The Enid Blyton Society

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Posted by Vanessa on April 24, 2017
Hi. I am doing a master's degree in museum studies with Leicester University and am looking for further information regarding Tom Adams' painting "The Enid Blyton Lifescape". I believe there is an article written by her daughter, Gillian, in Journal number 5, spring 1998, but this is sold out in the shop. Would anybody be kind enough to email me this article? Also is there any further information as to this painting's current whereabouts now that Gillian Baverstock has died? If you can help me, please email me (Vanessa) at I would be most grateful. Many thanks, Vanessa.
Posted by Paul on April 24, 2017
I just want people to hear that the phrase "you talk like the daughter of the dustman" has far more impact and power than whatever replaced it in modern versions of Enid.
BarneyBarney says: Ah yes - that's Janet mocking Sheila in The Twins at St. Clare's. I expect the phrase will have been altered for modern editions but I think it's a shame to change Enid Blyton's words and lose the insight into the language and attitudes of the time.
Posted by Angela Kingston on April 21, 2017
Many thanks for those comments Barney and Paul. I don't plan on using any of Enid's characters at this stage, just Enid herself as a character or presence in the book, but will certainly get any relevant permissions from Hachette and others before I publish.
BarneyBarney says: Good luck with your book, Angela!
Posted by Paul on April 20, 2017
Angela: Being a student of both history and Enid Blyton and having stories where Enid's characters cross over with other authors' creations, I hope you will get permission from Hachette if you are having your novel professionally published. I'm pretty sure that Hachette have lots of things related to Enid copyrighted and/or trademarked.
BarneyBarney says: Yes, it's always a good idea to check out the copyright situation. Angela may well know this already but the contact details for Hachette UK are on their website.
Posted by Pip on April 20, 2017
Hello. Does anyone know how many books were made into audio CDs from the Twins at St Clare's series and the Malory Towers series? I'm looking to buy some if anyone is selling. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Click on our "Cave of Books" button (over on the left) and then scroll down to "Audio Section" and click on that. You'll see a list of all the records, cassettes and CDs that have been produced.
Posted by Angela Kingston on April 20, 2017
Hello, I'm an Australian writer who is interested in Enid's correspondence with her fans, especially in Australia. I'd like to know if anyone has ever collected/published this correspondence, or where I could find examples. I'd also be interested to know if Enid has ever appeared as a character in fiction, as I'm thinking of including her in my next novel. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid there isn't a published collection of correspondence with fans. Letters sometimes come up on eBay or other auction sites and they're usually quite short, with Enid thanking a fan or congratulating them on winning a prize, and letting them know that she's working on another Famous Five (or whatever) book. Enid Blyton appears as a character in Michael Frayn's play Balmoral, set in an alternative 1930s Britain which has undergone a Russian-style revolution.
Posted by Barney the Dog on April 19, 2017
I don't often post on my own Message Board (except to reply to questions!) but I just wanted to let people know we're aware of the problems with the forums and have notified the webmaster. Sorry for any inconvenience. Paws crossed that normal service will resume soon! Edit: All fixed now. Three cheers for our webmaster - he's as good as a dog any day!
Posted by Kendall M on April 18, 2017
As a child I read lots of Enid Blyton books and I'm looking for her books now but keep finding the edited versions of these books which I abhor. Where can I find Enid Blyton untouched books to buy?
BarneyBarney says: Almost all Enid Blyton books have been edited if you buy them new. Luckily, second-hand copies are readily available. You can find them on eBay and Abebooks, at jumble sales and boot sales, in charity shops and from the sellers we list under Lashings of Links.
Posted by Paul on April 17, 2017
Is there a way to find out what was the most "science fiction" of Enid's tales. The one with anti-gravity wings must be a contender?
BarneyBarney says: The Mountain of Adventure could be said to have science fiction elements but it's still an adventure novel. Only the mad king and his cronies really think the anti-gravity wings could work.
Posted by Jenni on April 13, 2017
Julie, I am thrilled you are writing another story and I look forward to it very much!
Posted by Maureen on April 13, 2017
Hi, I'm a 79-year-young Granny now living in Australia. When I was a child during the war years in England I owned, and loved, The Christmas Book by Enid Blyton. I have been trying to research whether a copy of it is still available. Could you let me know? Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Some of the stories/chapters were recently included in Christmas Stories, published in 2014. However, that book doesn't have the same feel to it. The original The Christmas Book had lovely illustrations by Treyer Evans and was beautifully set out. It's no longer in print but I'd recommend getting a secondhand copy, Maureen. Copies sometimes come up on eBay or Abebooks, or you could try the sellers listed under our "Lashings of Links" button (over on the left).
Posted by Julie@owlsdene on April 12, 2017
Hello Jenni, thank you so much and I'm very pleased you liked my Barney Mystery. It is always nice to hear some kind of feedback. I am writing another story for the website, so when that goes up I do hope you'll enjoy reading that story too.
Posted by Braeli on April 11, 2017
I'm doing a research project on British authors and Enid Blyton is one of them. Anyone got a good site I should use? Could I join the Society if there is room?
BarneyBarney says: How about this website?! Click on our "Author of Adventure" and "Cave of Books" buttons (over on the left) and you'll find plenty of information. Regarding the Society, there's always room for new members. The more the merrier as I said to Loretta recently! Click on the "Fireside Journal" button and then on "subscribing" to find out how to join.
Posted by Jenni on April 11, 2017
Julie, I loved your Barney story and am sorry it has finished. Please put pen to paper again soon! Thank you, Jenni.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you for your kind words, Jenni. I know Julie will be delighted that you enjoyed the story so much.
Posted by Kim on April 10, 2017
In reply to Melissa's search for a story entitled 'Don't Cut the Lawn' - a quick 'Google' search resulted in a story by that name written by Margaret Mahy. It was published in The School Magazine and the following link provides a PDF of the story: Don't Cut the Lawn
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Kim!
Posted by Melissa on April 9, 2017
Hello, I wondered if anyone could help me. When I was younger my sister and I had a collection of stories called Stories for 5 Year Olds by Enid Blyton which had a story in it called 'Don't Cut the Lawn' which we still quote now. I would love to get a hold of that story for my two year old niece but I can't find it anywhere! Sophie was born in 1985 so the book will have been published about 1990. Has anyone heard of it? Thanks, Melissa.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know of a story with that title, Melissa. Was it definitely by Enid Blyton? Regarding the book title, there are Blyton books called Five-Minute Tales (1933), Five O'Clock Tales (1941) and Best Stories for Five-Year-Olds (1997) but they don't contain a story called 'Don't Cut the Lawn'. I hope someone is able to help.
Posted by Natalie on April 3, 2017
I am reluctantly selling a lovely 1943 first edition copy of The Magic Faraway Tree if anyone is interested? Thanks, Natalie.
BarneyBarney says: Your email address won't show up in your message, Natalie, so I'll put it here so people can contact you if they're interested: You might also like to put a message in the "For Sale" section of our forums. People have to register to join the forums, but registration is free of charge.
Posted by Loretta Nauth on March 31, 2017
Hello, I would like to join the Enid Blyton Society if there's room. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: The more the merrier, Loretta! Click on the "Fireside Journal" button (over on the left) and then on "subscribing" to find out how to join.
Posted by Hazel on March 31, 2017
Hi Barney, I think there has been a post about this before but I bought my daughter a second hand copy of the Survival Guide book and it didn't come with the code breaker bookmark. Is there anyone who could send us a scan of it please as she is very disappointed? Many thanks, Hazel.
Posted by Paul on March 27, 2017
What food sounded the tastiest, Barney? For me it's Google Buns with the sherbet. Sadly, with my diabetes, I could not partake of a Google Bun.
BarneyBarney says: Sorry to hear that. We dogs are discouraged from eating buns (Google or otherwise) too, but my favourite Blytonian treats are juicy bones, sausages and potted meat. Oh, and I wouldn't mind joining Buster in nipping Goon's ankles!
Posted by Francesca on March 26, 2017
Hello! Like everyone on here, I love Enid Blyton and growing up was desperate to go to Malory Towers, or be in a club like the Secret Seven. The characters in her books had a very different life and outlook to that which is possible today. I'm writing a piece about what lessons we can take from Blyton's children to teach to our own, and would love your thoughts! I can, of course, credit you, or remain anonymous, or we can just chat about it for fun! Thank you in advance xx
BarneyBarney says: I'd say that Enid Blyton encouraged children to be like dogs - brave, clever, loyal, observant, friendly, forgiving, positive and full of boundless energy! I don't know whether you're a member of our forums, Francesca, but if you joined you could either start a thread on the topic or search for key words like "morals", "lessons" and "wisdom" to see what has already been discussed. If you wish to quote anyone you could contact them via private message.
Posted by Ron on March 24, 2017
I wondered if there is a particular tree which inspired the magic tree as I have been told it is a huge sweet chestnut in Forest Row.
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean the Magic Faraway Tree, Ron? I'm not sure that it was inspired by any particular tree. Enid Blyton loved trees in general and would have known myths and legends about trees such as Yggdrasil in Norse mythology, which connects nine worlds. She probably also knew the Elfin Oak in Kensington Gardens.
Posted by Julie on March 24, 2017
In reference to Tina's query & Barney's reply (March 19th) - The 13 colour plates are from Teachers' World & Schoolmistress definitely dated 1935-36. One example is - 'The Story of King Canute', dated 18/09/1935. Reference is made on this site, but we're trying to locate more information on the collection we have.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you for coming back on that, Julie. I barked out a message to my pedigree chum, Fido, about this and you're right that the plates were done for Teachers World in 1935-36, to accompany a 32-part history series written by Enid Blyton. Interesting stuff! You should have received an email from the Society.
Posted by Sherilee on March 21, 2017
Good afternoon. I hope someone can help me. I had many Enid Blyton books as a child, one in particular was a great favourite. It was one of her storybooks and contained a story about two sisters, one nice and one not so nice! The key points were that one sister chose an opulent cloak and the other a very modest cloak and also the same with brooches. One chose an expensive frog brooch, the other a dainty bird brooch. Can anyone tell me the name of the story and which book(s) it appears in please? Thank you very much.
BarneyBarney says: Ah yes - you're thinking of 'The Little Candy House'. The two sisters are called Rosemary and Rosalind. The story appeared in Enid Blyton's Fireside Tales (Collins, 1966) and several earlier books as you can see here.
Posted by Rosie on March 21, 2017
Hello Barney, No I am not a member yet, but sure will be looking into it after this. Thanks a bunch! Rosie
Posted by Jane on March 19, 2017
Hi, does anyone know the books in the "color" version of the Faraway Tree series... I think it started in 2016? I understand in the "original version" it all starts with The Enchanted Wood, introducing the characters and tree etc., then goes on to talk about the different lands. I'm starting my six year old with the color series but I can only find books with "the lands"... nothing about the introduction of the magic Faraway Tree. Any idea what should be the order/sequence of the color series?
BarneyBarney says: If you click on our Cave of Books button (on the left) and put "Faraway Tree Colour Reads" into the search box, you'll see the order in which the colour reads were released. From the titles, it seems that they're just random visits to lands - unless something has been added to the first book (The Land of Birthdays) to introduce the tree and the characters.
Posted by Tina on March 19, 2017
Hello. Can you please advise where I can get some information on Enid Blyton 1935 Teachers World coloured plates. We have 13 of them.
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean the plates for Two Years in the Infant School, Tina? There were 84 altogether and they date from 1938. You can see some of them here. The artwork was by a number of different illustrators, some of whom are identified.
Posted by Rosie on March 19, 2017
Warm greetings, everyone! I will be visiting London this May and would love any ideas for visits to all places Enid Blyton. I read about Beckenham with a lovely tour by Cliff Watkins and Tony Summerfield of the Enid Blyton Society and would love to partake of this tour. Could anyone help me with this please? Thank you so much.
BarneyBarney says: Are you a member of our forums, Rosie? If you join you'll be able to search the forums for words like "Beckenham", "Beaconsfield", "Swanage", "Purbeck", "Old Thatch", "Green Hedges", "Seckford Hall" and "Bekonscot". That will bring up several discussions about possible places to visit. It depends how much time you've got and whether you're only able to go to places near London.
Posted by Amanda Garrett on March 19, 2017
Hi, I have what I believe are four 1st edition Noddy books. Is there a market for these? Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: There may well be, but it all depends on the condition. You could check eBay and Abebooks to see what similar books have sold for.
Posted by Sue Lilly on March 18, 2017
I am trying to find the book that my name came from. My mother named me Keishia. She says it is from an Enid Blyton book. Mum's memory can be tricky at this is very much appreciated. Thanks so much in advance.
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone is able to help. There's an Aunt Keziah The Three Golliwogs but I don't remember seeing the name Keishia in an Enid Blyton book. If it's from a book by another author, maybe someone will know.
Posted by Sue Underwood on March 17, 2017
Have discovered an Enid Blyton second Magazine Annual in reasonable condition except for some scribble on one page and some colouring in of a few plain illustrations. It has a foreword by Enid Blyton herself. Would it be of interest to anyone in your society please?
BarneyBarney says: I think more people would see your message if you joined our forums and posted under 'For Sale', Sue. If anyone wants to respond to Sue on this Message Board, I'll include your email address in your message so Sue can contact you.
Posted by Azhar Abbas on March 16, 2017
I have read the book The Magic Ice Cream. One of its stories was 'The Dirty Little Boy'. Please do confirm who wrote this story and when it was published first.
BarneyBarney says: I believe that all the stories in The Magic Ice Cream are by Enid Blyton, though sometimes she retold old legends and folk-tales. I haven't read 'The Dirty Little Boy' but our Cave of Books lists the story as "untraced" which means it may have been printed somewhere earlier. There was a story of that title in the magazine Sunny Stories for Little Folks, Issue 244, August 1936. However, I don't know whether it's the same tale as Enid Blyton sometimes used the same title for different stories.
Posted by JP on March 16, 2017
I have come across some old 1946 books by Enid, Amelia Jane Again. Are they any good?
BarneyBarney says: I'm not sure I understand the question. Amelia Jane Again! is only one book and the only way to decide whether it's good is to read it! The Amelia Jane books are aimed at young children under the age of seven or so. Nevertheless, some people a lot older than that still enjoy them!
Posted by Chloe on March 15, 2017
Barney, why did Enid Blyton's mom lie to her saying, "He's moved away for work business" when actually her mom and dad split up? PS: My school were writing biographies about our favourite authors. I chose Enid. And now we're writing to the fan clubs. PS: I'm called Chloe. Xxxxx
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you chose Enid Blyton for your biography, Chloe. Enid and her brothers knew their parents had split up but their mother asked them to tell people their father was merely away on business. The breakdown of a marriage was considered a scandal in those days and Enid's mother, Theresa, was keen to avoid disgrace and humiliation.
Posted by Orlaigh on March 6, 2017
Hello. I'm an A Level English student completing coursework on gender stereotyping in books. I would be so grateful if you could send me your views on gender stereotyping in children's books. Thank you for your help. Orlaigh Toner
BarneyBarney says: If you're interested in people's opinions, why not search our forums for key words like "gender", "roles", "housewife", etc.? There has been a lot of discussion on the issue over the years.
Posted by Zoe Ross on March 5, 2017
I have the Faraway Tree series and an audiobook and I love it. I'm making you my favourite author.
Posted by Aminmec on March 4, 2017
Hi Barney. I am a little confused with regards to the Willow Farm books. In the Dean hardcover format there is The Children of Willow Farm and More Adventures on Willow Farm. In the Armada paperback edition there is The Children of Willow Farm, Adventures on Willow Farm and More Adventures on Willow Farm if I'm correct. How come Dean doesn't have Adventures on Willow Farm?
BarneyBarney says: I haven't seen the Armada editions but I believe that the title Adventures on Willow Farm was used at one stage as an alternative title for More Adventures on Willow Farm. Don't forget that the series consists of three books, the first being The Children of Cherry Tree Farm.
Posted by Nashrah Tanvir on March 2, 2017
Hi, I wanted to ask if tricks like invisible chalk (from Second Form at Malory Towers) and stink balls (from Claudine at St. Clare's) really existed? I honestly enjoyed tricks in these boarding school books. But at first invisible chalk looked mysterious to me. I haven't ever heard of it before reading Malory Towers.
BarneyBarney says: Stink balls (normally called stink bombs) certainly exist, as do/did some of the other tricks Enid Blyton mentions in her school stories - e.g. sneezing powder, fake biscuits, protruding teeth, etc. I don't know about the invisible chalk though! Terry Gustafson once wrote in The Enid Blyton Society Journal about a real catalogue called Ellisdons which advertised tricks and jokes, and which may have inspired Enid Byton. A catalogue of tricks and jokes is mentioned in one of the Malory Towers books.
Posted by Jamie Pierce on March 2, 2017
Why was June Johns such a mischievous child?
BarneyBarney says: Because the Malory Towers series wouldn't be as interesting if all the characters were perfect! That applies to other books too. Even Bets says in The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters that she doesn't enjoy reading about goody-goody children!
Posted by Aleasha on February 28, 2017
Hi, this is in relation to the comment by L. Yes, there was 'Binky the Borrower' in a collection of short stories. I still have it. He was a pixie/elf and used to go around borrowing items from others but never returning them and then someone taught him a lesson and manners.
BarneyBarney says: That's great, Aleasha! A wuff of thanks to you!
Posted by L on February 25, 2017
Cannot find this story at all! A gnome or elf named Binky went around the town annoying everyone looking for something he had lost, presumably his bobble, and in the end it was his manners he had lost all along. Any ideas at all would be great! We're looking at a very old book here. It was in a collection of stories.
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone is able to help. In the meantime, if you visit our Cave of Books and search for words like "Binky", "Binkie" or other terms that may possibly have been in the title, something might come up.
Posted by Sunskriti on February 15, 2017
Hey Barney! Darrell71 here. A quick question for you. I've read almost all of Pamela Cox's continuation books (Malory Towers and St.Clare's) and Anne Digby's continuations too (The Naughtiest Girl). I could, of course, find reviews online if I searched, but as this is pretty much the official Enid Blyton website, I was wondering what you guys/dogs think about those books. I mean, basically, as continuation books of some of the best Enid Blyton series, are there positive opinions overall or negative? Love and treats for you!
BarneyBarney says: A wuff of thanks for the treats, Sunskriti! Pamela Cox's continuation books have been generally well received, but opinions on Anne Digby's have been mixed. Pamela Cox had been a fan of Enid Blyton's school stories since childhood and she decided to write her first two St. Clare's books because she had always wondered about the "missing" years in the series. I think I'm right in saying that Anne Digby didn't know the Naughtiest Girl books well before being commissioned to continue the series and that she was approached by the publishers because her own Trebizon boarding school stories were so popular. If you search for "Pamela Cox" and "Anne Digby" in the forums, you'll be able to read the views of Blyton enthusiasts.
Posted by Aminmec on February 15, 2017
The illustrations in the Mammoth books match the Dragon books. I hope the text is also retained (as Mammoth are the ones I am taking pains collecting). The Noddy books seem exciting. Are you looking to sell them, Linda?
Posted by Linda Elliott on February 13, 2017
I have a full set of hardback Noddy books with dustcovers, purchased 1979/1980, new, good condition (not written or scribbled in). Made and printed in Great Britain by Purnell and Sons Ltd. Paulton (Somerset) and London. Copyright Enid Blyton as to the text herein and Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd., as to the artwork herein 1963. Are they likely to be of any real value other than sentimental please?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we can't give valuations but you could get an idea of what they're worth by looking up similar books on eBay and Abebooks and seeing what they sell for.
Posted by Aminmec on February 12, 2017
Hello Barney, for the first time I came across a vintage hardcover of The Mystery of the Invisible Thief. I saw the illustrations by artist Treyer Evans for the first time. The dark blue 90s Mammoth editions and also the Dragon paperbacks have different artists (two if I know correctly). How come the Treyer Evans drawings were not continued in the Dragon and Mammoth books? Also is there a possibility that the text is altered in them (especially the Mammoth books)?
BarneyBarney says: Publishers often change the illustrations when they think the old ones are beginning to look old-fashioned or they simply want to give the series a fresh look. I think the Dragon paperbacks have the original text if you're talking about the ones from the 1960s and 70s, though I can't be 100% sure. I don't know about the Mammoth editions but maybe someone else can help.
Posted by Aminmec on February 10, 2017
Thanks Barney. So I understand the 24 books with golly (hardcovers with jackets, without jackets and paperbacks) are unaltered. However, I don't know about the square books from the 80s illustrated by Edgar Hodges you speak of. Are they to be counted as authored by Blyton or are the 24 the final number?
BarneyBarney says: Yes, I think the 24 books have the unaltered text if they have a golly on the cover. I don't know whether anyone else reading this knows any different? Don't worry about the books with illustrations by Edgar Hodges. They're the same 24 titles but heavily abridged (or some of the 24 anyway, as I'm not sure whether all of them were released in that format).
Posted by Aminmec on February 10, 2017
Hi Barney, Have there been any alterations done in the hardcover Noddy books by Purnell in the 80s (the golly ones)? Do any differences exist between the Noddy books with jackets and the 80s Purnell ones without dust jackets?
BarneyBarney says: If they have a golly on the cover I think the text would be the same as the original, Aminmec. The ones with illustrations by Edgar Hodges (squarish books dating from the mid to late 80s) are heavily abridged.
Posted by J. Percival on February 6, 2017
An article about Enid Blyton in today's Eastern Day Press reminded me that I had a copy of The Story of My Life that is signed and she personally gave it to me. My grandparents lived in Beaconsfield and my grandfather did all her electrics etc. and my grandmother arranged for me to go to tea with her when she gave me the book.
BarneyBarney says: That sounds exciting, J. Percival. A memory to treasure! I wonder if you've ever thought of writing an article about your meeting with Enid Blyton for our thrice-yearly Journal? I'm sure readers would love to hear all about it. It's up to you, of course, but if you'd like to write something please get in touch (see "Contact Us" at the top of this page).
Posted by Mark Lawrence on February 6, 2017
I am currently writing an an article on the yellow hammer for the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) magazine Life Cycle. At the beginning of the article, I start with Enid Blyton, who coined the phrase of the yellow hammer's song "A little bit of bread but no cheese" its British nature folklore. I am trying to find where this came from. I have an idea it may be written in her book Nature Lover's Book, of which I have ordered a copy, or is it taken from her poem 'The Yellowhammer' which I can't find anywhere? Can anybody help?
BarneyBarney says: The phrase is mentioned in quite a few Enid Blyton books, Mark. I can't remember exactly which ones but I can tell you that it appears in the poem 'The Yellowhammer' which begins: "OH, little yellowhammer,/Do tell me why you clamour/For a little bit of bread and no cheese!" (originally published in Teachers World No.1469, July 22nd, 1931). Enid Blyton didn't coin the phrase. It's mentioned in books by other authors including The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes by Beatrix Potter (1911). Beatrix Potter writes of birds twittering: "And another sang - "Little bita bread and - no - cheese!"
Posted by Nashrah Tanvir on February 2, 2017
This society is quite nice and I like reading the Secret Messages here. Anjana, I think that thought of opening an Enid Blyton theme library is just great. May I ask you in which state are you planning to open? As you see I am also an Indian.