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Tintin in the Congo: earlier English edition?

#1 · Posted: 24 Aug 2007 14:26
As we all know, Tintin in the Congo was first published in English in 1991 (black & white) and 2005 (colour).
But a contributer (bklylib) to The Guardian's comments website page claims he/she has an earlier translation! Can anyone substantiate this?

"BlueJam claimed that Tintin in Congo was not published in English until recently. I have it, in English, published by Methuen in the late 1970s.
Maybe it wasn't available in Britain or the US? Mine was purchased in Kenya in 1978. I guess living with actual Africans was an effective antidote to racist messages for my childhood self. I remember thinking the book's world was funny and wildly unrecognizable when I was 6.
By the way, I have all the published Tintin albums and re-read them many times as a kid. So I love them dearly and support them as childrens' literature -- controversy provokes thought, not just prejudice. "

Source: "Comment is Free" column, The Guardian, 12/07/2007
#2 · Posted: 28 Aug 2007 16:15
I cannot actually verify this, but according to some sources "Tintin in the Congo" is the best-selling book Tintin in Africa, so it would make sense if an English version was made available in some of the former English-speaking colonies.

Makes quite a case against those who dismiss it as racist, does it not?
#3 · Posted: 27 Aug 2022 20:39
Tintin in th Congo was published in the 1970's 80's-but only in B&W. Believe by both Methuen and Casterman. Remember seeing in my local bookshop.
#4 · Posted: 28 Aug 2022 14:59
Tintin in th Congo was published in the 1970's 80's-but only in B&W. Believe by both Methuen and Casterman.

Hi, dr10 - welcome to the forums!

We appreciate your enthusiasm, and know what it's like to find these forums, but would ask you to perhaps make a note of the date of some of these threads which you're replying to, especially when the point being made is speculative, rather than providing definite fresh information.
In spite of what your memory tells you, unless there is hard evidence to the contrary, it's just not right to say that Casterman or Methuen (especially the latter!) published Congo in English in any form in the seventies.
The first black-and-white volume published in English was the Sundancer Soviets facsimile edition, produced in 1989 to coincide with the 60th aniversary exhibition held in Chelsea.
The Congo edition that followed was secifically made the black-and-white version at the direction of Nick Rodwell, who acknowledged that there were difficulties with the tale, and that the B&W book would be better to place the story in the context of its time.
Methuen always refused the book as a colour volume, because of its content, and were also reluctant to publish The Blue Lotus, which they left until the last of the original run.
This has been confirmed by conversations with Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner, in their capacity as translators of the books, and staff members of Methuen.
Until anyone can turn up an official release in English other than the above, it's got to be said that - as has happened to many of us - memory is playing tricks!
#5 · Posted: 28 Aug 2022 21:25
How wonderful to see my question resurrected 15 years later!
#6 · Posted: 29 Aug 2022 18:09
How wonderful to see my question resurrected 15 years later!

Yes - it was a bit of a surprise; I've reconnected the link to the Guardian discussion, via the Internet Archive, as the old one was just redirecting to the current page.

I meant to say above, but lost my chain of thought somewhere, that the one chink of light I might see as leading to Methuen being involved with Congo in the days before the Sundancer edition, would be if there were any copies of the Casterman French edition re-branded as Methuen for over-seas language teaching, as has been mentioned here (it's talked about here, where it's also mentioned that Casterman re-badged Methuen English copies for the same purpose).

That's about as close as I can get to explaining the Guardian poster's assertion.

As always, I will be quite happy if someone ever captures and pictures a copy of the elusive earlier English-language version, as anything which furthers the knowledge-base is a good thing in Tintinology!

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