Fifty pence coins in 1940? Epic fail!

I have a copy of The Naughtiest Girl in School that I decided to bring as my lunchtime read today. It was bought second hand and, according to the copyright information, this edition was published in 1999.

There is a distinct lack of slang – strange in a naughty girl – but I assumed that the things that were jarring were simply elements of Blyton’s style that always bug me. The children explain to Elizabeth that they are allowed to draw two pounds a week in pocket money and I thought that sounded like rather a lot, but let it pass. Perhaps these are very, very rich kids?

Then there was the description of the kids putting their bank money into the box and we are told about “pound coines, twenty pences, fifty pences, five pound and even a couple of ten pound notes” dropping to the box.

In England. In 1940. Damn.

I wondered whether I’d made incorrect assumptions and perhaps it had been originally written after decimilisation. No such luck. Someone has very carefully gone through and ‘modernised’ the text. This irritates me intensely! I read these books in part for the flavour of life in a different time period. Perhaps children now wouldn’t be familiar with shillings and sixpences, but to remove all references is both demeaning and patronising. Having spotted that, I’m starting to feel fairly sure that the lack of slang is yet another attempt to ‘modernise’ the book so that young minds aren’t confused by the appearances of the odd ‘spiffing’. How pathetic is that?

I’ll finish the book because I want to know what happens, but I’m definitely going to be on the look out for older editions of the EB books now because that is ridiculous *sigh*

In other news, it’s snowing pretty hard out there and I have another two hours before I can go home. I’d have asked to work from home hours ago, except I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon and unless she cancels on me, I have the sense that she won’t be happy if she can’t tell me my blood test results. I’m pretty sure that she’ll just be telling me that I’m anemic and need iron supplements (no thank you!) but doctors aren’t satisfied until they’ve ticked their little boxes.

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