The Enid Blyton Society

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Looking for a book or a story? Post details here and hopefully someone will be able to help.

Re: Search Required

Postby Courtenay » 05 Feb 2018, 17:09

Well, re-reading the list of info on the site that KEVP posted the link to, I must say it just doesn't sound like an Enid Blyton book. Enid wrote about fairies and magic and so on, but the stories referred to just don't quite sound like things she would write. The poem "You want to go to fairyland, I have the magic key" doesn't sound Blytonesque. Enid often wrote about "fairyland" as if it were as real and accessible as our own world, but that's just the point — I can't see her using the cliche of a "magic key" in writing about it.

She also doesn't normally use lines like "a flip and a flop and a terrible thud" in a repetitive way — even the Noddy books, which are probably aimed at her youngest audience, don't feature repetition like what the searchers describe. I also don't believe Enid would ever use an ordinary human name like Mary for a fairy (and the silly rhyme there isn't like her usual style either) — her fairies, pixies and other "little folk" always have names like Silky, Lissom, Chinky and so on.

And the fact that no-one in the Enid Blyton Society recognises anything about the descriptions of the stories would pretty much prove, I reckon, that this can't be a book by Enid!!!

Perhaps someone could contact the person/s searching for this book and tell them that the members of the Enid Blyton Society collectively conclude that this doesn't sound like any book written by Enid Blyton? :wink:
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Re: Search Required

Postby KEVP » 05 Feb 2018, 19:30

Well, we have a witness who READ the book in the 1960s. The book therefore could be OLDER than that, but can't be any NEWER than the 1960's.

I don't know why people are talking about the 70s and 80s. None of our witnesses have said anything about the 1970s and 1980s.

Once a book gets printed, it sticks around until somebody or something destroys it. You can still find books that are hundreds of years old. And you can still read them. Books that were "around" in the 1960s (or 70s or 80s) may have been new at the time, or may have been old books.

Nobody has said anything about "reprinting".

It sounds to me like an "old" book. It doesn't sound like the sort of book that people were writing in the 70s and 80s. It sounds much older to me. The description of the illustrations as being "maybe watercolors" sounds "old". And the style of the stories sounds more "old" to me.

But since this is stumping the world's leading experts in Enid Blyton, I am also beginning to suspect that maybe this book didn't have anything to do with Enid Blyton.

But I cannot yet COMPLETELY eliminate the name "Enid Blyton" from the investigation. Obviously, there were lots of books with Enid's name on them that were printed BEFORE she died. So, BEFORE she died, were there any books where she wrote maybe one or two stories, and the other stories were by different authors? Were there any books, BEFORE Enid died, that had her name on the cover, but she didn't actually write anything in the book?

If you want to get started in this search, read my post that begins "Okay, so everything we know is . . ."
That is the post where I have written down what the witnesses are telling us. Everything else is speculation.
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Re: Search Required

Postby KEVP » 05 Feb 2018, 19:36

SPECULATION: What I am finding most witnesses remember is those lines "With a flip and a flop and a terrible thud/all of the washing fell down in the mud." And different witnesses remember the wording slightly differently. Since these phrases seem to have become "stuck in their head"--one witness remembers thinking about them every time the washing was done, maybe they were NOT actually repeated in the story? Just repeated in people's heads?
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Re: Search Required

Postby KEVP » 05 Feb 2018, 19:40

SPECULATION: What we know about the book is that it had multiple stories, and we have very brief descriptions of THREE of the stories. Is it possible that the book had MORE than three stories (I think that is very possible)? And if so, is it possible that Enid wrote one of the other stories, besides the three that we have a description of?

And while we are at it, is it possible that Enid wrote the first story, about the girl who saves a fairy from a flower filled with rain, then later has a conversation with a blue bird (not necessarily a bluebird, just a bird that is blue)? Is there anything that strikes the experts here as "un-Blytonish" about THAT story?
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Re: Search Required

Postby Rob Houghton » 05 Feb 2018, 21:12

KEVP wrote:Well, we have a witness who READ the book in the 1960s. The book therefore could be OLDER than that, but can't be any NEWER than the 1960's.

I don't know why people are talking about the 70s and 80s. None of our witnesses have said anything about the 1970s and 1980s.


Because on the 'Secret Messages' page on this website, Mandy mentions having the book during those times.

She writes -

Hi, I am desperately looking for the story and ideally to buy a copy of the storybook I had in the late 70s/ early 80s. It contained a story of magic soap. Some details I have are: 'Magic Soap' - Ned the Kuomb (spelling unknown) gives each mother in fairyland magic soap to do her weekly wash.​ Bitsy Bunny, a mischievous little girl rabbit, nibbles through the washing line and all the clean laundry "falls into the mud with a flip and a flop and a terrible thud, and must be done all over again."​ MAYBE this line is "with a flip and a flop and a terrible THUD, all of the washing fell down in the MUD." The words about "a flip and a flop and a terrible thud" are repeated many times​. Bitsy Bunny and a friend of hers, a squirrel, go to each mother asking if she has any magic soap left that they may have.​

:D
'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)



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Re: Search Required

Postby tix » 05 Feb 2018, 21:23

This aspect has just been settled ..... Rob's mentioned the book was 'owned/read' in the 70's/80's, but it could be much older of course.

Did Enid Blyton create any 'girl' bunnies as main characters? Wasn't there a one-off book she wrote that featured a couple of rabbits? Could be wrong there, but if she did they were probably male.

'Joan' who was a child in the Sixties possessed a copy of the supposed anthology, but as the steady reprinting of short stories (Dean, World Distributors, Collins, Purnell) seems to have originated round that period, she may have read one of the compilations. Either that or maybe the book was inherited.

She states that 'elves' caused the washing to fall down, whereas Mandy blames 'Bitsy.'

Naughty Bitsy.
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Re: Search Required

Postby Rob Houghton » 05 Feb 2018, 21:27

In my view 'Bitsy Bunny' and 'a bluebird' are both very American sounding, so possibly not Enid Blyton.

I also agree with Courtenay that 'Mary the Fairy' doesn't sound at all like Enid Blyton, or the repetition of a rhyming couplet - something I've never read in an Enid Blyton book (unless maybe its a spell that is repeated throughout a story)

I don't know of any books where Enid's name was on the cover, but no stories written by her were featured - except for books where she just wrote the foreword - she did this a few times over the years. There were many books where Enid wasn't credited but had her stories in them - but that was usually in her early career.
'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)



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Re: Search Required

Postby Courtenay » 05 Feb 2018, 22:35

"Ned the Kuomb" — even if it is really Ned the Gnome — is another aspect that doesn't sound like Blyton. Again, I don't think Enid ever used a human-like name for any of her magic folk, whether they were a fairy, a goblin, a gnome or indeed a kuomb... whatever that may be. :shock: (I'm suspecting that the word actually is "Kuomb", simply because it's so unusual. Even a young child — especially if he or she was hearing the story read by a grown-up — would recognise the word "gnome" and wouldn't misremember it so thoroughly.)

I agree, too, that a bluebird — or even a blue bird — doesn't seem Blytonesque. Enid was very knowledgeable about the natural world, as we all know, and she nearly always names the exact species of bird — whether it's a sparrow, swallow, robin, blackbird or anything else — even in her stories involving fairies and other magical characters. I haven't read all her short stories (has anyone?!), but in all the ones I can think of where birds are involved, they're recognisable British ones. I can't remember any instances in a fairy story where she invents a magical bird-character that's unlike any type of bird in our world — and she certainly wouldn't have written about a bluebird of the American sort.

It could, I agree, be a book of stories by various authors, one of whom was Enid Blyton. But none of the three stories described sound like hers, and no-one here recognises any of them, so I can still only conclude that whatever the book is, it doesn't have any connection with Enid.
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Re: Search Required

Postby pete9012S » 05 Feb 2018, 23:19

Maybe a site like this could help the enquirer?

http://oldchildrensbooks.com/
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Re: Search Required

Postby sixret » 05 Feb 2018, 23:37

The Magic Snow-Bird has come to my mind when reading the comments. I am not sure if the bird is imaginary or real as I haven’t read the story.
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Re: Search Required

Postby Rob Houghton » 06 Feb 2018, 00:46

the Magic Snow Bird is actually a big ostrich-like bird made by some children out of snow! :-D
'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)



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Re: Search Required

Postby sixret » 06 Feb 2018, 11:54

Thanks, Rob! :D
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Re: Search Required

Postby KEVP » 08 Feb 2018, 16:45

I googled "Ned the Gnome" only to be AMAZED at how many gnomes are named Ned. Never would have expected it. Could not find the one we are looking for.
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