The Enid Blyton Society

Journal 64

What did you think of the latest Journal?

Re: Journal 64

Postby John Pickup » 07 Dec 2017, 12:17

I'm the same as Nigel. I've only read two articles at present and with three people reporting sick at the hospital, I'm suddenly a part-time porter working full-time hours. I shall air my thoughts when I eventually get down to the rest of it.
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Re: Journal 64

Postby pete9012S » 08 Dec 2017, 16:26

Love the feature on page 86 entitled 'Famous Five Boy Zone'.

What a great idea for a puzzle.
I think Eileen Soper's peripheral characters differ much more than Betty Maxey's.Betty seemed to re-draw the same supporting character more or less all the time!

If you don't yet subscribe to the Journal why not treat yourself to a subscription for Christmas, or ask for a whole years subscription as one of your Christmas presents?


http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/fireside-journal.php
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Re: Journal 64

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 08 Dec 2017, 17:13

Have I missed where the answers are to the puzzle on page 86?

8)
Julian gave an exclamation and nudged George.
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Re: Journal 64

Postby Rob Houghton » 08 Dec 2017, 19:19

pete9012S wrote:
If you don't yet subscribe to the Journal why not treat yourself to a subscription for Christmas, or ask for a whole years subscription as one of your Christmas presents?


http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/fireside-journal.php


Great idea, Pete! :-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: Journal 64

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 09 Dec 2017, 11:04

Julie2owlsdene wrote:Have I missed where the answers are to the puzzle on page 86?

As the Journal was sent out later than expected, having spent a long time at the printer's, I think Tony has decided to leave it a bit longer before putting up the answers. All will be revealed eventually though!

I hope people who haven't had a chance to read the Journal yet will come back and comment once they've finished it. It's always interesting to hear people's thoughts and opinions at any time.

To quote from Enid Blyton's letter to Nicolas Bebbington (pages 52-53 of the Journal):

When I was in America 2 things shocked me - one was seeing the ordinary people buying the 96 page news-papers, tearing out the comic strip pages to read with absorbed interest, & throwing away the other pages without a glance! What a mentality! The second thing that shocked me was the prevalence of corruptive comics for the children - some of them incredibly vulgar and brutal... It's a great mistake to let children enjoy violence in any way, & particularly bad for unstable, sadistic or uncontrolled children. They just go out & act the violence that has excited and stimulated them! That soon leads to the Juvenile Courts.


It's fascinating to see how these thoughts fed into The Six Bad Boys. Anyone know the names of the comics to which Enid Blyton objected? I wonder how the violent content would compare to the video games that some children play today.
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Re: Journal 64

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 09 Dec 2017, 11:31

As the Journal was sent out later than expected, having spent a long time at the printer's, I think Tony has decided to leave it a bit longer before putting up the answers. All will be revealed eventually though!

Thanks for that, Anita. I've not put my Journal away yet with the answers, so I can see if my answers were correct. :lol:

8)
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"See that? It's the black Bentley again. KMF 102!"

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Re: Journal 64

Postby Lucky Star » 09 Dec 2017, 17:29

I have been held up reading my Journal and commenting by the simple fact of having lost my glasses! Not only has this proved incredibly inconvenient but it has also cost me £160 to replace them. Grrrrr. :x Luckily I have an old pair that have seen me through the worst but I didn't want to read too much as the prescription on them is out of date.

Anyway I have gotten about half way through so I'll say a little about what I've read so far. I enjoyed Tony's culinary Editorial though the overall message of falling subscriptions and failing computers was rather a gloomy one.

I turned firstly to Rob Houghton's ongoing "cookbook" series which is another great and quirky idea from Rob. This one is school themed. School stories are always reliably good Blyton territory and Rob ranges freely over the whole gamut of Blytonian schools. Regrettably the only ones I'm really familiar with are the Malory Towers books. I've also read Mischief at St Rollos but for the life of me I cannot remember much about it. I really liked how Rob did not dwell overly long on any one story but kept the narrative moving across all of them. A lively and fast paced article. And how I did agree with the sentiments of Blyton devoting too much time to sports achievements. I was always the proverbial last to be picked for any sports team at school, I hated (and still do) all sports and so I am heartily glad to see that I am not the only one to decry Enid's overemphasis on sports as the key to all that is good.

I then enjoyed John Henstock's Thoughts on the Secret Seven. In conjunction with Julie's article on Susie this makes a good and comprehensive examination of the series. And he gives us finally a plausible explanation for that mysterious reference to the Seven living in Peterswood!

Julie's article on Seasonal Blyton was excellent. I liked her examples of the atmospheric writing in some of the Secret Seven books, particularly the autumn and winter themed ones. The SS books are generally so short that we do not think of them as having very in depth scenes but it is a tribute to Enid that she needed only a few grief words to transport us into some dark and chilling scene. I was waiting for a mention of Five go Adventuring Again which is my own favourite Christmas themed book but Julie gives me instead a story I don't ever recall reading before. One with really lovely illustrations. I must seek it out.

Anita's second part of The Mystery that Never Was held my attention as well. I have never actually read this book and have never actually felt motivated to do so but Anita managed as always to weave a very interesting article around what appears to be a very thin plot. I always enjoy Anita when she goes off on little related side trips in her writing such as here when she tells us of Enid's old gardener, describes the cover of her own Armada copy of the book and compares rates of inflation throughout the 70s and 80s. Really interesting also was the unraveling at the end of the article of the story of how the book was almost never published at all and how there was confusion between it and a ninth Adventure novel. Fascinating.

The last article I have read to date is of course Daisy's surprise continuation of her wonderful Anne Kirrin articles. The first two detailing Anne Kirrin's diary were lovely and poignant and this article, told through the medium of old letters was also beautiful. I am sure Ilsa could have been a novelist herself as she has a great way of leading the reader along gently from paragraph to paragraph following the distinctly emerging thread of her story. Once again the period detail is wonderful and it's another really atmospheric piece of writing. And what a surprise twist in the end. Perfect, who would have thought it.

What a super idea to put in a quiz at the end. I can't recall us having one like this before during my time as a subscriber. I found it surprisingly difficult and am eagerly awaiting the answers to see how many I got wrong. :lol:

My new glasses should be ready this week and so I hope I will be able to finosh this super edition of The EBS Journal early next week and will then finish my review of it. As at this moment it is yet another fantastic installment and as always it defeats me that subscriber numbers are dropping, on this evidence they ought to be rising instead.
"If Hugo's treasure you would see, look for a door where none should be".

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Re: Journal 64

Postby Rob Houghton » 09 Dec 2017, 17:35

Thank you very much for your kind words about my article, John - always good to hear people enjoy what I write! :-D I hope your new glasses are worth waiting for and help you to devour the rest of the Journal as enjoyably as the first slices! :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: Journal 64

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 09 Dec 2017, 18:09

Thanks, John. Glad you enjoyed my own input inside the Journal. I do agree that the S.S. were quite atmospheric books during the winter times, and are really quite underestimated, as I feel the books are some of Enid's best.

8)
Julian gave an exclamation and nudged George.
"See that? It's the black Bentley again. KMF 102!"

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Re: Journal 64

Postby Rob Houghton » 09 Dec 2017, 18:16

I agree - especially since Enid uses so few words to describe things, but manages to paint vivid pictures.

I can remember returning to The Secret Seven as an adult and being amazed at how short they were, and what little description was actually really there. I realised most of what I remembered had been created in my own imagination while reading! That shows how powerful Enid's words could be.
'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: Journal 64

Postby Daisy » 09 Dec 2017, 18:55

Thank you for your kind words John. I wish there were some more letters waiting to be discovered, but to date none have come to light.
I have finished reading the journal now and as usual, find the variety of articles most satisfactory. John Henstock's look at the Secret Seven was an interesting summary of the series and like others I enjoyed Julie's look at Seasonal Blyton. I must say that I had not rated the Secret Seven series very highly until recently when others have commented on aspects of the books which made me look at them all again - and even write a story about them! I seem to go against the drift though, regarding reading books about the season we are in. When it's cold and miserable or snowy and icy, I like to read about the summer adventures - particularly the Find-Outers sunbathing or the Five running down the beach into the sea for a swim. In summer I will happily read about the snowbound Rat-a-Tat or Kirrin, and immediately feel cooler. :?
I loved Rob's Cookery Book which wasn't. A great way of looking at how Enid mixes items to produce a tasty end result, eagerly devoured by the lovers of her books. I was grateful for the mentions of short stories too... some I have on my shelves but never read. I really must remedy that and add some more seasoning to my reading!
The filming of the Secret series was quite different... and I must say the change of the children's names did not help to make clear who was who, but it is always interesting to discover how much work there has to be behind the scenes - literally!
Thanks to all the contributors - Anita always makes me want to read any book she reviews, once more. Angela Canning seems a past master at ferreting out pieces of information about various aspects of Enid's works. I am very fond of Dorothy Wheeler's Faraway Tree illustrations and it was good to see so many pictures of hers included in the article... for which I guess is thanks to Tony who chooses appropriate illustrations for most if not all the articles, and greatly enhances the overall appeal of the Journal.
I belong to another book club which has a journal and my friends there look with awe and envy at our Journal with the 88 pages and wonderful illustrations including coloured ones, when theirs is less than half the length but the same price!
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Re: Journal 64

Postby sixret » 09 Dec 2017, 19:24

Thanks for your review, Daisy. I agree. The change of the names in Secret series films is silly and unnecessary.
KIFARAH & KARMA- What goes around comes around.


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Re: Journal 64

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 10 Dec 2017, 10:52

Sorry to hear about you losing your glasses, John (Lucky Star). Nice to read your meaty comments on the first half of the Journal though, and thanks to you and Daisy for your kind words about my article. Looking at my paperbacks from the 1970s - early 1980s, I'm astonished at the frequent substantial increases in cover price.

If you've never read the Naughtiest Girl series, I'd recommend giving it a go if you get the chance. Whyteleafe has an atmosphere all of its own and feels quite different from Malory Towers (or St. Clare's). Like you, I can't remember much about Mischief at St. Rollo's but I don't think I ever rated it as highly as Enid Blyton's other school books.

Daisy wrote:Angela Canning seems a past master at ferreting out pieces of information about various aspects of Enid's works. I am very fond of Dorothy Wheeler's Faraway Tree illustrations and it was good to see so many pictures of hers included in the article... for which I guess is thanks to Tony who chooses appropriate illustrations for most if not all the articles, and greatly enhances the overall appeal of the Journal.

Yes, Dorothy Wheeler's artwork (Blyton and non-Blyton) is super. My own Enchanted Wood books have illustrations by Rene Cloke, which I've always loved, but I now love Dorothy Wheeler's just as much. Her covers in particular are magnificent.

Rob Houghton wrote:I can remember returning to The Secret Seven as an adult and being amazed at how short they were, and what little description was actually really there. I realised most of what I remembered had been created in my own imagination while reading! That shows how powerful Enid's words could be.

I agree that the Secret Seven books are surprisingly evocative, although short. I think it helps that the Secret Seven's neighbourhood is nothing out of the ordinary, none of the children have astounding talents as Fatty does, they attend a local day school and we see them doing everyday activities like setting out a train set, building a bonfire, flying a toy aeroplane or playing games in the woods. It all feels very real.
"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: Journal 64

Postby Eddie Muir » 10 Dec 2017, 11:45

I’m really sorry to hear about your glasses, especially the cost of replacing them, John. I only use glasses for reading, but I know how lost I am if I forget to have them with me or if I misplace them. Although mine don’t cost as much as yours, they are expensive enough. I’m not really sure why spectacles should be be so pricey! :cry:
Last edited by Eddie Muir on 10 Dec 2017, 14:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Journal 64

Postby Lucky Star » 10 Dec 2017, 13:57

Thank you Anita and Eddie for your commiserations on my glasses. I lost them at work and, such is my workplace, they could be anywhere by now. On the good side Boots have telephoned to say that my new ones can be collected on Monday so hopefully back to normal next week albeit with an aching wallet. :lol: The cost of glasses os really shocking these days Eddie, I totally agree with you. I wouldn't mind if I had ordered expensive designer frames but I ordered only the second cheapest set in the shop!
"If Hugo's treasure you would see, look for a door where none should be".

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