"Anger may be ill-considered and absurd; we may be mistakenly angered; but only when there is some deep-seated reason are we outraged."
~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
WE ARE OUTRAGED
Why are we outraged? We are outraged because of the actions of Buccaneer Books.
Buccaneer Books is a publishing company located in Cutchogue, New York. In the 1980's Buccaneer Books began reprinting The Scarlet Pimpernel and many of its fast-becoming-out-of-print sequels, such as Eldorado, The Elusive Pimpernel, Pimpernel and Rosemary, and others. This seems like an extremely laudable thing--and indeed it is, for it makes it possible to get at least *SOME* idea of the story--and many people who do not have the access or money to go looking in used- or rare-bookstores often get all of their Orczy from Buccaneer Books, as I and most of my friends used to do.
A dear friend who, like myself, had ordered Eldorado(the most famous and in my opinion the best of the sequels to The Scarlet Pimpernel, the one on which the second half of the 1982 film was based) from Buccaneer Books, was a few months later excited to get her hands on an older, rarer copy, I think a second edition. She got a rude shock.
Comparing her older book and her book from Buccneer Books, my friend discovered that FOUR ENTIRE CHAPTERS--two of which are rather vital to the plot--and countless passages had been arbitrarily cut. And what was worse, there was no notification.
I assume that, being an otherwise-good establishment, Buccaneer Books has commited no crime by doing this. The Baroness Orczy's books were written from 1905 to the 1920's, and I believe she is therefore out of copyright. However, it still strikes me as a rather low and underhanded thing to do. Something I discovered that made me angrier was that Buccaneer Books copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which is available from several other publishing companies, was *not* abridged. So, they are only editing the books which cannot be gotten anywhere else, thus preventing consumers from KNOWING they have an edited version unless they are fortunate enough to later find an older, rare copy.
Don't misunderstand me. I am exceedingly grateful to Buccaneer Books for re-printing the Baroness' work in the first place. And if you don't mind knowing that a few chapters and passages here and there have been cut, I would by all means urge you to purchase the books from BB. Their copies are well-printed, sturdy, and one of them is nearly always with me. But I find it upsetting that an otherwise highly respectable corporation would neglect to put SOME mention of the books having been cut somewhere, and would even stoop to plain and simple deceit in only editing those books where the editing is likely to go unrealized.
A list of Scarlet Pimpernel books *definitely* abridged, and information to where you can find unabridged copies
An e-text, unabridged, is available at Blakeney Manor
I am in the process of getting together older edition copies of the other Buccaneer Books I have, and as soon as I have the information as to whether they are abridged or not it will be posted here.
Orczy Books published by Buccaneer Books(a "*" means I own them and would GREATLY appreciate any information if you have an unabridged copy)
1)Lord Tony's Wife(Very hard to find)
2)The Elusive Pimpernel*
3)The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel*
4)The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel*
5)The Way Of The Scarlet Pimpernel*
6)Pimpernel and Rosemary*
All of the above books are not known to be abridged or not. I have written Buccaneer Books requesting the information and received no reply. If you have a non-Buccaneer-Books copy of *ANY* of these books, please mail me as soon as you can! I would *vastly* appreciate any information!
If you would like to join my friends and I in writing some letters of complaint to Buccaneer Books(please, only do this if you BOUGHT Pimpernel books from them and thus can legitimately complain) the address is in the front of any edition of theirs. Please, if you *have* purchased books from them and *are* upset by this, take the time to write a short note informing them so! I can't really expect my money back or that they will re-print all the books unabridged or with an abridgement notice, but we can at least let them know how we feel.
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