The Enid Blyton Society

Stephen Isabirye

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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby Enikyoga » 03 Dec 2014, 04:45

Pete,
I will stick around here and not going anywhere. It seems we may get some snow, but that will be about 9,000 ft [forgive me, we still measure lengths in feet rather than meters in this part of the world] way high in the mountains. We are about 7,000ft. Maybe it might snow heavily later in the month. The last time we had a White Christmas day here was in 1987!!! I have taken a little break from writing due to a couple of distractions. Hopefully, should I get another life sabbatical that I gave myself to write this book, maybe that is when I will resume writing again.
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby pete9012S » 03 Dec 2014, 11:03

Thanks for the update Stephen.I hope you have a relaxing,peaceful, Christmas break.

I too don't really understand metric and only understand miles,feet and inches,pounds and stones.
If someone was 1.83m tall I couldn't quite envisage what that meant,but if you said someone was 6 foot tall and weighed 18 stone (ahem) I would be able to picture that perfectly!!

I was reading recently in the Anecdotage that:

In Five Get Into A Fix, George has to stay in bed on Christmas because of probably a whopping cough, and the remedy prescribed by her cousins’ mother is to move to a higher altitude, that is Wales, a move deemed to be a panacea to to the children’s cold epidemic



Sounds like where you live could have been a good place to send the Five for pure,clear mountain air! :D

Regards

Pete
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby walter raleigh » 03 Dec 2014, 11:37

Well, mountain air is a well known cure for a whopping cough Pete!
"Stuck in a state of permanent pre-pubescence like poor Julian in the Famous Five!"

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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby pete9012S » 03 Dec 2014, 11:43

Yes, Walter.I too thought at first it was an error,but checking 'whopping' revealed that it could have been a cough that fitted one of the many meanings listed below. :wink:


whopping
ˈwɒpɪŋ/
adjective
informal
adjective: whopping

very large.
"a whopping £74 million loss"
synonyms: huge, massive, enormous, gigantic, very big, very large, great, giant, colossal, mammoth, vast, immense, tremendous, mighty, stupendous, monumental, epic, prodigious, mountainous, monstrous, titanic, towering, elephantine, king-sized, king-size, gargantuan, Herculean, Brobdingnagian, substantial, extensive, hefty, bulky, weighty, heavy, gross; More
informalmega, monster, whopping great, thumping, thumping great, humongous, jumbo, hulking, bumper, astronomical, astronomic;
informalwhacking, whacking great, ginormous
"they mad


I have heard people say that they have caught a 'whopping great cold' too. :D
" A kind heart always brings its own reward," said Mrs. Lee.
- The Christmas Tree Aeroplane -


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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby John Pickup » 03 Dec 2014, 19:54

I have heard people tell "whoppers", too. :D
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby Enikyoga » 04 Dec 2014, 06:05

It is heartening to learn that The Magic Faraway Tree series is heading to the cinema. In recent months or perhaps years a lot of publicity has been given to The Magic Faraway Tree series. This may because of the astounding success of The Harry Potter series as well as the success of magic and horror movies over the past half-century.
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-29706443
I also understand that there are plans to make The Famous Five and The Secret Seven movies. Though Famous Five movies have been made before, maybe it is high time to make them in a cinematic manner.
In light of the above developments, I have tried to speculate as to why Enid Blyton's books, with special emphasis on The Famous Five series were never spectacularly a success in the USA. In my opinion, it was a mistake to try and promote The Famous Five series whose plots were at variance with the way American-style of literary and for that matter, movie plots develop here. The reason why The Island Of Adventure (or Mystery Island as it was titled in the USA), was very much noticed in the USA in the late 1940s was because of its fast-paced plots in contra-distinction with the much slower-moving and psycho-analytical aspects found in The Famous Five series. It would have been better if The Darrell Waters Company, Ltd (the company that then managed Enid Blyton's business and literary interests) would have teamed up with Hollywood and produced a movie on The Island Of Adventure book and subsequent Adventure books. It seems that over the past one-and-a-half decades, the Adventure series has been very admired in that some Americans have even wondered through some e-mail communications and interactions whether Enid Blyton is (some believe that she is still alive)/was American. Instead, Enid Blyton's focused on promoting The Famous Five series which would later turn out to be an exercise in futility. In recent years, some Americans via e-mail communications, that have read some books in The Famous Five series often keep mum on their commentary on The Famous Five . I do not know whether their silence is the result of the slow-pace moving of the plots in the books or whether they are uncomfortable with some of the issues entailed in the books. Nonetheless, I think if the Adventure series was promoted in literary as well as movie formations, who knows, Enid Blyton would have been as a household name as American children's writers like Dr. Suess.
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Re: The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage

Postby Enikyoga » 04 Dec 2014, 07:51

Anita Bensoussane wrote:I've read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn at least three times, Stephen, though not recently. Numerous authors have written stories about boats, islands or American characters who say "Shucks" so it's hard to say whether Enid Blyton was influenced in any major way by that particular book, though she may well have had that and other novels (Robinson Crusoe, The Coral Island, Bevis, etc.) at the back of her mind when she wrote books like The Secret Island. Jack the "wild boy" in The Secret Island could be said to be a little like Huckleberry Finn, but the similarities aren't remarkable and there are "wild boys of nature" in lots of children's books, including Dickon in The Secret Garden. I certainly can't imagine Enid Blyton going out of her way to copy words and phrases from other authors - she was a gifted writer who wrote easily and fluently. If I were to speculate on any Mark Twain influences, I'd probably take a closer look at Twain's The Prince and the Pauper in which a prince and a peasant boy who resemble one another change places. Enid Blyton wrote several similar (though short) stories, such as 'The Princess and the Cottage-Girl' in which a princess and a poor girl who resemble one another swap places. Stories like that may perhaps have been inspired by Mark Twain's classic - though not necessarily. The idea of royalty living as commoners is a traditional theme and there are a number of old fairytales in which kings disguise as peasants so they can mingle with their subjects and learn about the concerns of their people.

Anita, with due respect, I have wanted to answer this post for a long time. It is great to point out Mark Twain's The Prince and Pauper as having been a possible inspiration on Enid Blyton's writings. Being a gifted and charismatic writer does not preclude her from borrowing from other writers; an aspect that has happened oftentimes in history. In fact, one can only go back centuries and in many instances, several millennia to find original and '"authentic" writers such as Plato, Moses, Plutarch, Homer, etc. Since that time, subsequent writers have pinched something, here and there from these writers. For instance, even William Shakespeare borrowed a lot from Plutarch:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutarch
Even Karl Marx borrowed a lot from Hegel who in turn borrowed from previous writers such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and so on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/influences_on_Karl_Marx
Surely Enid Blyton was a very gifted writer, but that did not prevent from borrowing some aspects of her writings from Louisa M. Alcott (in her autobiography she pointed Louisa M. Alcott as one of the writers she had read as a child) or from others such as Sir Rider Haggard and in perhaps pioneering manner, you pointed out Angela Brazil. I think most of us were unaware that some parts of The Malory Towers books had been inspired by Angela Brazil's school books.
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby pete9012S » 04 Dec 2014, 08:35

Enikyoga wrote:
I also understand that there are plans to make The Famous Five and The Secret Seven movies. Though Famous Five movies have been made before, maybe it is high time to make them in a cinematic manner.


Yes,Stephen,I too would love that.Even though I'm not the greatest fan of the Secret Seven,Peter's pompous,overbearing,dominant personality could well translate well to the big screen.
A good child actor could really bring him to life.

Regards

Pete
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 04 Dec 2014, 10:51

Numerous writers, including Enid Blyton and William Shakespeare, have incorporated elements of history, myth, legend, philosophy and classics into their work. There's nothing wrong with that at all - the allusions and reworkings enrich their stories and stimulate the reader to make thought-provoking links and comparisons. What's important is that the author's own thoughts, imagination and writing style bring us something fresh.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby pete9012S » 04 Dec 2014, 22:04

A seasonal Winter quote from the anecdotage:

the anecdotage:
The ever-mutinous George refuses to apologize for the incident, even in front of his iron-clad disciplinarian father, which may mean that Timmy the dog will sleep in the kennel rather than being with George at night in the dead of winter.


I was trying to visualize what this scene may have looked like...

Image
How difficult she was! Her father sighed, and remembered that he too in his own childhood had been called 'difficult'.
" A kind heart always brings its own reward," said Mrs. Lee.
- The Christmas Tree Aeroplane -


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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby Enikyoga » 05 Dec 2014, 02:14

Anita Bensoussane wrote:Numerous writers, including Enid Blyton and William Shakespeare, have incorporated elements of history, myth, legend, philosophy and classics into their work. There's nothing wrong with that at all - the allusions and reworkings enrich their stories and stimulate the reader to make thought-provoking links and comparisons. What's important is that the author's own thoughts, imagination and writing style bring us something fresh.

Agreed!!!
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby Enikyoga » 08 Dec 2014, 05:39

The following websites, the state of bibliographical research on Enid Blyton and her literature. It seems that Wikipedia has 762 official books on Enid's literature, while this society's URL, which is far more reliable than that of Wikipedia, has far many more books in its bibliography. Tony, a million thanks for this life-long research and dedication to everything pertaining to Enid Blyton.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enid_Blyton_bibliography
http://enidblytonsociety.co.uk/list-all.php
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby pete9012S » 08 Dec 2014, 10:10

That's very interesting Stephen.Thanks for posting that.

Yes,I too like yourself appreciate all Tony's research and dedication.
Stephen,in the light of your appreciative comments I look forward to the day when we can all welcome you as a member of the Enid Blyton Society and a subscriber of the Enid Blyton Journal.

Best Wishes

Pete
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby Tony Summerfield » 08 Dec 2014, 12:33

Thank you both Stephen and Pete for your kind remarks, but.... - and it is a big BUT! I have always hated the numbers game and when I get asked the inevitable question in interviews I refuse to attempt to answer it.

According to the great Wikipedia it is now official that Enid Blyton wrote 762 books and a huge number of people will take this as fact. I have often wonder just who it is that takes someone else's work and spends several hours putting this sort of thing onto Wikipedia, when they haven't got a clue what they are talking about. Just what constitutes a book or a reprint of an earlier book, unless you have actually seen all these books any listing is just pure speculation. There are books missing from that list as well as books that shouldn't be there.

According to the Cave Enid wrote 1868 books, but I was going to add another two books today, so the number will immediately go up to 1870! This is totally misleading and I wish it wasn't there, as this includes numerous modern reprints and anthologies all of which simply contain previously published material. Look a bit lower and you will see that the Cave contains 3248 books - it certainly doesn't as this number includes toys, games, jigsaw puzzles and a huge audio section, not to mention continuation books and books with Blyton contributions, none of which can count as Enid Blyton books.

Two years ago I had a detailed plan to separate all the items that weren't books into what I was going to call a Treasure Chest, so that the Cave of books just contained books and magazines, but this came to nothing as unfortunately Keith was too busy to find the time to add the framework for me to add the new material. This new section was also going to include DVDs and Videos as well as a section on Birthday and Christmas Cards. At least this saved me from many hours of work and for that I am very grateful! :D
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Re: Stephen Isabirye

Postby John Pickup » 08 Dec 2014, 21:59

As far as I'm concerned, the Cave is the bible for Enid Blyton. A marvellous source of reference for which you should be very proud, Tony.
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