The Enid Blyton Society

Chronology

1870
Enid's father, Thomas Carey Blyton, born in Deptford, Kent.
1874
June 18 - Enid's mother, Theresa Mary Harrison, born in Sheffield.
1896
August 11 - Thomas marries Theresa at St Peter's Church, Dulwich.
1897
August 11 - Enid Mary Blyton born at 354 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, the daughter of Thomas Carey Blyton (a cutlery salesman) and Theresa (nee Harrison).
Family move to a semi-detached villa at 95 Chaffinch Road, Beckenham.
October 8 - Eelco Martinus ten Harmsen van der Beek born.
November - Enid nearly dies from whooping cough, but is cradled all night in her father's arms.
1899
May 11 - Enid's brother Hanly born.
1903
April 3 - Enid's brother Carey Charles born.
The family move to 35 Clockhouse Road, Beckenham.
1905
March 26 - Eileen Alice Soper born.
1907
Enid starts at St Christopher's School for Girls, Beckenham.
About this time the family move a couple of doors down to another house at 31 Clock House Road, Beckenham.
1910
Shortly before her thirteenth birthday Enid's father leaves home for another woman.
Enid baptised at Elm Road Baptist Church.
1911
Enters Arthur Mee's children's poetry competition and is thrilled to get a letter from the writer, telling her that he intends to print her verses and would like to see more of her work.
1912
Enid and her family move to 14 Elm Road, Beckenham.
1913
Summer Enid travels to France with Mlle. Louise Bertraine, the French teacher from her school St Christopher's. It is her first trip out of England.
1915
Enid's family move from Elm Road, Beckenham to a smaller semi-detached house nearby at 13 Westfield Road.
Enid leaves St Christopher's School. Moves into her friend Mary Attenborough's family home at 34 Oakwood Avenue, Beckenham.
1916
Due to attend the Guildhall School of Music.
Stays with George and Emily Hart at Seckford Hall, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. The hall with its 'haunted' bedroom, secret passage and surrounding farmland is a source of great delight and inspiration.
Enid decides to become a teacher after helping her friend Ida Hunt at Woodbridge Congregational Sunday School.
September - Enrols on a National Froebel Union course at Ipswich.
She goes to Ipswich High School to train as a Kindergarten teacher and her contact with her family virtually ceases.
1917
March Nash's Magazine publish the first of three of her poems.
1918
December - Qualifies as a teacher, completing her Froebel course.
1919
January - Begins teaching at Bickley Park School, Bickley.
March - Receives Teaching Certificate with Distinctions in Zoology and Principals of Education, 1st Class in Botany, Geography, Practice of Education, History of Education, Child Hygiene, Class Teaching and 2nd class in Literature and Elementary Mathematics.
1920
Moves to Southernhay, Hook Road, Surbiton to work as a nursery governess to the four children (David, Brian, Peter and John) of architect Horace Thompson and his wife Gertrude.
Renews acquaintance with her school friend, Phyllis Chase, who has begun to have some success as an illustrator. The two decide to submit work together, and it is to prove a turning point in their careers.
Enid's father, Thomas, dies unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of fifty, while fishing on the Thames at Sunbury. Enid does not attend the Beckenham funeral.
1921
February 19 - Wins a Saturday Westminster Review writing competition with 'On the Popular Fallacy that to the Pure All Things are Pure'.
More writing accepted by The Londoner, The Bystander and Home Weekly.
1922
February 15 - Contributes first story 'PeroneI and his Pot of Glue' to Teachers World. They also accept poems and other stories. She contributes to other journals and writes in annuals for both Cassell and Newnes.
June - Her first book Child Whispers is published. Two stories published in books by Dean & Son, these are her first stories to appear in a book.
1923
Meets Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, an editor at the publishers George Newnes.
Earns more than 300 from her writing - equivalent to the price of a small suburban house.
March - Responsive Singing Games published - her second book, and the only book for which she wrote the music.
July - Gets her own column 'From My Window' in Teachers World. First article 'Genius and Childhood'.
1924
Enid is commissioned by Hugh Pollock to write a book on the zoo, and falls in love with him. Enid and Hugh spend a happy Easter at Seaford, Sussex with Mabel Attenborough, Mary's aunt.
July 3 - Finishes The Zoo Book and joins Mabel for a holiday at Felpham.
August 28 - Enid marries Major Hugh Alexander Pollock at Bromley Register Office. None of Enid's relations is invited to the wedding. Earns over 500 from writing.
They move into a top floor apartment at 32 Beaufort Mansions, Chelsea.
October - The Enid Biyton Book of Fairies published - her first book of collected short stories.
1925
July 21 - Enid's first contribution to the Morning Post.
Annual earnings from writing reach 1095.10s.2d (equivalent to an executive's salary).
1926
February 26 - Enid and Hugh move from Chelsea to their first 'real home' - Elfin Cottage, a newly built detached house in Shortlands Road (now number 83), Beckenham.
She purchases 'Bobs' a black and white smooth-haired fox-terrier.
July - Sunny Stories fir Little Folks first published, edited by Enid Blyton, who also writes everything.
October 1 - Teachers World issue a special supplement containing a full- page interview with Enid Blyton. In the same issue Enid interviews A.A. Milne for an article. He presents her with an advance copy of his latest book - Winnie the Pooh.
November 10 - First appearance of Bobs for readers of 'From My Window'.
Teachers Treasury (3 volumes) published - all written by Enid.
1927
Purchases her first typewriter and reluctantly learns how to use it. Also learns how to drive.
The Plays The Thing published. At 25/- it is to be the most expensive book in Enid's whole career.
August 31 - First letter to the children in Teachers World.
December 17 - Enid's first contribution to The Outline to which she contributed regularly until August 1928
1928
Enid consults a gynaecologist about her apparent infertility.
1929
August 2 - Moves with Hugh to Old Thatch in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire. Starts asking children to collect silver paper and foil to raise money for Great Ormond Street, with great success.
August - Nature Lessons published by Evans - the only book to contain her own illustrations.
September 4 - Gets her own children's page in Teachers World - First letter from her dog, Bobs.
1930
October - Enid and Hugh go on a cruise to Madeira and the Canary Islands aboard the Stella Polaris. This trip provides her with inspiration for The Pole Star Family, twenty years later.
1931
July 15 - Enid's first daughter, Gillian Mary born - 8lbs 12oz in weight.
1932
February 5 - completes a full-length adult novel, The Caravan Goes On, but fails to find a publisher.
1933
Hugh works with Winston Churchill on the production of The World Crisis. . Gillian and her nurse sent to a residential nursery in London, while Enid and Hugh take a few weeks' holiday on their own in Scotland to help Hugh's health.
October - Letters from Bobs published - written by Enid's pet fox-terrier. Within the first week ten thousand copies are sold.
December - Enid records in her diary Hugh's late homecomings.
1934
Hugh works with Churchill on editing The Great War.
Holiday at a small furnished house, Seaview, on the Isle of Wight. Enid has a miscarriage.
April - First four Old Thatch Readers published.
1935
October 27 - Enid gives birth to Imogen Mary, 8lb 6oz.
October 28 - Dorothy Gertrude Richards, a nurse, comes to help Enid with Imogen.
November - Enid's dog, Bobs, dies. He is buried in the garden, but Enid refuses to allow the gardener to mark his grave.
Dorothy leaves to take on another case, but the two remain close friends.
1936
Dorothy Richards accompanies Enid and her family on holiday to the Isle of Wight.
1937
January 15 - Sunny Stories appears in new format, with long serial stories. The first of these is brought out in book form as Adventures of the Wishing Chair at the end of the year.
January 29 - First Amelia Jane story in Sunny Stories.
1938
Spring - Hugh suffers a serious bout of pneumonia. After a month in hospital he is discharged.
August 6 - Enid, Hugh and their daughters move to a large house in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. She asks readers to suggest a name - and 'Green Hedges' is chosen from the suggestions.
September - The Secret Island published - the first of a series of 5 books.
September - Mr Gallianos Circus published - the first of a series of 3 books.
December 30 - First appearance of Mr Meddle in Sunny Stories.
1939
Outbreak of War. Printing paper is soon rationed. The initial quota is 50 per cent raised to 60 per cent in October.
May - The Enchanted Wood published - the first in a series of 3 FarawayTree books.
November - Boys' and Girls' Circus Book published - Enid's first full-length unserialised book.
1940
Hugh rejoins his old regiment, The Royal Scots Fusiliers. Their marriage disintegrates.
May 3 - First appearance of Mr Pink-Whistle in Sunny Stories.
Enid publishes 12 books including...
September - The Naughtiest Girl in the School - the first in a series of 3 books and the first of Enid's school stories.
November - First two books under the pseudonym of Mary Pollock published.
The Children of Cherry Tree Farm - the first full-length purpose written book that turns into a series.
Old Thatch is sold.
1941
Sandy, the fox-terrier, disappears from Green Hedges. A teacher gives her a black and white short-haired terrier called Topsy, as a replacement. Enid meets surgeon, Kenneth Darrell Waters.
Publishes 8 books including...
May - The Adventurous Four- the first in a series of 2 books.
November - The Twins at St Clares - the first in a series of 6 books.
Sunny Stories Calendar 1942 - her first calendar.
1942
Publishes 22 books including...
August - Enid Biyton's Readers 1-3 - the first use of her now famous logo-signature and the first work with Eileen Soper.
September - Five on a Treasure Island - the first of a series of 21 books.
December - Divorces Hugh.
Gillian sent to board at Godstowe Preparatory School, High Wycombe.
1943
October 20 - Marries Kenneth Darrell Waters at the City of Westminster Register Office.
October 26 - Hugh marries Ida at the City of London Register Office. Enid refuses Hugh permission to visit the children.
Publishes 23 books including:-
December - The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage, the first of the Find-Outers Mysteries - a series of 15 books and The Children's Life of Christ, her first book re-telling tales from the Bible.
1944
May 21 - Enid's first contribution to the Sunday Graphic to which she contributed regularly until April 1950.
Imogen sent to board at Godstowe Preparatory School, High Wycombe.
September 24 - Enid's first contribution to the Sunday Mail to which she contributed regularly until December 1945
Publishes 24 books in this year including...
November - The Island of Adventure - the first of the Adventure series of 8 books.
Dorothy Richard's family bombed out of their home, and they move to Green Hedges. Enid asks them to leave after two days and Dorothy severs her friendship.
1945
Enid becomes pregnant, but miscarries after a fall. End of War.
March - Enid's first appearance in Playways - with 'The Caravan Family'.
September - Enid's first contribution to Good Housekeeping to which she contributed regularly until August 1948
November 14 - Last 'Letter from Green Hedges' in Teachers World.
1946
July - First Term at Malory Towers published - the first in a series of 6 books.
Doris Cox comes to work at Green Hedges as housemaid.
1947
September - Imogen contracts polio.
1948
Travels on a trip to New York sailing out on the Queen Elizabeth and returning on the Queen Mary.
Imogen goes to Benenden.
October 6 - Enid arrives in New York.
November - Publishes Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm - the first of a series of 2 books.
Enid Blyton Diary published - her first diary.
First four Enid Blyton character jigsaws from Bestime.
'Journey Through Fairyland' by BGL - first Enid Blyton board game.
1949
Publishers printing quotas no longer rationed.
Publishes 32 books including...
March - The Rockingdown Mystery - the first in a series of 6 Barney Mysteries.
June 5 - Noddy makes his first appearance in the Sunday Graphic.
May 21 - Enid's first contribution to the Evening Standard to which she contributed regularly until December 1953.
November - Noddy Goes to Toyland- his first appearance in book form.
November - The Secret Seven - the first 'proper book' in a series of 15 books;
1950
March 31 - Enid forms her own copyright holding company - Darrell Waters limited. Other directors include Eric Rogers, Arnold Thirlby, Enid's solicitor, and John Basden, an accountant whose other clients include Sir Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson.
Enid gives over the royalties of Before I Go to Sleep to the Shaftesbury Society Babies' Home in Beaconsfield. It amounts to several thousand pounds.
Enid's mother dies.
'Faraway Tree' - first Enid Blyton card game from Pepys.
1951
Publishes 39 titles including...
October - The Six Bad Boys - in which she records some of the sadness she experienced when her father left home.
Enid and Kenneth purchase their own eighteen hole golf course at Studland Bay, Dorset.
Enid is nominated Queen Bee of the PDS's Busy Bees' Club.
July 21 - Enid's first appearance in Mickey Mouse Weekly with 'The Secret Seven' .
1952
Publishes 44 titles.
April - Enid's first story in The BusyBees' News.
September - The Famous Five Club is formed.
September - The Story of My Life published - Enid's autobiography for children.
1953
February 19 - Enid withdraws from the magazine Sunny Stories after twenty-six years as editor.
March 18 - First edition of Enid Blyton's Magazine.
George Greenfield becomes Enid Blyton's agent.
July 24 - Harmsen van der Beek dies.
1954
Enid renews her friendship with Dorothy Richards.
Enid becomes chairman of the committee for the Shaftesbury Society Babies' Home in Beaconsfield.
July 21 - Enid Blyton's Magazine Club is formed.
December - The pantomime Noddy in Toyland first performed. It takes Enid two weeks to write.
December - Enid resigns her directorship of Darrell Waters Ltd.
1955
Enid Blyton starts legal proceedings to quash rumours that she doesn't write her own books.
December - The Famous Five play produced for the Princes Theatre, London.
Kellogg's acquire the rights to use Noddy.
Noddy puppet films appear on 'Independent Television.'
1956
May - Finishes adult play Summer Storm.
July 7 - Enid's first appearance in TV Comic with Noddy and Bom.
Buys Manor Farm at Stourton Caundle.
1957
Kenneth Darrell Waters retires as senior surgeon at St. Stephen's Hospital, Fulham .
Enid's health deteriorates.
Peter McKellar publishes Imagination and Thinking.
August - Enid's daughter, Gillian, marries Donald Baverstock, a BBC producer at St James's Church, Piccadilly.
Five on a Treasure Island film serialised by the Children's Film Foundation for Saturday matinees.
1958
January - Colin Welch publishes a vitriolic article criticising Noddy in Encounter.
1959
September 9 - Enid Blyton closes down Enid Blyton's Magazine.
1960
January 30 - Enid's first appearance in Princess with 'Five at Finniston Farm'.
1961
October - Hamlyn publish The Big Enid Biyton Book, the only book in which Enid broke her golden rule of never accepting a 'publisher's advance'.
1962
Gordon Landsborough launches Armada books so that children can buy their own paperback books. He sees Enid Blyton as the key to the success of the launch.
Noddy book sales reach 26 million copies.
Enid sells Manor Farm at Stourton Caundle, Dorset.
1963
May 25 - Enid's first appearance in School Friend - with 'Bravo Secret Seven'.
July - Fun for the Secret Seven the last in the series, published.
July - Five Are Together Again published - the last in the series.
1964
February - Noddy and the Aeroplane - the last book in the Noddy Library series.
Film Five Have A Mystery To Solve released by Rayant Pictures Ltd for the Children's Film Foundation.
1965
May - Mixed Bag published - a song book for which her nephew, Carey Blyton writes the music.
August - The Man Who Stopped to Help and The Boy Who Came Back published - the last full-length books to be written by Enid.
1967
Enid calls her brother, Hanly, after seventeen years without contact and begs him to visit.
September 15 - Enid's husband, Kenneth, dies. She writes in her diary: 'My darling Kenneth died. I loved him so much. I feel lost and unhappy'.
Imogen marries Duncan Smallwood.
1968
November 28 - Enid Blyton dies peacefully in her sleep in a Hampstead nursing home.
1969
January - Memorial service held for Enid at St James's Church, Piccadilly.
1971
May 26 - Green Hedges sold by auction.
November 6 - Hugh Pollock dies.
1972
June 24 - Enid appears in Pixie No.1 with 'The Naughtiest Girl In The School'.
1973
Green Hedges pulled down to make way for a housing development.
1974
March 9 - Noddy and His Friends No.1 published by Hudvale.
April 29 - Story Teller Extraordinary broadcast on BBCl as part of 'The Success Story' series.
Barbara Stoney's Enid Blyton A Biography first published.
1975
May 10 - Noddy Time No. 1 published by Womans Way.
1976
Enid's brother Carey dies.
1978
July 3 - Famous Five Television series first shown, made by TVS.
July 22 - Enid's first appearance in Look In No.30 with 'Five Have A Mystery To Solve'.
1982
In the Government's Survey of 10,000 eleven year olds Enid Blyton is voted the most popular author.
Sheila Ray publishes The Blyton Phenomenon. Darrell Waters Ltd forms the Enid Blyton Trust for Children.
Film of The Island of Adventure broadcast on television made by Ebefilms Ltd.
October 20 - Rupert Weekly first published - containing Noddy.
November 2 - Five Go Mad in Dorset broadcast on Channel 4. A parody by the Comic Strip.
1983
Five Go Mad on Mescalin - the second parody made for television by the Comic Strip.
November - Enid's brother, Hanly, dies.
1985
National Library for the Handicapped Child founded in memory of Enid Blyton by her daughter, Imogen.
September - First issue of Enid Blyton's Adventure Magazine.
1988
April 3 - The Selling of Noddy broadcast on ITV.
1989
Enid's daughter, Imogen, publishes A Childhood at Green Hedges.
1990
March 18 - Eileen Soper dies.
May - The Enid Blyton Newsletter started.
Film The Castle of Adventure broadcast on television made by TVS.
1991
Animated films based on St. Clare's appear on Japanese Television.
The Sunday Times include Enid Blyton in the 1000 Makers of the 20th Century.
1992
January - Michael Rouse publishes Green Hedges Magazine.
March - Richard Walker forms Blyton Book Collectors' Society.
October 14 - BBC publish first issue of Noddy Magazine.
December 26 - Sunny Stories broadcast on BBC 2 made by the Bookmark programmc.
Fabbri publish Five on a Treasure Island as No.50 in their Classic Adventure series.
1993
March 6 - First Enid Blyton Day held at Rickmansworth.
1995
February - Trocadero plc acquire Darrell Waters Ltd at 14.6 million and change the name to Enid Blyton Ltd.
Enid Blyton Society formed.
'Adventure Series' (8 films) filmed in New Zealand by Cloud 9/CLT.
September 10 - New Famous Five Television series first screened on ITV made by Zenith North.
1996
July - Enid Blyton Society's first Journal.
October - Centenary celebrations start with a reception at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. An Enid Blyton award, called 'The Enid', is announced which is to be presented annually to the person judged to have contributed outstanding service to children.
October - The first Noddy CD-Rom released by the BBC.
December - Enid's signature included in the Regent Street illuminations with Noddy leading the parade for the switching-on ceremony.
December 16 - Secret Lives - a TV documentary on Enid Blyton broadcast on Channel 4.
'Secret Series' (5 films) filmed in New Zealand by Cloud 9/CLT.
1997
January - The Famous Five Musical opens and tours for six months, produced by King's Head Theatre.
March 26 - First issue of Enid Biyton's Mystery and Suspense Magazine.
April 6 - Model of Green Hedges unveiled at Bekonscot by Gillian Baverstock.
April 12 - Enid Blyton: A Celebration and Reappraisal - a conference held by the National Centre for research in Children's Literature at Roehampton Institute. The papers, edited by Nicholas Tucker and Kimberley Reynolds, are published later in the year.
June - Tony Summerfield publishes Enid Blyton A Comprehensive Bibliography.
Gillian Baverstock publishes Enid Blyton (Tell Me About Writers Series).
June - David Rudd gets a Phd on the subject of Enid Blyton and the Mystery of Children's Literature (Sheffield Hallam University).
August 11 - English Heritage plaque on Southernhay unveiled by Gillian Baverstock.
September 9 - Royal Mail Centenary stamps issued.
Centenary exhibitions held at the London Toy and Model Museum, Hereford and Worcester County Museum and Bromley Library.
Tom Adams completes his mixed, media picture 'The Enid Blyton Lifescape'.
October 29 - Noddy sale of original artwork held at Sotheby's, London. Harmsen van der Beek's illustrated letter to Enid fetches a hammer price of 35,000.
November 17 - Blue Peter special on Enid Blyton.
1998
March 26 - Enid Blyton's Enchanted Lands No.1 published by Redan.
May - George Greenfield publishes his biography Enid Biyton.
August 30 - The new 40 part series of Noddy makes its debut on American TV: The series also features real children and new puppet stars like Sherman the Tank Turtle and Gator Gerty.
November 21 - The Secret Seven Save the World first performed at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
November 24 - Noddy 2 sale held at Sotheby's, London.
December - Johnny and Betty Hopton get a Guinness Book of Records Certificate for the largest Noddy collection in the world.
1999
Noddy's 50th. anniversary year.
June - The Enid Blyton Dossier published