Tuesday, September 20, 2016

E.F.Dodd -lady who made classics accessible to kids!


I wish to pay my tributes to a lady, Elizabeth Frances Dodd. Thanks to her, I had endless hours of happiness in my childhood. This lady has (a) written stories for children in English and (b) has also done an amazing job of abridging classic novels for children.

Reading has given me immense pleasure, ever since I can remember. As a child, I loved reading children's books from libraries, comics, and the wonderful stories in my ‘non-detailed English textbooks’ in schools. Here is my take on the term, ‘non-detailed’ text, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term. In Bangalore’s English medium schools of the 70s, children had two texts or more for English, One was the English text book (?detailed text). Another was a book for poetry while a third was called the non-detailed text. The non-detailed text always consisted of a short stories or it was a short novel i.e. an abridged novel. The full length unabridged novels would have been be unsuitable for young school children for many reasons.

Most of these ‘non-detailed’ text books I had in primary and middle school were either abridged or written by E.F.Dodd and published by Macmillan, India.

Macmillan was a major publication of children's school books and children's books in India since the 70s and maybe even now. I recall that the quality of the pages, and also printing was excellent in the 70s. Some books had glossy pages and had a neat font (I can’t recall the font). They were small in size and had the most wonderful illustrations! My guess is that the illustrations were woodcut prints but I am not sure.

 I was lucky enough to be enrolled in schools which had books by E.F.Dodd, as texts for English. She has done an amazing job of both writing books and abridging classics for children. Her works were exciting and interesting. They were also easy to read and understand.

At a later age, I did try to read the unabridged classics and found some of them too tedious to read and  I had difficulty sustaining my attention to read the full book.  For those tedious classics, I went back to read the beautifully abridged books of E.F.Dodd, though I was no longer a child.

For some reason, the name E.F.Dodd and Macmillan had registered in my mind as a child. I cannot explain why these names had registered in my memory! No school teacher ever went into the author’s details or the details of the publisher in class. As a child reader, I don’t think I knew that these stories were ‘abridged’; I don’t think the name E.F.Dodd meant anything to me then. I was simply engrossed in the stories.

I do recall rereading these non-detailed texts long after I finished the class year. These books were also the first books I read when we bought new texts at reopening of school each year. These books have made such a lasting impression on me that I went to Macmillan publication in M.G.Road(in Shringar complex) Bangalore and bought all the books I could find when I was in my 40s to give my neices! I regret losing some of my books especially two i.e. Lost Horizon by James Hilton and The King’s Sculptor authored by E.F.Dodd herself! I loved the illustrations in Lost Horizon. I think Lost Horizon abridged by E.F.Dodd is available on online book-stores but it’s impossible to even find mention of the book The King’s Sculptor online. (I found only one reference to The King’s Sculptor by Dodd in one website)

If you want your child to read the great classics at a young age, I strongly reccomend E.F.Dodd's books. I am aware that, these days, the classics are made 'readable' to young readers in other forms such as graphic novels of the classics. I also know many writers have done the job of abridging classics besides E.F.Dodd. But for me, E.F.Dodd's abridged books are the way to go! If I recall right, the books were plot-driven. As a child, I was don’t think I wanted long descriptions; nor was I  interested in ‘style’ of writing. All I wanted was a nice thick plot with a strong story line and that is exactly what I got in the abridged books of E.F.D.

 I found on the internet, the name of E.F.Dodd to be Elizabeth Frances and I found a few books of hers on the internet.  But I am unable to find anything else about her. I wish I could find out more about her.  The books which I could find on the internet, written by or abridged by E.F.Dodd are listed below. I have listed the books in alphabetical order and there may be a few books missing(as they didn’t show up when I googled ) or duplications. If I have not added the original author’s name, it means that the book was authored by E.F.D or I simply could not find the original author in an online search.

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The books L loved more as they are rare, drew my heart and feelings for some reason are in bold.

A book of fables and stories by E.F.Dodd and Bhaskar: Simple Graded Readers. Macmillan and Co Ltd, Madras, 1970

A first book of stories Dodd's supplementary readers, Macmillan, Basingstoke 1971

A week without mother  Easy reading Series, Book II. Dodd's Easy Reading. Macmillan and Co. Ltd. Madras. 1967

Adam Bede by George Eliot

Blue Jay favorite stories for children

Brave children of other lands 1954

Children at home and school (Macmillan & Co Ltd, Madras, 1967)

Children of India  Macmillan and Co. Ltd. Madras. 1970

Cinderella

Coral island by R.M.Ballyntyne

Discoverers of new lands I loved this one...and cried when I read the last chapter i.e. discovery of the south pole

Easy reading 1 children-children at home Favorite tales of children

Easy reading 2: a week without mother

Fables and stories for beginners-1953

Fairy tales from Ireland 1961

Far from the madding crowd by Thomas Hardy

 First book of stories
Florence nightingale favorite tales for children

Florence Nightingale 1957(Lives to remember series)

Folk tales from Asia

Fold tales from different lands 1954

Glass princess (I cannot find out if E.F.Dodd is the author or someone else is)

Gora-Rabindranath Tagore's novel published by Macmillan in 1964

Happy beggar

Happy beggar and other stories I enjoyed this one too
  
Heroes of north lands(Tales from the Scandinavian mythology)1958 I loved this and recall reading this over and over again! I think I started loving mythology after reading this. I did not know the word 'Mythology' then but loved these tales anyway.

Kidnapped by Robert Louise Stevenson--another favorite of me and my sister

King of the golden river by John Ruskin

Knights of the round table (King Arthur’s tales) I loved this one too
  Lalitha and her garden


Life they chose (paperback of 92 pages, published by Macmillan; ISBN-10: 0333040155 and ISBN 13: 978-0333040157; shipping weight 503pm(the reason for such detail is I found this on one single website i.e. amazon and I may never see this again)


Living maths for Jamica book 1(not sure if this is the same E.F.Dodd and not sure if book is meant to be stories for children…but it showed up on Google search for stories by E.F.Dodd)

Leon Trotsky and world war one (not sure if this is the same E.F.Dodd and not sure if book is meant to be stories for children…but it showed up on Google search for stories by E.F.Dodd)

Lorna Doone a romance of Exmoor (Macmillan ELT stories to remember readers series) by R.D.Blackmore

Man's best friends

Magic ring and other stories of India

Martin Rattler by R.M.Ballayntyne

Puss in boots-a story based on the traditional fairy tale 1956

Rama and Sita at school(I am not sure if she herself wrote this or what)

Rime of the ancient mariner and Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Simple stories for beginners Macmillan and co of India limited, 1971

Six short stories by famous British authors of the last 100 years by E.F.Dodd

Six short stories (stories to remember)

Six tales from Shakespeare

Snake charmer and other stories

Snowwhite

Stories from famous poems 1953 I liked this one too but can recall only one of them

Stories from Greek myths 2004

Stories from Homer 1955

Stories from Ceylon


Tales from Tagore (stories to remember) I loved this one. Tagore is India's O.Henry to me.

Tales from the Panchatantra:Dodd's supplementary readers, Macmillan, Basingstoke 1971,1957 I liked this one

Tale of the Nibelungs(German epic poem written in 13th century by unknown author and story is based on both myth and history) I would love to read this!

The adventures of Lila and Chandran and other stories 1969

The bluejay and other stories

The clipper of the clouds (also called Robur the conqueror)1959

The coral island by R.L.Ballantyne

The glass princess and other stories Simple graded readers, Macmillan and Co, Madras, 1970

The happy family

The king's sculptor I loved this book and now it’s not available anywhere!

The knights of the round table-the stories of some of their adventures 1960

The life they chose. Macmillan and Co. Ltd. Madras. 1967.(not sure if E.F.Dodd is the writer or she has abridged someone’s novel. I cannot seem to find the ‘original’ author of this book)

The lost horizon by James Hilton My all time favorite! I prefer this to the original. I have fantasized this novel so many times as a child.

The lucky days  by E.F.Dodd Simple Graded readers, Macmillan and Co Ltd, Madras, 1970 (The stories were nice but I think it's wrong to tell children readers that  the day you were born determines your future. I honestly believed that shit for years and years!)

The magic ring and other stories

The mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

 The mill on the floss by George Eliot 1961

The moonstone by William Wilkie Collins (abridged in 1956)

The mystery of the lost jewels  Dodd's supplementary readers, Macmillan and Co Ltd, London 1965

The rose and the ring by William Makepeace Thackery 1954

The scarlet pimpernel(stories to remember) by Baroness Emma Orczy 1966

The Sleeping beauty-traditional English fairy tale 1955

The snake charmer and other stories  Dodd's Supplementary Readers. Macmillan Basingstoke. Hongkong. 1971.

The story of Osiris and Isis

The story of Sir Ronald Ross and his fight against malaria(lives to remember series 1958)

The three musketeers

The woman in white (Macmillan stories to remember)1971

Three Shakespeare comedies :prose adaptations (Dodd’s supplementary readers)1960.1953

Three Shakespeare histories

Three Shakespeare tragedies (stories to remember, senior series) 1956

Two stories of R.L.Stevenson

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

Westward Ho

I got a lot of names in the list above from the link below. Also from amazon.co.uk and abebooks.com

http://www.bookadda.com/author/ef-dodd
....................
Below is three pieces of information culled from the internet by Googling E.F.Dodd in Google-uk

.........................................................................................
(A) Interesting stories to read aloud for children Ideal for vocabulary enhancement and teaching literary appreciation Profusely illustrated Range of titles Carefully graded vocabulary Makes fascinating reading Books classified as per vocabulary levels of 500, 750, 1500, 2000
Above is a review for the book A happy family by E.F.Dodd. (http://www.lsnet.in/books/the-happy-family-(book-3)-1st-edition_e.-f.-dodd_9780333915394?t=593801)

…………................................................................................

(B)The subnormal child at home…

…Readers

E. F. DODD

A series of original stories and adaptations written for slower pupils within a limited but progressive vocabulary.
{I am depressed to think that E.F.Dodd's books were meant for the subnormal child! Was I a subnormal child and therefore loved these books without find them too challenging to be enjoyed? I hope not! I prefer to believe the other description of her books which state that these books were meant for Indian schools. In India, English is not the spoken language at home, at least when I was a child and so these simplified books were easy to read and understand.}

Titles on application. Prices range from 9d to Is 3d

MACMILLAN & CO LTD

St Martin's Street WC2

I have typed here whatever was in (the page 71 of Book reviews) the page which showed up on the internet.
………………..

 (C)

The  reviews of E.F.Dodd’s books I could find online is given below. The first review is from the link http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/content/IX/2/71.extract
ELT refers to English Language Teaching Journal, a peer reviewed journal.
.................
(D) From the journal , The woman teacher dated October 1958, Volume XL number one, page 14 under book reviews I came across two references to E.F.Dodd and I have typed it here below.

Tales from the Panchatantra retold by E.F.Dodd (Macmillan 9d.). This is a book of Indian folktales written for students in their 3rd year of English in schools where it is taught as a second language. The 12 stories all with a moral are quite suitable for primary school children or for telling to the younger ones.
Florence Nightingale: A simple account of the life lf Florence Nightingale in a new series of supplementary readers. 2s.
Published earlier was the story of Sir Ronald Ross. 1.6d.
Macmillan & Co Ltd St.Martin's St. -WC2
Published by the national union of women teachers. 41 Cromwell road, SW7
and printed by the Lyndan Press ltd(TU) Printing house, Suttonm road, southend-on-sea, Essex.
....................
(E)
https://books.google.ca/books?id=zap1xqzPU24C&pg=PT28&lpg=PT28&dq=gora,+e.f.dodd&source=bl&ots=XbrY0-J8cb&sig=vdDWr4vOn3e7B3-RM2fyBOZVtYE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi0nJr5ibXPAhWImh4KHQ42BWgQ6AEIJTAD#v=onepage&q=gora%2C%20e.f.dodd&f=false
above is a link to the review of E.F.Dodd's Gora by R.Tagore

 

(1)Six tales from Shakespeare Told by E.F.Dodd. 97 pages. 1s.8d

(2)Tales from Tagore. Adapted by E.F.Dodd, 71 pages. 1s. 3d

(3)Nicholas Nickleby. Charles Dickens. Adapted by Margery Green. 107 pages. 1s. 10d

(4)Westward Ho! Charles Kingsley.Retold by E.F.Dodd. 132 pages, 2s. 2d.

(5)The mayor of Casterbridge. Thomas Hardy. Adapted by E.F.Dodd. 132 pages. 2s. 2d. Macmillan.

These books produced in India and  intended primarily for Indian secondary schools, form a welcome addition in the range of simplified readers. The style is simple without being childish, and a vocabulary range of 2000 words has been adhered to without awkwardness.

The Mayor Of Casterbridge is perhaps the most successful of the series. In the book Nicholas Nickleby, the work of streamlining the plot and eliminating irrelevant incidents and characters has been well done. The same unfortunately cannot be said of Westward Ho!

In the Six Tales From Shakespeare, it is a little surprising to see Antonio referred to as the brave young merchant of Venice. Although nothing in the text contradicts this attribution Antonio is generally presented on the stage as a man who is senior in years as well as standing.
The above article is from the article, titled, "Macmillan's stories to remember: in simple English, pages 71-72 ELT journal, 1955,  IX (2) doi:10.1093/elt/IX.2.71
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Below is the same list but with ISBN information too.
A book of fables and stories by E.F.Dodd and Bhaskar: Simple Graded Readers. Macmillan and Co Ltd, Madras, 1970

A first book of stories Dodd's supplementary readers, Macmillan, Basingstoke 1971

A week without mother  Easy reading Series, Book II. Dodd's Easy Reading. Macmillan and Co. Ltd. Madras. 1967

Adam Bede by George Eliot
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Abridged edition edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333062906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333062906
  •  


    Blue Jay favorite stories for children

    Brave children of other lands 1954

    Children at home and school (Macmillan & Co Ltd, Madras, 1967)

    Children of India  Macmillan and Co. Ltd. Madras. 1970

    Cinderella

    Coral island by R.M.Ballyntyne

    Discoverers of new lands I loved this one...and cried when I read the last chapter i.e. discovery of the south pole

    Easy reading 1 children-children at home Favorite tales of children

    Easy reading 2: a week without mother

    Fables and stories for beginners-1953

    Fairy tales from Ireland 1961

    Far from the madding crowd by Thomas Hardy


     First book of stories
  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • ISBN-10: 0333037677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333037676



  • Florence nightingale favorite tales for children

    Florence Nightingale 1957(Lives to remember series)

    Folk tales from Asia

    Fold tales from different lands 1954

    Glass princess (I cannot find out if E.F.Dodd is the author or someone else is)

    Gora-Rabindranath Tagore's novel published by Macmillan in 1964

    Happy beggar

    Happy beggar and other stories I enjoyed this one too
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333086430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333086438
  •  

    Heroes of north lands(Tales from the Scandinavian mythology)1958 I loved this and recall reading this over and over again! I think I started loving mythology after reading this. I did not know the word 'Mythology' then but loved these tales anyway.

    Kidnapped by Robert Louise Stevenson--another favorite of me and my sister

    King of the golden river by John Ruskin

    Knights of the round table (King Arthur’s tales) I loved this one too
  • Paperback: 60 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Education
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333098005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333098004
  •  


    Lalitha and her garden


    Life they chose (paperback of 92 pages, published by Macmillan; ISBN-10: 0333040155 and ISBN 13: 978-0333040157; shipping weight 503pm(the reason for such detail is I found this on one single website i.e. amazon and I may never see this again)
     


    Living maths for Jamica book 1(not sure if this is the same E.F.Dodd and not sure if book is meant to be stories for children…but it showed up on Google search for stories by E.F.Dodd)

    Leon Trotsky and world war one (not sure if this is the same E.F.Dodd and not sure if book is meant to be stories for children…but it showed up on Google search for stories by E.F.Dodd)

    Lorna Doone a romance of Exmoor (Macmillan ELT stories to remember readers series) by R.D.Blackmore

    Man's best friends

    Magic ring and other stories of India

    Martin Rattler by R.M.Ballayntyne

    Puss in boots-a story based on the traditional fairy tale 1956

    Rama and Sita at school(I am not sure if she herself wrote this or what)

    Rime of the ancient mariner and Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Simple stories for beginners Macmillan and co of India limited, 1971

    Six short stories by famous British authors of the last 100 years by E.F.Dodd

    Six short stories (stories to remember)

    Six tales from Shakespeare

    Snake charmer and other stories

    Snowwhite

    Stories from famous poems 1953 I liked this one too but can recall only one of them

    Stories from Greek myths 2004

    Stories from Homer 1955

    Stories from Ceylon
  • Paperback: 52 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • ISBN-10: 0333093046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333093047


  • Tales from Tagore (stories to remember) I loved this one. Tagore is India's O.Henry to me.

    Tales from the Panchatantra:Dodd's supplementary readers, Macmillan, Basingstoke 1971,1957 I liked this one

    Tale of the Nibelungs(German epic poem written in 13th century by unknown author and story is based on both myth and history) I would love to read this!

    The adventures of Lila and Chandran and other stories 1969

    The bluejay and other stories

    The clipper of the clouds (also called Robur the conqueror)1959

    The coral island by R.L.Ballantyne

    The glass princess and other stories Simple graded readers, Macmillan and Co, Madras, 1970

    The happy family

    The king's sculptor I loved this book and now it’s not available anywhere!

    The knights of the round table-the stories of some of their adventures 1960

    The life they chose. Macmillan and Co. Ltd. Madras. 1967.(not sure if E.F.Dodd is the writer or she has abridged someone’s novel. I cannot seem to find the ‘original’ author of this book)

    The lost horizon by James Hilton My all time favorite! I prefer this to the original. I have fantasized this novel so many times as a child.

    The lucky days  by E.F.Dodd Simple Graded readers, Macmillan and Co Ltd, Madras, 1970

    The magic ring and other stories

    The mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

     The mill on the floss by George Eliot 1961

    The moonstone by William Wilkie Collins (abridged in 1956)

    The mystery of the lost jewels  Dodd's supplementary readers, Macmillan and Co Ltd, London 1965

    The rose and the ring by William Makepeace Thackery 1954

    The scarlet pimpernel(stories to remember) by Baroness Emma Orczy 1966

    The Sleeping beauty-traditional English fairy tale 1955

    The snake charmer and other stories  Dodd's Supplementary Readers. Macmillan Basingstoke. Hongkong. 1971.

    The story of Osiris and Isis

    The story of Sir Ronald Ross and his fight against malaria(lives to remember series 1958)

    The three musketeers

    The woman in white (Macmillan stories to remember)1971

    Three Shakespeare comedies :prose adaptations (Dodd’s supplementary readers)1960.1953

    Three Shakespeare histories

    Three Shakespeare tragedies (stories to remember, senior series) 1956

    Two stories of R.L.Stevenson

    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

    Westward Ho

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