The Enid Blyton Society
The Treasure Hunters
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Book Details...

First edition: 1940
Publisher: George Newnes
Illustrator: Edith Wilson and M. Joyce Davies
Category: One-off Novels
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Artwork
Review by Julie Heginbotham
Further Illustrations

Reprints


Frontis from the 1st edition, illustrated by Edith Wilson



1st Australian edition published by Angus and Robertson in 1950
re-illustrated cover by an uncredited artist.



Frontis from the 1950 Collins reprint, illustrated by Barbara C. Freeman
Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: :- The Greyling's Treasure has been lost for many, many years. But Jeffrey, Susan and John Greyling find an old map of where the treasure is hidden, when they are staying with their grandparents. So they decide they must find the hidden treasure and keep it in the family, before their grandparents sell the family home to Mr Potts, whom the children nickname Mr Pots of Money! But Mr Potts is also interested in finding the Greyling's Treasure, and so it is a race against time of who will find the treasure first. Mr Pots of Money or the children, who want to save their family home.

Full Review (This may contain spoilers):

Julie Heginbotham's Review
This was the first Enid Blyton book I read as a child, and then went on to read many more. I remember the sheer excitement as the children strived to find the treasure, and found even now reading this book after so many years that it still had the ability to raise this emotion as the children strived towards the end to keep the 'baddies' at bay so they could return the treasure to its rightful owner.

The story begins with news that Jeffrey, Susan and John are going to stay at their Granny's and Grandpa's home, Greylings Manor, as their parents were going away to the sea-side, so that Mummy could get some 'strong sea air', recommended by the doctor.

We learn that John had never visited his grandparents, a little strange, was the thought that sprung to my mind on reading this, but Enid does go on to say that the children's Grandparents had visited them on many occasions. Susan had been to Greylings but couldn't remember much, only Jeffery remembered the large house, and extensive grounds, the wood with its winding river, and the two farms that were part of the Greylings estate and of course Rags, the dog.

Mummy also informs them all that it would probably be the last time they would be able to visit, as their Grandparents were going to sell Greylings Manor, due to difficulties after the war. As this book was written in 1940, the war was still on and there is no mention in the story as to how long ago the war had finished. So this is left to the reader's imagination to date the year. Unless Enid is referring to a civil war which she does mention in this book, using a conversation from Granny.

The children's parents drove them to their Grandparents, though Enid doesn't say in the book how long the journey was, but soon they were approaching the drive between two gate-posts where on the top of each sat a stone eagle.

The children's rooms were quote,'in the roof' and from Susan's room was a secret staircase from a cupboard that went down into the dining room. A main feature in the book as the story progresses, for the children use this staircase to creep out one night, so as not to waken their Grandparents.

Whilst playing hide and seek in the extensive grounds, Jeffrey hides in Granny's own little part of the garden, and comes across her sitting on a bench crying. Once joined by his brother and sister, Granny begins to explain.

The visitor, who'd just left, a Mr Potts, was the man who was going to buy Greylings Manor. She also went on to explain about the long lost treasure, which was brought back from India some 250 years before, by Hugh Greyling, in return for him doing a good turn to an Indian Prince. But we do not learn what this good turn entailed. There are pearls and diamonds and a golden cup studded with Rubies and Sapphires, and all this information can be found in a book, in Greylings library, which the children find and read. During the civil war a Jeffrey Greyling hid the treasure. The story goes that he left the house and never returned and nobody knew what had happened to him.

After hearing their Granny's story, the children set out to find the treasure so that their Grandparents would be able to stay in their home, and so keeping the Manor where it belongs within the family.

Whilst in the woods the children discover a little house that is completely overgrown, hardly visible and by a small pool. Within three days the house is cleaned and cleared of all bracken and they're having tea with the permission of Granny. But on lighting the fire, the little house is filled with smoke, indicating that the little chimney is blocked, and needs to be cleared. This the children do, and on doing so discover a box which after opening they discover a map, which separates in two halves due to its age. They take the map back to Greylings Manor, and are studying it, when Granny comes into the room with Mr Potts. Looking at half the map he deciphers the word TREASURE and becomes interested, asking if he could take the map away and bring it back that evening, once he'd shown it to a friend of his 'who is extremely clever at puzzling out old papers'. Granny agrees, but unknown to Mr Potts, Jeffrey had quickly hidden the other half behind his back, as he didn't want Mr Potts taking that too.

The map is returned as promised, but the children discover that it had been traced, and so they were alerted that Mr Potts was also about to hunt the lost Greylings treasure. This fact was verified when the children discover one day, whilst they were with their Grandparents at the little house in the woods, that someone had been searching around the fireplace and on returning home, the children's room had been searched. Days before Jeffery had hidden the two map halves, by sticking them to the ceilings of Susan's dolls house, and fortunately the intruder being Mr Potts, hadn't searched there. Because of this discovery, Jeffery decided that he'd make a false copy, of the half that Mr Potts hadn't seen. This he did, and kept it in his pocket. But the cunning Mr Potts, invited the children and their Granny, to his home to see his boating lake, and it was here that he rocked the boat, just as Jeffrey was climbing out, and so the boy fell into the water, giving Potts the perfect excuse to keep Jeffrey's clothes whilst they dried, and so discovering the false map.

The book takes us through how the children read the map, and discover where the treasure is hidden, Mr Potts, who they nickname, Potts of Money, is always close at their heels, especially the last few chapters, where at one point Rags is sent to keep Mr Potts and his friend at bay, to give the children extra time to escape with the treasure. This bit reminded me of Five Go Adventuring Again, when Timmy had to keep the two artists at bay.

As with all Blyton books, the ending is a happy one, with the children proudly showing Granny and Grandpa the treasure, after having been safely returned home by farmer Timbles who had protected the children the night before from Mr Potts and his friend. The children had taken sanctuary in the farm house, needing to be protected by the grown ups. Grandpa had told Mr Potts that there would be no sale, leaving Mr Potts in true Blyton fashion, turning red — then white — then red again before banging the door on his way out.

A lovely exciting book I felt, that kept you enthralled from the first page until the last. Jeffery we learn is almost twelve, but there is no mention of the ages of either Susan or John. Granny is described as small and round with a funny little cap on her white hair. Nothing at all like the grannies of today!!! But so reminiscent of those times when Enid first wrote this book.

She also mentions a red squirrel which sits watching the children whilst they are having tea, sitting outside of the little house, by the pool. Not many are seen today, being so rare.

This book is well worth a read, for anyone who either hasn't read it, or like myself hadn't opened the pages for many, many years. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.