The Enid Blyton Society

The Mystery of the Island - Isobel Knight

Which other authors do you enjoy? Discuss them here.

Re: The Mystery of the Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Rob Houghton » 09 Mar 2016, 11:37

I'm glad you enjoyed it! As you can tell, its been a favourite of mine for many years. I have always felt the ending was just right...but I have noticed a few people have felt disappointed by it...I guess my expectations as a child were different to those reading it as an adult, maybe. I love the ending, and find it quite a good twist on the usual treasure finding book.

I agree about the hankey scene with Kirsteen - very realistic...and I think that's why I have always enjoyed the book, because even the more fanciful elements of the plot are written in such a realistic down to earth way. :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11871
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Kate Mary » 13 Sep 2017, 20:22

SPLIT FROM ANOTHER TOPIC.


I read somewhere on the internet I think, that the setting for The Mystery of the Island was in real life Kerrera in the Inner Hebrides close to Oban. The description of Kerrera on Wikipedia fits quite well.
"I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine."

Society Member
User avatar
Kate Mary
 
Posts: 1200
Joined: 20 Apr 2007, 06:25
Location: Kent
Favourite book/series: The Treasure Hunters/ Five Find Outers
Favourite character: Barney

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Courtenay » 13 Sep 2017, 20:51

It does, too — here's the link. I love the photo of the castle! :D Very much like I imagined it while reading The Mystery of the Island. (For anyone who hasn't read it, the book is excellent and full of excitement and a really good read — although the answer to the mystery doesn't have as much drama and intrigue as Enid Blyton might have put into a similar story, but it's still satisfying (and possibly, dare I say it, a touch more believable :wink: ).)

Image

And wow — Gylen Castle, as it's called, is open to the public for free! :D I've always wanted to visit the Hebrides, so that will have to be on my list for when I get there one day.
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 11086
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Rob Houghton » 13 Sep 2017, 22:41

Amazing photo! :-D

As many on here will know, I rate 'The Mystery of the Island' very highly - and indeed, I encouraged quite a few members to buy copies and read it for themselves - including Courtenay and Tony amongst others! :-D

Its still one of my favourite non-Blyton books with a great atmosphere, and above all, very believable characters, as well as an intriguing slightly creepy plot!

Although I have several other 'Abbey Rewards', so far I have yet to find another story printed in the series that is better than 'The Mystery of the Island'. To date, since I first read it aged 9. I've read it more than 10 times. :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11871
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Eddie Muir » 13 Sep 2017, 22:48

The Mystery of the Island sounds very interesting. I must try to find myself a copy. :D
'Go down to the side-shows by the river this afternoon. I'll meet you somewhere in disguise. Bet you won't know me!' wrote Fatty.

Society Member
User avatar
Eddie Muir
 
Posts: 11692
Joined: 13 Oct 2007, 22:28
Location: Brighton
Favourite book/series: Five Find-Outers and Dog
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Courtenay » 13 Sep 2017, 22:56

I second Rob's summary, especially about the characters — they're very well-drawn, especially the children's father. In most Blyton books the grown-ups don't tend to play much of a part (with occasional exceptions like Bill Smugs), but in this story the father has a major role, along with the children, and there's a particularly wrenching twist in the plot involving him (but I won't give it away for those who are yet to read it!).

I agree about the story being a bit creepy and eerie in places too — you really feel the loneliness of life on an island, the vulnerability of the people and their livelihood, and the uncanny suggestion that perhaps the old stories of curses and dark happenings might just be true... Again, all ends happily and believably, but it's quite a journey to get there. I will have to re-read it soon — and yeah, make sure at least the Inner Hebrides are on my holiday to-do list for some time in the future when I can afford it... :D
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 11086
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Courtenay » 13 Sep 2017, 22:56

Eddie Muir wrote:The Mystery of the Island sounds very interesting. I must try to find myself a copy. :D


There we are, Rob, you've set another one onto it. :wink: Seriously, Eddie, it's well worth it. As I said, my only slight complaint (very slight) is that the ending isn't as exciting as Enid might have made it, but it's probably a bit more credible! It's a wonderfully atmospheric book and certainly makes one wish one could be there exploring wild and beautiful islands like that one...

(someone stop me going off searching for Hebrides tours when I should be getting ready for bed :P )
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 11086
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Rob Houghton » 13 Sep 2017, 23:02

Eddie Muir wrote:The Mystery of the Island sounds very interesting. I must try to find myself a copy. :D


Its well worth reading, Eddie! :-) (not that I would encourage anyone to buy a copy of course!!!) :twisted:

There are a few on eBay... ;-)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=Isobel+Knight+-+The+mystery+of+the+Island&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XThe+Mystery+of+the+Island+-+Isobel+Knight.TRS0&_nkw=The+Mystery+of+the+Island+-+Isobel+Knight&_sacat=0

The link you posted was very interesting, Courtenay - sounds as if much of the 'back story' of The Mystery of the Island was based(albeit loosely!) on the history of Kerrera and the castle. 8)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11871
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Courtenay » 13 Sep 2017, 23:11

And on AbeBooks: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/ ... el-knight/ A few copies floating about on Amazon as well.

Interestingly, none of them seem to have the same dust jacket as my copy — actually the second copy I bought, as I liked the illustration better than the first one I got! I think it's an early edition, probably the same as the first edition, although mine's not an actual first. I can't find a picture of it anywhere online, unfortunately. But the content should be the same regardless of the cover.

Now that we've gone so far off the general topic of the Abbey Rewards, I'm wondering if we should have the last several posts merged into the dedicated Mystery of the Island thread and continue there... :wink:

Now merged.
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 11086
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: The Mystery of the Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Rob Houghton » 13 Sep 2017, 23:25

well, it is an Abbet Reward! :wink:

I'm tempted to get an older version, with dust wrapper, but I'm rather attached to the Abbey reward version, which I posted a photo of above (though that wasn't a photo of my actual copy, just off the net). Interestingly, the older versions seem cheaper than the version I currently have! :?

The older version has three illustrations (I think?) as I used to have it without a dust wrapper, but gave it away a few years ago to a charity shop!
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11871
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: The Mystery of the Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Eddie Muir » 14 Sep 2017, 07:30

Thank you for the additional information, Courtenay and Rob. I'll be checking out the availability of the book today. :D
'Go down to the side-shows by the river this afternoon. I'll meet you somewhere in disguise. Bet you won't know me!' wrote Fatty.

Society Member
User avatar
Eddie Muir
 
Posts: 11692
Joined: 13 Oct 2007, 22:28
Location: Brighton
Favourite book/series: Five Find-Outers and Dog
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: The Mystery of the Island - Isobel Knight

Postby pete9012S » 14 Sep 2017, 08:57

Rob recommended it to me Eddie and I bought and read it last year - a great book that would have otherwise passed me by.
" A kind heart always brings its own reward," said Mrs. Lee.
- The Christmas Tree Aeroplane -


Society Member
User avatar
pete9012S
 
Posts: 9086
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 15:32
Location: UK
Favourite book/series: Five On A Treasure Island
Favourite character: Frederick Algernon Trotteville

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby pete9012S » 14 Sep 2017, 09:04

Courtenay wrote: I've always wanted to visit the Hebrides, so that will have to be on my list for when I get there one day.


Although we in the UK might view a trip there as a long distance Courtenay - to Australians it would probably seem a short hop from the London environs to The Hebrides.



https://www.flybe.com/cheap-flights/stornoway/
" A kind heart always brings its own reward," said Mrs. Lee.
- The Christmas Tree Aeroplane -


Society Member
User avatar
pete9012S
 
Posts: 9086
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 15:32
Location: UK
Favourite book/series: Five On A Treasure Island
Favourite character: Frederick Algernon Trotteville

Re: The Mystery of the Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Eddie Muir » 14 Sep 2017, 09:33

pete9012S wrote:Rob recommended it to me Eddie and I bought and read it last year - a great book that would have otherwise passed me by.


Thanks, Pete. I appreciate your recommendation. :D
'Go down to the side-shows by the river this afternoon. I'll meet you somewhere in disguise. Bet you won't know me!' wrote Fatty.

Society Member
User avatar
Eddie Muir
 
Posts: 11692
Joined: 13 Oct 2007, 22:28
Location: Brighton
Favourite book/series: Five Find-Outers and Dog
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: 'Abbey Rewards for Boys and Girls' and similar books

Postby Courtenay » 14 Sep 2017, 11:12

pete9012S wrote:Although we in the UK might view a trip there as a long distance Courtenay - to Australians it would probably seem a short hop from the London environs to The Hebrides.


Too right, Pete mate — it's a shorter distance than from Melbourne to Brisbane, which I used to do quite regularly. 8) (Longer flight time though, I notice. I'm guessing the planes from London to the Hebrides are smaller and fly lower and slower than planes between the Australian capital cities, which of course have much bigger airports and runways than you can fit on an island.)

I'd love to do the Outer Hebrides too — thanks for the tip, Pete :D — but if I'm visiting Kerrera, which does seem to be the inspiration for The Mystery of the Island, that's just a short ferry ride from Oban on the western Scottish mainland, so I would probably go from there.

If I had the time and money, I'd love to spend a couple of weeks doing some island-hopping all up and down the Hebrides, but that's a fantasy for the indefinite future, not my next holiday ambition! :lol: I've got another upcoming trip back to Australia to think about before anything else, anyway...

More on topic, Eddie, glad to hear you're the latest to succumb to Rob's relentless promotion of this book. :wink: I'm sure you'll like it too.

I wouldn't mind reading other books by Isobel Knight — have you read any of them, Rob? I know you mentioned some of them before and said that a lot of her other stories are set on islands too!
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 11086
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

PreviousNext

Return to Other Authors

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest

cron