The Enid Blyton Society

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Posted by Rupsa Mitra on July 26, 2014
Barney, I recently had my birthday and Mrs Snehalatha gave me seven books!! What could be better?!
BarneyBarney says: Em... eight books? ;-) Only joking - that sounds like a super birthday present and I'm sure you'll have hours and hours of enjoyment reading them!
Posted by Paul on July 22, 2014
Some of the Bowdleriser's choices are bizarre. There's no need to hide the fact that the kids in the books use different currency to ours, for example. And I was most annoyed to discover on re-reading Malory Towers that Zerelda had lost her Victory Rolls and now just had some vague "elaborate hairstyle".
BarneyBarney says: That is annoying about Zerelda's hair. There are lots of such alterations. Apparently, in The Enchanted Wood Bessie (whose name has been changed to Beth) now has pizza at her birthday party in the Land of Birthdays.
Posted by Nadia on July 22, 2014
Hi - did Enid visit Australia during her life? I'm guessing she didn't but just wondering because that's where I'm from.
BarneyBarney says: No, Enid Blyton never went to Australia.
Posted by Meg on July 21, 2014
Does anyone know if Enid Blyton wrote a short, illustrated story about a mean cake shop owner who is horrible to the young animal characters who gaze longingly at his cakes through the shop window? One night he has a nightmare in which the cakes have all come to life and tell him off. After this he, of course, gives the "children" cakes. It has beautiful illustrations!
Posted by Farwa on July 21, 2014
I am sorry about Linda's mother, since Parkinson's is an awful disease. I pray that she may get better, Linda. Sorry I'm a bit late saying this, but I haven't looked at the Message Board for some time.
Posted by Michael on July 19, 2014
Thank you for your help with my two queries.
Posted by Michael on July 19, 2014
Thank you for your reply to my query dated July 18th 2014 but do you know any actual addresses where Enid Blyton stayed in Swanage? Please email me if necessary.
BarneyBarney says: They weren't private houses so there's no harm in naming the places on the Message Board. Enid Blyton and her family stayed at the Ship Inn, the Grosvenor Hotel and the Grand Hotel. Not all of those hotels still exist. They also stayed at the Knoll House Hotel in Studland Bay.
Posted by Michael on July 18, 2014
Did Enid Blyton actually live in Swanage(does anyone know an address?) or did she just holiday there?
BarneyBarney says: No, Enid Blyton never lived in Swanage or any part of Dorset. She just used to holiday there.
Posted by PrettyGirl on July 17, 2014
Did Enid Blyton make any autobiography of herself because I am doing a project about her? Please answer, from PrettyGirl.
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton wrote an autobiography called The Story of My Life. Unfortunately it has been out of print for years, though second-hand copies may be available. You can find some information about Enid's life on this website - click on our 'Author of Adventure' button (over on the left).
Posted by Ruth on July 17, 2014
Could you please tell me what the name of the book is, that tells about Enid Blyton's life in Bournemouth?, Dorset, that I saw on Tuesday please?
BarneyBarney says: I wasn't there at your heels on Tuesday but the book might have been Enid Blyton and her Enchantment with Dorset by Andrew Norman (Halsgrove, 2005) or The Dorset Days of Enid Blyton by Vivienne Endecott (Ginger Pop Promotions, 2002). Enid Blyton never lived in Dorset but she went on holiday regularly to the Swanage area, and she and her husband Kenneth bought a golf club and a farm in Dorset.
Posted by Don Massimo on July 17, 2014
I am so sorry! But I consider myself to have a new friend in heaven now.
Posted by Don Massimo on July 16, 2014
For many months, being in Italy, I was too busy to read your continuation novels. Now in Sri Lanka I have more time and I am very happy to read some of them. I began with Felicity in the Third Form. How nice it is! Really Lisa Newton can recreate the same spell as Miss Blyton! I should so like to make friends with her but I know by experience how these things are difficult!
BarneyBarney says: Thank you for your kind words, Don Massimo. I'm sorry to have to tell you that Lisa Newton died some years ago. She had written her four Malory Towers sequels with the intention of submitting them to the publisher of the Malory Towers books, but she discovered that Pamela Cox had already been commissioned to write sequels. She then approached Tony Summerfield and was pleased when he suggested that the books be put up on the website as serials. Sadly, Lisa Newton died before the first one went up but her sister, who gave us permission to continue with our plans to serialise all four titles, will be glad that the books are bringing such pleasure to Blyton fans.
Posted by Abbie on July 15, 2014
Hello, I love your books and I have read all of them. My favourite book is The Magic Faraway Tree and also the Secret Seven. I hope you can make one more book, I would love to read again. Well, it was a pleasure to write to you and I hope you can write back. Yours faithfully, Abbie xx
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton died in 1968, but the best of her lives on in her books and she continues to bring joy to children around the world. You can find out more about her life and work by clicking on our 'Author of Adventure' button (over on the left).
Posted by Nadia on July 13, 2014
Hi! Do you know if Enid had a favourite piece of writing that she wrote? If so, what? :)
BarneyBarney says: We don't know which of her books, stories, poems, etc. Enid Blyton liked best. However, she said in an interview that her favourite character was George of the Famous Five.
Posted by Collyforbla on July 13, 2014
Barney, I was wondering if it will be possible to read the earlier 'Bill's Diary' journals for the years prior to those currently in the 'Continuation' section of the website? I realise they may be in one or two past editions of the Society Magazine - but those of us just coming to the website recently will not have had a chance of seeing them. Collyforbla.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for your enquiry. I'm sorry, but the early 'Bill's Diary' entries are only available to those who buy the relevant past issues of the Journal.
Posted by Paul on July 13, 2014
Enid gets criticised for showing almost all of her authority figures - such as policemen and parents - in a relentlessly good light, which looks bad in the modern era where we openly acknowledge that many police and parents have caused harm to children, but in the 1940s and 50s there were rules against showing people in authority in a bad light - I think Enid only got away with Mr Goon because he has no real authority when compared to Jenks and in the end the police always get the villain.
BarneyBarney says: I don't really see what you're getting at. Most police and parents weren't/aren't out to cause harm, so characters who are only in the background of the narrative are likely to be presented as simply doing their job. Where they play a more prominent role, we get a mixture of personalities. Mr. Goon is not the only bumbling policeman - we also have Mr. Plod in the Noddy books, and one or two village policemen in the Famous Five series who don't believe the children's tales of strange goings-on. Parents aren't portrayed "in a relentlessly good light" either - just think of Quentin Kirrin, the Sticks, Mr. Curton and Jo's father in the Famous Five series, Rose Longfield in the Six Cousins books, the parents of the Six Terrors in The Six Bad Boys, the parents of several of the girls in the various school series, some of the mothers and fathers in the Pink-Whistle stories, etc.
Posted by Linda on July 12, 2014
Many thanks to Farwa for identifying the story 'The Quarrelsome Brownies' and to Barney for the book links. I immediately recognized the cover to My Enid Blyton Storybook (c) 1953 when I saw it, and the Table of Contents reminded me of the remaining stories in that collection. I have found and ordered a copy through Amazon in the USA where we have lived for many years now. I am so looking forward to reading the story to my mother when it arrives. She has been suffering from Parkinson's for years but has kept her sense of humour and I can't wait to hear her contagious laugh when she hears that story once again. That will make my Dad smile, too! Thank you again for your help.
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you've found a copy of the book, Linda, and I'm sure your mother will enjoy hearing the story once again.
Posted by Rupsa Mitra on July 12, 2014
As a child was Enid Blyton interested in books?
BarneyBarney says: Yes, Enid loved reading when she was a girl. Among the books she read were Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies and Louisa M. Alcott's Little Women. She liked the characters in Little Women because they seemed "real". Enid also enjoyed myths and legends, poetry, annuals and magazines. She was fascinated by Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopaedia, which gave her a thirst for knowledge and taught her a lot. Among her favourite books were Lewis Carroll's "Alice" books and R. M. Ballantyne's The Coral Island, but the one she loved best of all was The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. You can find out more about Enid Blyton's childhood and her life as a writer by clicking on our 'Author of Adventure' button.
Posted by Don Massimo on July 12, 2014
Thanks! I agree! In fact I myself have written so far nine short novels strongly inspired by hers. Unfortunately I cannot translate them into English! But the characters are both Italian and English and some of the stories are in Italy and some in England. Readers appreciate them very much. So I feel her as a near person and pray for her as for a dear aunt. Now I am thinking about the tenth novel.
BarneyBarney says: Good luck with your writing!
Posted by Don Massimo on July 11, 2014
When in Italy I had no time to read Enid Blyton's works and about her. In Sri Lanka I have more time. I have read something unpleasant about her life. I understand that not all in life can be well done, but some judgments about her behaviour towards her second daughter and her first husband might be unfair. Or we might say that her imagination redeemed something wrong in her life.
BarneyBarney says: Although Enid Blyton does appear to have been harsh to some family members, I don't think we can judge her as we only have a sketchy idea of what went on. What's important to fans is that the best of her lives on in her books, and through her wonderful stories and characters she continues to enthrall, educate and inspire children all over the world.
Posted by Nadia on July 10, 2014
Thanks! Hee-haw! I can't believe I couldn't work that out, it's so obvious. Oh well, thank you. :)
Posted by Nadia on July 10, 2014
Hi! Can anyone help? I've started reading The Secret Seven Short Story Collection which is really good. There are six stories of the Secret Seven in it and the first story is 'The Secret of the Old Mill.' Here is the problem: on the last page of 'The Secret of the Old Mill' Enid Blyton writes that the Secret Seven have changed their password which begins with an H and ends with a W and has something to do with a donkey. Does anyone know the answer? I can't work it out!
BarneyBarney says: Think of the noise a donkey makes!
Posted by Kate on July 8, 2014
Hi there, do you know of an Enid Blyton book that was illustrated by Alan McClure?
BarneyBarney says: I just checked the Cave of Books but didn't find anything illustrated by Alan McClure.
Posted by Farwa on July 8, 2014
Thanks Barney, I found my time zone and I was able to register. :-)
Posted by Farwa on July 7, 2014
Hi Barney! I wanted to join the forums, but I was confused about the time zone part. The time zone here is West Asia Standard Time, but this wasn't mentioned in the options. Can you please help me?
BarneyBarney says: I'm confused. Are you saying it's necessary to choose a time zone before you join the forums? Once you've joined, you can just go to "User Control Panel" and then "Board Preferences", and there are 40 time zone options to choose from. I'm sure one of them must match yours!
Posted by Billy the Dog on July 7, 2014
Interesting article in the UK Sunday Times yesterday, Barney. Possible discussions about a West End musical about the Famous Five. If they go ahead with it, will you be up for the part of Timmy? You may need a doggie suit to look like him, but you've got an advantage - you know all the words.
BarneyBarney says: That's interesting, Billy. We'll have to keep our eyes peeled for further news. As you're a dog too, maybe I'll see you at the auditions! ;-)
Posted by Farwa on July 7, 2014
Hi Barney, who is the owner of this website?
BarneyBarney says: Tony Summerfield, who runs the Enid Blyton Society, owns the website.
Posted by Farwa on July 6, 2014
Linda, the story you mean is 'The Quarrelsome Brownies' from Enid Blyton's book The Flyaway Money and Other Stories. Hope you find this book and are able to make your mother laugh. No doubt, it is a hilarious story.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you very much, Farwa. That story has appeared in other collections too - Linda might like to check out this link.
Posted by Snehalatha on July 6, 2014
What a lovely thought of yours, Linda, to bring laughter to your mother. God bless you for that - it really brought tears to my eyes. Unfortunately I'm not able to help you with the book which has the story you want - you may be able to find it some day soon.
Posted by Fara Qureshi on July 6, 2014
Hi Barney! How are you? I am a big fan of Enid Blyton. I am really curious to know which was Enid's last book which she wrote just before her death, and how she died. :( It would be a great pleasure if I got an answer to my question. Thank you and I love Enid's books. :D
BarneyBarney says: Except for a few short Noddy picture books, Enid's last books were re-tellings of Bible stories - The Boy Who Came Back and The Man Who Stopped to Help. Her last novel (or novella, as it's quite short) was The Hidey-Hole. Enid died peacefully in her sleep at a nursing-home. She had been suffering from dementia for some years.
Posted by Rupsa Mitra on July 6, 2014
I checked the dates of events which took place in Enid Blyton's family. Why isn't the exact date given of Enid's father's birth?
BarneyBarney says: It's possible that the exact date isn't known.
Posted by Linda on July 6, 2014
Can anyone tell me where I could find the story about two brownies who have a dispute over whether to make a blackberry pudding or a blackberry pie? It was in an Enid Blyton collection of stories my mother used to read aloud to me and my siblings and she always starting laughing so hard when she read that story that she could hardly finish reading it to us. She is quite elderly now and I'd love to find that story to read to her and make her laugh. Thanks for any help you can offer!
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone recognises the story, Linda.
Posted by Rupsa Mitra on July 4, 2014
Why did Enid Blyton love her father more than her mother?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton was closer to her father because they shared a lot of interests. He took her on nature walks, taught her to play chess and encouraged her to read widely, garden and play the piano. Her mother was very houseproud and thought Enid should be devoting more time to domestic chores, which Enid resented.
Posted by Paul on July 4, 2014
Did Enid feature short wave radio at all, either characters listening to it, or characters transmitting to other characters through short wave?
BarneyBarney says: Characters communicate via radio in books like The Island of Adventure and Five on Kirrin Island Again, but I don't recall whether Enid Blyton mentions anything about wavelength.
Posted by Nadia on July 4, 2014
Did Enid Blyton dedicate her entire life to writing stories?! It seems she wrote book after book and series after series. I love her books (they're the only books I read.) My favourite books she wrote are the Five Find-Outers and my favourite character is Mr Goon. He just cracks me up :) Every time he says "clear orf" or "that toad of a boy" I just laugh. I wish I knew how Enid wrote books. Every time I want to write a book I don't know what to write about and give up. People today love singers, movie stars, etc. But I love and look up to Enid Blyton. (If you're wondering how old I am, I'm 13.) I reckon I'll keep reading Enid's books into my teens and beyond. (Sorry this is so long.) :)
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton was certainly devoted to her writing. It was a full-time job for her, but a job that she loved. Even when she was a child, stories would flood into her mind as she lay in bed at night - and as an adult she had no difficulty in thinking of plot after plot. I hope your love of Enid Blyton lasts your whole life! Many fans have found that they never grow out of her wonderful books.
Posted by Julie@owlsdene on July 1, 2014
To CPP, the only books I can think of are the Famous Five ones, where you helped to solve the mystery, and you turned to various pages in the book depending on how you wanted the mystery to go. These books also came in a plastic folder.
BarneyBarney says: Are you talking about the Famous Five Adventure Game books, Julie, which were published in the 1980s? Good thinking - they may well be what CPP is looking for.
Posted by CPP on June 30, 2014
Hi, Can anyone help?! I remember a book from my childhood. I am sure it was about the Secret Seven and it came in a plastic folder with some additional tools such as a green, torch-shaped piece of plastic used to crack a code within the book. The book had different paths you could go down to try and solve the mystery. Ring any bells? Thank you!
Posted by Rupsa Mitra on June 30, 2014
Thanks. Mrs Snehalatha has the biography, so she said that she will lend it to me in a couple of years.
Posted by Paul on June 26, 2014
Would anyone know the value of Newnes Pictorial Knowledge, seven volumes, H. A. Pollock General Editor with Enid as associate editor?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we don't do valuations, Paul, but some dealers have found Newnes Pictorial Knowledge hard to sell - probably because the volumes are bulky, have very little Enid Blyton content and cost a lot to post. Nevertheless, they're nice books to have.
Posted by Rupsa Mitra on June 25, 2014
Barney, are there any biographies written on Enid Blyton?
BarneyBarney says: Yes. The best one is Enid Blyton - the Biography by Barbara Stoney. Enid Blyton also wrote her autobiography, The Story of My Life, though it has been out of print for years.
Posted by Nadia on June 22, 2014
Hi! Enid Blyton was an amazing writer. Did any of her family members become writers too?
BarneyBarney says: They didn't become full-time writers, but both Enid Blyton's daughters (Gillian Baverstock and Imogen Smallwood) wrote books about their mother. Enid's granddaughter Sophie Smallwood wrote a Noddy book (Noddy and the Farmyard Muddle) to celebrate Noddy's 60th anniversary.
Posted by Eddie on June 19, 2014
Thank you whoever you are! The Land of Far-Beyond is the book I was after! Thank you so much!
BarneyBarney says: Delighted to be of help!
Posted by Eddie on June 19, 2014
I had a book that I can't find. It had a yellow cover, with a long stairway on it, and was about 100-200 pages. It was a single story. It was about a journey where a group of children get to meet various strange people living in some alternate world, some of the people were like sufferers and weird, some were happy and kind. They had to go through some difficulties and there was a kind of happy ending. I don't remember the details but it was very meaningful and I want to re-read it to see whatever I can make of it now. Any idea which book it was?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't remember a cover like that, Eddie. It's possible that the book wasn't by Enid Blyton - but maybe someone reading this will recognise it anyway. You could check out The Land of Far-Beyond and The Yellow Fairy Book in the Cave of Books, because both of them involve children going on a journey and encountering difficulties, but I'm not at all certain that either of those is the book you're looking for.
Posted by Bet on June 15, 2014
Hi Barney, when I was small I had a book of short stories that I loved... my favourite was one about how the sparrow got his black bib. I've looked everywhere but can't find what this was called. Could you help?
BarneyBarney says: You might be thinking of 'Little Black Bibs' from The Adventures of Pip, or a similar story about Dame Kind-Heart which is also called 'Little Black Bibs'. 'The Sparrow Children' is another possibility. If you put those titles into the "Search the database" box in the Cave of Books, you'll see what books they appeared in.
Posted by Jane Jansson on June 13, 2014
Hi Barney, Enid wrote so many books. I know she was able to write with seeming incredible ease and flow. However, I wonder if she had a structured programme to her writing? To me a lot of her 'Famous Five' books are set at Easter and her 'of Adventure' books with Kiki the parrot are set in the summer. Did she timetable her writing so she wrote a Noddy in one month, a Secret Seven another month, a Famous Five the next, etc etc? She certainly doesn't seem to have spent a whole year exploring one set of characters in multiple books as most authors would. It seems an incredibly complex way to work, with plenty of room for confusion. I wonder how disciplined she was regarding planning her whole oeuvre? Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: That's an interesting question, Jane, and very difficult to answer. Tony Summerfield's Illustrated Bibliography (four volumes) gives details of which month each book was first published, but that doesn't give us much idea of when each book was written. After all, Enid Blyton had many different publishers and some may have held particular titles for some months, e.g. so they could be released coming up to Christmas. Also, some stories were serialised in magazines before coming out in book form. As far as the main series are concerned, they were begun at different times and there were different numbers of books in the various series.
Posted by T. S. Adarsh on June 12, 2014
Barney, who gave you this pretty name? Enid Blyton, how did you ever manage your time by writing so many books? I have also been lately writing a book but my time is not with me. Please reply to my doubts, T. S. Adarsh, your great fan.
BarneyBarney says: Dogs are named by their masters or mistresses. I'm fond of my name, especially as I share it with a popular circus-boy! Enid Blyton died in 1968, though the best of her lives on in her books. Writing was a full-time job for her, and most days she used to write from after breakfast until tea-time, with only a short break for lunch. Stories would flood into her head so fast that her typing fingers could just about manage to get them down on paper.
Posted by Siobhán on June 11, 2014
Hello! On the page about the Faraway Tree series on this site, it says Blyton published a book in the mid-1930s about two children and a Faraway Tree. Just wondering, what is the name of the book? Or was the story published in a magazine?
BarneyBarney says: On the Faraway Tree page it says, "The first title of the main trilogy, The Enchanted Wood, was published in 1939, although the Faraway Tree and Moon-Face had already made a brief appearance in 1936 in The Yellow Fairy Book." Since that page was added to the website, more information has come to light so what is written there is not accurate. Later copies of The Yellow Fairy Book (which has also been published under several other titles including The Queer Adventure) do indeed feature the Faraway Tree and Moon-Face, though they only appear fairly briefly. However, it was recently discovered that they didn't appear at all in the first edition. The story was changed at some point to include the Faraway Tree and Moon-Face. The alteration was made during Enid Blyton's lifetime, so presumably she approved of it.
Posted by Rupsa Mitra on June 11, 2014
Barney, what was Enid Blyton's first book?
BarneyBarney says: It was a book of poetry called Child Whispers, published in 1922.
Posted by Nadia on June 10, 2014
Hi! I haven't read an Enid Blyton book for a while and want to get back into reading them. I'm 13 turning 14 and am wondering if you could help me find books for my age group. Thanks! I really appreciate your help :)
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton felt that her Barney Mysteries (The Rockingdown Mystery, etc.) were for older readers, so you might like to start with those. The Adventure series consists of meaty adventures too, and there is plenty of drama in the Malory Towers series. Some of Enid's most mature stories are her books about families and social problems, e.g. The Six Bad Boys, The Family at Red-Roofs, House-at-the-Corner and the two Six Cousins books.
Posted by Pam on June 9, 2014
I have a bundle of Sunny Stories books from my childhood reading. I was wondering if a collector would be interested in them, they are from the 40s-50s.
BarneyBarney says: You could try listing them in the "For Sale" section of our forums if you like, Pam. Alternatively, you could put them on eBay and put a link to the sale in a forums post.