JR2-TheMindOfMrJGReeder-C2

Some curious changes in book titles

Found - an article by Ellery Queen -Some curious changes in book titles in the omnibus Carrousel for bibliophiles, a treasury of tales, narratives, songs, epigrams and sundry curious studies relating to a noble theme by William Targ (Duschnes, New York 1947.) The book is a late example of one of those bibiophilic tomes that were published in such numbers at the end of the 19th century (Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac, Autolycus of the Book-Stalls, Shadows of the Old Booksellers, The Souls of Books, Book Song, Behind my Library Door, The Romance of Book Collecting etc., etc.,) and are now almost unknown. Queen's article is about changes of title of British editions of (mostly) detective fiction when published in America.

Thomas Burke. The Pleasantries of Old Quong (Constable 1931) became A Tea-Shop in Limehouse (Little Brown 1931)

W. W. Jacobs. Sea Urchins (Methuen 1899) became More Cargoes (Copp, Clark 1899)

R.Austin Freeman. Dr. Thorndyke's Casebook (Hodder 1923) became The Blue Scarab (Dodd, Mead 1924)

Arthur Morrison The Green Eye of Goona (Eveleigh Nash, 1904) became The Green Diamond (Page, 1904)

J.S. Fletcher Paul Campenhaye: Specialist in Criminology (Ward, Lock 1918) became, 21 years later, The Clue of the Artificial Eye (Hillman-Curl 1939)

E.W. Hornung The Black Mask (Grant Richards 1901) became Raffles:Further Adventures Of The Amateur Cracksman (Scribner's Sons, New York, 1901)

E. Phillips Oppenheim The Game of Liberty (Cassell 1915) became An Amiable Charlatan (Little, Brown 1916)

Baroness Orczy The Old Man in the Corner (Greening 1909) became The Man in the Corner (Dodd Mead 1909). A change of which Ellery Queen says "only a slight change…but to those  who cherish the memory of the first true armchair detective of detective literature that 'slight' change makes all the difference in the world."

Edgar Wallace The Mind of Mr J.G. Reeder (Hodder 1925) became The Murder Book of J.G. Reeder (Doubleday 1929)- another lamentable change according to EQ as  it emphasises sensationalism which is not actually in the book and a 'phase' of writing at which Wallace " was - surprisingly - inept."

Arthur B. Reeves The Black Mask (Eveleigh Nash 1912) was published, slightly  earlier, in America as The Silent Bullet (Dodd, Mead 1912)- demonstrating that British publishers were not immune to sensationalism.

'Waters' (William Russell) Recollections of a Detective Police Officer (Brown, 1856) rated by John Carter as 'the most important of the early yellowbacks' became in an America re-issue The Secret Detective: or One Night in a Gambling House.

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