Great Britain

• Publisher:

Golden Pleasure, London.

• Printer:

Arnold Mondadori, Verona.

• Collection:

Gold Star Library.

The British edition of Missing Message is unique in the sense that it is the only Brains Benton story to be made available in British-English (as opposed to the American-English found in the original US editions).

Published in 1966, and reprinted the following year, this was sadly the only title from the series to be published in Great Britain. The story is heavily abridged and many of the Americanisms removed in the Anglicisation process were replaced with relatively mundane equivalents.

The typical 'Mini-Golden' colour scheme (Blue for younger children; Red for junior readers) was, for some reason, reversed in Britain. Consequently, this version of Missing Message looks significantly different from its European counterparts.

 Above: On the left is the full cover of the 1967, second impression of Missing Message; on the right is the title page.

The origins of the Golden Pleasure imprint come from noted British publishing magnate Paul Hamlyn as the following quote demonstrates:

"His [Hamlyn's] next coup was a joint (50/50) company called Golden Pleasure Books with Western Printing. This gave Paul exclusive rights to edit Golden Books into British spelling and print and distribute them in the English-speaking markets other than the US. This company broke all current and previous sales records for children’s books – all of them in full colour."

 - Extract from Paul Hamlyn "There must be another way..." by Philip Jarvis and Sue Thomson.

• Textl Alterations
Here are some examples of the differences between the story in the Golden Pleasure edition and the original US text, as compiled by Mark from the Brains Benton Yahoo Group:


"I might as well explain right away that my name is Jimmy Carson and I live at 43 Maple Street in the town of Crestwood. ... a boy like me ... the night my partner and I investigated the spooky old Madden house."


"My name is Jimmy Carson and I live in the town of Crestwood. ... a boy of my age ... the night my partner and I investigated the haunted Madden house."


"But Mr. Madden didn't get to live there long. One night somebody broke in and gave him the business with a shotgun."


"But Mr. Madden didn't live there long. One night somebody broke in and shot him dead."


Creeps! That really threw me. What had I got into anyway?


Crikey! What had I got into?

Many other passages are absent from the British edition, including the paragraph in the first chapter of Missing Message that reveals that Brains is the best baseball pitcher in school.

• The Second Impression
In 1967, a second printing (or impression) of Missing Message was published. There are hardly any differences between the two versions, except that the star, logo and 'Golden Pleasure Books' text on the spine are different colours (white for the first impression and yellow for the second).

In addition, the second impression had the text, "For junior readers" added to the reverse cover below the yellow star.

Copyright  © Ian Regan 2007–2021