The Problem with Classic Editions

An interesting perspective on revisions to classics. Enjoy!


I hadn’t considered that the contents of a book might change between publishers or print editions when I was purchasing the classics I’ve read so far. I only concerned myself with the price point, print quality, overall appearance, or availability of a book. If everything looked in order, I bought the book. I didn’t worry that I might end up reading an altered, shortened, or otherwise substandard version of the original piece of literature. Since the book is a classic, I assumed all publishers would maintain its integrity.

How naïve was I.

Drafts, Page Proofs, and Eager Publishers

The classics are classics owing in part to their wide print and reprint distribution. Many publishers house imprints dedicated to publishing classic literature, such as Penguin Classics, Oxford World’s Classics, Dover Thrift Editions, Barnes & Noble Classics Sets, and Sterling Classics Series. Thus any reader can most often find numerous publications of…

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