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47th ronin
6th March 2001, 14:19
Early editions of this book appear to have 351 or 352 pages, later editions have 250 pages. What is missing
from later editions?

Joseph Svinth
7th March 2001, 04:55
The first book was published in London and Japan during 1912/1913 while the second was published in London in 1955. It is the second that was reprinted by Overlook in 1982. Harrison did some major rewriting for the 1955 edition, thus it would be fair to consider these two separate books of the same title by the same author, written 40 years apart.

Nonetheless, some of the size reduction is also owed to a smaller typeface, tighter margins, and fewer illustrations. To wit:

Harrison to RW Smith, March 21, 1955: "I roughly estimate the revised version to total about 80,000 words. Illustrations are cut down to 17 in place of the original 34. The retail price will be eighteen shillings as against the original twelve shillings six pence for a far better produced book. Belasco is allowing me 10 percent on his sale price only, which is twelve shillings. Of course he is taking a risk. To comply with his requirements Iíve had to sacrifice what I consider quite a bit of interesting stuff. Between us, I fancy the basic material isnít exactly his cup of tea, but what he thinks is a promising demand has induced him to incur the risk. When allís said and done the author may propose but the publisher disposes and not without reason. Belasco is a good sort and our association has been a godsend to the Harrisonai."

More Harrison to Smith, October 10, 1955: "Speaking quite objectively I feel bound to say that as regards paper, binding, and to a lesser degree printing it isnít a patch on the original edition published by the late Fisher Unwin at half the price. Also it contains only 250 pages as against 350 in the Unwin edition. In this connexion it has to be noted that whereas in the Unwin edition there are only about 31 or 32 lines to the page, in the Foulsham edition there are 42 and of course many more words to the line as a result of the far narrower margin. Nevertheless judged by present-day standards both paper and typography will doubtless rank as first-class."