March 2015 | Nate Pedersen

New Edition of Trollope Novel Restores 65,000 Words

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A new edition of Anthony Trollope's novel The Duke's Children will be published by The Folio Society this month, with an additional 65,000 words cut from the original 1880 edition.

The complete, unabridged text will be published in celebration of the bi-centenary of the author's birth in 1815. The Duke's Children is the sixth and final novel in Trollope's Palliser series.  

Scholars have spent the last decade slowly reinstating the words that Trollope cut from his original version, focusing their research on Trollope's manuscript for The Duke's Children held at the Beinecke Library. The researchers, led by professor Steven Amarnick of Kingsborough Community College, were surprised to discover the the extent of the edits, which removed almost a quarter of the original novel.

The reason the cuts were made in the first place has been lost to history.

"It's quite extraordinary the different cumulative effect it has, on the richness of the text and the subtlety of the characters," said Joe Whitlock Blundell of The Folio Society of the restored edition in an interview with The Guardian. "When I first read The Duke's Children 30 years ago, it all seemed to be focused on the Duke's reactions. But in the restored version, the characters of the children come through far more sympathetically."

The Folio Society's unabridged edition of The Duke's Children will be produced in a limited edition (1980 copies) priced at $330, however the society hopes a mass-market version of the restored edition will also be released in the near future.