First Published 1960 by Newnes

First Edition dustwrapper.  Click to enlarge.
First Edition wrapper by Saville and Freeman
Not Illustrated

Set around Walberswick on the coast of East Anglia, only the Mortons are involved in this story. David goes to the rescue of Paul Channing, a school friend in trouble, taking the twins along for the ride. Just as well, as it's their talents which save the day, ending a criminal conspiracy which saves Rose and Paul's father; all against the backdrop of a tremendous storm which breaches the sea defences and floods the county.

First edition: dark blue boards, gold blocking; top page edges blue; two different map eps; no illustrations; 247pp; d/w photo by the author with painted characters by Terry Freeman superimposed; cover price 10/6. net
Variant: with mid-blue cloth binding and black blocking.

Other Editions:

Children's Book Club (1961):
hardback edition with dustwrapper; blue boards; not dated, only the original copyright date is given; 248pp; map endpapers; dustwrapper illustration not credited, but is initialled 'R.T' bottom right.
artist initials bottom right of dustwrapper.
Initials at bottom right of the dustwrapper.
Publication date: The Young Elizabethan Magazine, in the August 1961 issue contains an advert (see below) for the CBC, giving Sea Witch Comes Home as one of its 'FORTHCOMING SELECTIONS'. The cover price to subscribers is given as 4/-.
CBC cover. Click to enlarge.
CBC edition dustwrapper
courtesy of Steven Handy

Young Elizabethan Magazine advert August 1961

Merlin 1968:
Paperback edition; map; cover and 6 full page b/w illustrations by Michael Whittlesea; cp 2/6; Merlin number M27.
Merlin cover. Click to enlarge
The Merlin edition

'Budget' edition wrapper. Click to enlarge.
The Twins upset a criminal
Collins 'Budget' edition
Collins Budget Edition 1972:
Hardback edition; 123x188mm; pictorial boards showing Rose, Twins and Mackie aboard 'Sea Witch'; revised edition; 159pp; one map; ISBN 0-00-160229-2; no cover price.

Armada 1980:
Paperback edition; 159pp; map; no illustrations; cover not credited, front illustration same as Budget edition; error states that first edition was published by Collins; Armada number C1615; cp 70p.
Armada cover. Click to enlarge.
The Armada cover

Jade edition. Click to enlarge .
The Jade edition
Jade 1990:
Paperback; 207pp; map relettered; no illustrations; cover by Ron King; cp 2.99.

Girls Gone By 2012:
New paperback edition, with the full text of the original and both of the maps.
As with all these paperbacks there is additional material:
* An article about the book and the locations used by the author for the story, by Patrick Tubby illustrated by his photographs.
* Biographical notes on Malcolm Saville from Mark O'Hanlon.
* Further information sources - from Laura Hicks.
* Illustrated Publishing History of the novel - (by me).
* Notes on the text, by Sarah Mash and Sarah Woodall, describing variations in the text in the book and how they have been dealt with in this edition.

All these take up the first 31 pages of the paperback. The two maps from the endpapers of the original are then presented - and the original text of the story follows.
More features are included after the story: the publisher's 'blurb' from the first edition dustwrapper flap, then all six of the full page illustrations by Michael Whittlesea from the Merlin paperback edition are included; a complete bibliographical list of the author's books completes the 278 pages of the book.

Click to enlarge
paperback edition
Girls Gone By 2012
The cover is a reproduction of the first edition's wrap around design, from a photograph taken by Malcolm Saville at Walberswick, the story's main location, with Terry Freeman's addition of the portraits of David and young Rose.
The ISBN Number for this edition is 978-1-84745-134-7; its price at publication is 13 including postage within the UK if bought direct from the publishers.


Foreign Editions:

Click to enlarge
Spanish Dustwrapper by
Badia Camps
Molino 1969:
Spanish edition; as El Regreso de la "Bruja del Mar"
hardback with dustwrapper; Number 93 in their Colleccion Aventura series.
Translation by Maria Lourdes Pol de Ramirez.
Boards pictorial, repeating the design of the dustwrapper; endpapers have silhouettes of a boy and girl reading, pink on a white background; 176 pages with six black and white illustrations by Ramon Escolano.
The cover and dustwrapper artwork is by Badia Camps.

[For information on, and illustration of, this edition thanks to Steven Handy]


Extract published in Meet Your Authors Harrap 1963.
In this book Eric Leyland gives an introduction to ten authors. There is a photograph of each and an extract from one of their books.
At the back of the book is a section of projects that can be completed, based on the articles.

(I found this book in a little charity shop at, well I won't say where, just that it was on my way back from the Saville Gathering in Ludlow, back in April 1996. J.)

Click to enlarge
Cover of first edition

This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
created April 2001
Last updated 8th August 2017