of them are 1959 and 1965, but I have a first edition and the picture of the plane and torchlight are in that one Rob. In my first edition it is the picture on Chapter 24 page number 204.

8)
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"See that? It's the black Bentley again. KMF 102!"

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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Tony Summerfield » 08 Dec 2016, 18:38

I must admit that I never noticed this as unfortunately I only have 1st edition illustrations in the Cave, but that picture was first used when a new edition was published in 1953 - this one:-

Image

My version of it is the 2nd impression published in 1955, but it says - 'This edition was first published in 1953'

I am certain it was by Gilbert Dunlop as in 1953 he was still illustrating the series and obviously either Enid or Gilbert thought the original wasn't good enough!

It was only in 1956 when another edition was published with a changed wrapper that it fully became part of the Barney series, as in the picture above it was being sold as part of the Collins Adventure Series (a new name for the Collins Mystery Series!) which included books by other authors as well. Sadly it never had a wraparound wrapper.
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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 08 Dec 2016, 18:59

My 1949 edition is the picture you have in the cave, Tony. With Junior Mystery on the orange banner at the bottom of the dust cover, and the picture Rob shows is on page 204.

8)
Julian gave an exclamation and nudged George.
"See that? It's the black Bentley again. KMF 102!"

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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Rob Houghton » 08 Dec 2016, 20:27

My copy is also a first edition, with the torchlight and plane on page 204 (chapter 24 heading). The book I'm selling is the 1958 version, with the 'new' picture. I'm pretty sure it is indeed Gilbert Dunlop - not likely it would be anyone else, but it lacks the verve and style of the other illustrations in the book, and seems to stick out a bit as being rather rushed and not very detailed, in my view.

I have a couple of copies I'm selling, but one is the 1957 version with the strange illustration, and the other is from the 1960's, by which time the illustration had been removed altogether.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby IceMaiden » 24 Dec 2016, 20:28

My copy is a 1956 one with the many and children illustration. I've never seen the one with the torch light and plane before. I quite like it, it looks like someone has spent ages crosshatching over the image with a black biro :P .
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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby pete9012S » 24 Dec 2016, 21:00

My 1953 edition has just the picture of Mr King and the children,but my 1966 Collins yellow boarded edition has neither picture.
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Re: Rockingdown Mystery - mystery of the strange illustratio

Postby Rob Houghton » 24 Dec 2016, 23:50

pete9012S wrote:My 1953 edition has just the picture of Mr King and the children,but my 1966 Collins yellow boarded edition has neither picture.


The later editions had half the illustrations missing, which is a shame.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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