The Enid Blyton Society

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Posted by Snehalatha Nair on July 2, 2015
I have read Enid Blyton for years - 55 years nearly. She has really made me a better person in every way. Thank you, Enid Blyton. I love you so much.
Posted by Christine on July 2, 2015
Can anyone help me? When I was younger my father would read to me before going to bed. I have unfortunately lost my prize books due to a fire long ago, but I remember part of a poem which my father read to me and would like to have a copy of the full verse. It goes something along the lines of "Sea ho Sea you are tickling me, Whilst splashing about on the beach, your waves come out and splash about but my toes you cannot reach." Can anyone help me? I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Christine.
BarneyBarney says: The poem you're thinking of is 'You Can't Catch Me!': Sea! Sea!/You can't catch me!/I'm dancing about on the beach;/Your waves come out,/And splash about,/But my toes you cannot reach!/Sea! Oh sea!/You are tricking me!/You sent a big wave so far/That it wetted my frock -/I did get a shock!/Oh, what a bad fellow you are!
Posted by Andrew Parsell on July 2, 2015
Hallo there. Anyone able to tell me when R series, Adventurous Four series, holiday house, secret Island and Treasure Hunters will be available on Kindle with and not the American site? I know Rockingdown M is available from USA Kindle, but don't wish to connect to them. Thanks Andrew
BarneyBarney says: None of these books are technically in print at the moment as they have just changed publishers. You are going to have to wait until the books are republished before Kindle editions will be available.
Posted by Jonathan Goldberg on July 2, 2015
I run a French-language blog Le mot juste en anglais that aspires to open a window on the English language and English literature and culture for our French readers. We would like to find someone who could write an article giving a bird's eye view of the significant and lasting place held by Enid Blyton in children's literature. Any suitable candidate is requested to e-mail me. Thank you very much. Jonathan Goldberg, Los Angeles.
Posted by Farwa on June 30, 2015
Beautiful message, Beverley! Indeed, Enid Blyton mixes such nice things in her stories, they become memorable, and simply great!
Posted by Susan Webster on June 30, 2015
Hi, Beverley. I was involved in the original Famous Five Club and through it learned how to be caring, considerate and compassionate as the club helped children less fortunate than ourselves. The children in the Secret Seven and Famous Five are polite, helpful, sensible and caring so I used to try and be like them. A lot has rubbed off on me so, like you, I thank Enid Blyton for making me a better person. But all thanks to my wonderful saviour Jesus who wonderfully changed my life when I was 16 and is still an amazing person 47 years on!
Posted by Beverley on June 27, 2015
As a seven-year-old, many many decades ago, I started reading Enid Blytons. I fell in love and never stopped. She taught me about ethics, emotional intelligence, courage, strength, all the while accepting human frailties and idiosyncrasies, in an atmosphere of fun, adventure and respect. Thank you Enid Blyton. You made me a better person.
BarneyBarney says: A lovely message, Beverley! You've summed up what makes Enid Blyton books so special.
Posted by Hel on June 26, 2015
Does anyone know which story contains a character wearing multiple pairs of spectacles at the same time? The only other detail I can remember is that the others in the story were not allowed to ask why he was wearing so many pairs of spectacles. Please help, been driving me mad for years. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: I'm not sure if it's the story you're thinking of, but the Ho-ho Wizard in Adventures of the Wishing-Chair wears three pairs of spectacles at once. Peter and Mollie don't ask him about his glasses but he's a sinister fellow and is very angry when Peter refuses to do something he asks.
Posted by Bruce Russell on June 21, 2015
I am trying to find out whatever happened to Dorothy Richards. Does anyone have that information?
Posted by Jayne on June 18, 2015
Early 50s bedtime stories. It was a cloudy day but if enough blue sky appeared to make a pair of trousers for a sailor, the sun would come out. I would love to read this story to my grandsons.
BarneyBarney says: You might be thinking of the story A Bit of Blue Sky. Harry and Joan want to play in the garden but it's cloudy and looks as if it's going to rain. Old Nannie Wimple tells them the sun might come out if there's enough blue sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers.
Posted by Viv of Ginger Pop on June 14, 2015
Wow - thanks Becky. I've opened a forums thread on the uncertain future of Ginger Pop, but the shop at Corfe Castle is open summer 2015.
Posted by Becky on June 14, 2015
I was just looking into planning a trip to Dorset where we had some wonderful times a few years ago when my children were a bit younger. We all agreed we'd love to revisit the Ginger Pop Shop and the Illustrated Worlds of Eileen Soper, such magical places like nowhere else. I remember the guided walks around Corfe Castle by the wonderful Viv Endecott too. I've discovered very sadly that these places seem to have gone and I can't believe it's true. It feels like a real stab of pain, I know Viv was a wonderful eccentric who had fabulous ideas and made some amazing, unique things happen for children and grown up children alike. If there's any way to let her know, she meant the world to me and my children with everything she did and it's my dearest wish that somehow she can come back and do more, even if it's just the occasional guided walk. Surely if money was an issue plenty of people would back a kickstarter campaign or something. If there's any chance you are reading this Viv - you meant the world to us with your unique knowledge, imagination, drive and wonderful ideas. I just can't put it into words. I'd give my life savings to see you start up something again. Sending you very much love, gratitude and appreciation.
BarneyBarney says: The Ginger Pop Shop in Corfe is still there, Becky, though Eileen Soper's Illustrated Worlds in Poole is sadly no more. Magical places, as you said. Viv still looks in on the forums and I'll make sure she sees your message.
Posted by Lynsey on June 11, 2015
Hi, I've been trying to find a book I loved as a child for my daughter. It's about a brother and sister who run away and make a home inside a tree trunk. They meet a rich little girl who helps them. Anyone got any ideas on the title please?
BarneyBarney says: You're thinking of Hollow Tree House, Lynsey. The brother and sister who go to live in a hollow tree are called Peter and Susan, and the girl who helps them is Angela.
Posted by Susan Webster on June 9, 2015
Hi Lachlan - good Scottish name - glad you like the Famous Five. You could join the Famous Five Club on the forums if you like. Click on "Miscellaneous Blyton" and then click on "Famous Five Club" and join in the fun! There's a Secret Seven Club too. No charge for either club. If you'd like a club badge send me your address by PM and I'll get one made for you and send it.
Posted by Lachlan Denbrok on June 3, 2015
Dear Ms Blyton, Hello, my name is Lachlan and I live in Victoria, Australia. I love the Famous Five series (I've only read that series) and I have read four books. They are fabulous. Keep up all the good work to whoever is out there. Yours gratefully, Lachlan.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Lachlan. Enid Blyton died in 1968 but the best of her lives on in her books, which are still enjoyed by children (and some adults) all over the world. She would be delighted to know that you love the Famous Five so much.
Posted by Deborah on May 29, 2015
Many years ago I participated in a Sunday School class and I am almost sure we read an Enid Blyton short story. It was about a girl who lost her hamster and she shared her story with her classmates and a vet at church. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks for any help...Deb
Posted by Wayne Parry on May 25, 2015
Hi, I have a copy of News Chronicle Boys' and Girls' Annual by Enid Blyton. While reading it to my granddaughter I was horrified to discover that page 31-32 was missing. Sadly we do not now know how the story ends. Can anyone supply the missing words? Yours hopefully, Wayne.
Posted by Jacob on May 25, 2015
Thank you Rashmi. Appreciate the support. :)
Posted by Rashmi on May 23, 2015
I fully agree with Jacob (11th and 13th May). Originals should remain as they are, just like the classics. For their own sake, not for the sake of popularity.
Posted by Javier on May 21, 2015
Hi Barney. I hope you are enjoying the spring with long walks and juicy bones. I am a member of the society and I have recently changed my address. Whom should I contact in order to have my address updated so I can keep on receiving the Journal? Thanks for your time!
BarneyBarney says: You need to send your new address to Tony using the email address under the editorial in any issue of the Journal.
Posted by Amaya on May 15, 2015
Hello, couldn't help but note the request to tone down the editing. It does pain me but we need to change as languages evolve. When I was a child the idea that Isabel or Elizabeth were spanked just meant that they were punished mildly. These days the words spank/spanked/spanking have taken devious and dangerous meanings and would not be suitable for use in children's literature. Now we know that it is innocent but that word and many others have got a different meaning these days. This is just an example I cited. Good luck. Enid is Enid even if the language changes.
Posted by Kathy on May 15, 2015
Can someone tell me who holds the copyright now that Chorion is out of business?
BarneyBarney says: The copyright to Enid Blyton's work is now held by Hachette UK (Hodder), except for the Noddy copyright which is held by DreamWorks Animation.
Posted by Snehalatha Nair on May 14, 2015
There is absolutely no need to ''update'' any Enid Blyton book. They are lovely as they are.
Posted by Jacob on May 13, 2015
Hey Tony, I was an avid reader of Enid Blyton during my childhood. Her writing is simple yet deep. It has something that takes the reader into an imaginary world of pixies and goblins and what not. And, her writings have a hallmark, which I think shouldn't be edited. It has all the essence. Messing with it will do more harm than good, methinks. It's not necessary to encourage "the Modern Reader" to read a Blyton book. As the only society of Enid Blyton that I could find online, I was hoping you could do something about it: like online blogs, communication through the internet on a larger scale etc. As you said, children are reading it. And they would even if it's not edited. Blyton books could maybe be classified as a classic. And, it deserves to be as it is. It's just a thought. Not a criticism in any way. P.S.: And you are right. The first part of my post is copied from Wiki. I have cited the source.
BarneyBarney says: I am sure that Tony will be interested to read your reply, Jacob. I am not sure that you could expect over 700 books to be called classics though, but Shadow the Sheepdog would get my vote!
Posted by Tony S on May 12, 2015
Your post is mostly a direct quote from Wikipedia, Jacob Antony M, but the last bit came from you with the order in the final four words, 'Do something about this'. I am not sure if this was directed at our Society, but if so I don't really know what you expect us to do! We are not the copyright holders, nor are we publishers and nor do we sell Enid Blyton books. Unlike the other two authors that you mention, Enid Blyton books were meant for children and the fact that they are still plentifully in print 47 years after Enid's death would seem to say that children are still reading them. For this we should be grateful and probably most of the current child readers are totally unaware of the updates and wouldn't mind about them anyway as they just want to read a good story.
Posted by Jacob Antony M on May 11, 2015
In 2010 Hodder, the publisher of the Famous Five series, announced its intention to update the language used in the books, of which it sold more than half a million copies a year. The changes, which Hodder described as "subtle", mainly affect the dialogue rather than the narrative. For instance, "school tunic" becomes "uniform", "mother and father" becomes "mum and dad",[152] "bathing" is replaced by "swimming", and "jersey" by "jumper".[150] Some commentators see the changes as necessary to encourage modern readers,[152] whereas others regard them as unnecessary and patronising. Source: Wikipedia. Who in their right mind would think about editing a classic? Try editing a Charles Dickens or a Jane Austen. Do something about this.
BarneyBarney says: Minor updating of the Famous Five books actually began in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g decimalisation of currency, "shorts" becoming "jeans" in some passages and "the King" becoming "the Queen"). Heavy updating took place for the 1997 editions, with some titles having more than a hundred edits. The 2010 changes were on top of all of that! Enid Blyton's other books and short stories have undergone editing too, though not to the extent of the Famous Five series. Hodder are aware that some fans don't like the changes but they feel that the books wouldn't sell as well without certain aspects being updated.
Posted by Amaya on May 7, 2015
Hi again Barney, Was Malory Towers located on the coast of Cornwall? Or was it St Clare's or Whyteleafe? Enid's descriptions of the coast of Cornwall in many of her books were so vivid that they gave me goosebumps. Take care.
BarneyBarney says: It was Malory Towers that was on the Cornish coast.
Posted by Eames on May 6, 2015
I have several books and unknown to me (collected since I was a teenager) I have a few 1st editions which I found out via this site. I've no idea how to sell these as I've no idea if anyone would buy them?
BarneyBarney says: You could try listing them on eBay, or in the "For Sale" section of our forums.
Posted by Elaine on May 4, 2015
I know what the whole text is for the poem Plughole Man (9th April) but I'm unsure how to tell you what it is as I am not a member and do not know your email address to send it to you!
BarneyBarney says: You can type the poem into a Message Board post if you like, Elaine, as others who follow the Message Board may well be interested to see it. I know I am! Unfortunately the Message Board doesn't preserve the format of a poem, but I can always put / to mark the end of each line.
Posted by Snehalatha Nair on May 3, 2015
There will be a lovely congregation in church if the sermons are based on Enid Blyton's messages conveyed through her evergreen stories. You will be a much loved pastor, Scott, if you're able to make Blyton come alive once again.
Posted by Anieca on May 3, 2015
I bought The Nursery Book made in 1928 in a car boot. The cover image is of a little girl with a red hat. It's very old. Interesting to read.
Posted by Farwa on May 3, 2015
What a beautiful message, Scott! Enid Blyton's stories are timeless, indeed. Nice idea to put Enid's stories in sermons - very different approach. Have you read The Secret Island? If you haven't, do read it, as it is one of my all-time favourite books, and I am sure you would love it.
Posted by Scott on April 29, 2015
Hello just to say that her books are the best and the Brer Rabbit stories still crack me up to this day. They are a good wind down after revision for exams. You just can't beat the classics. Also I have been reading the The Island of Adventure series and the "O' Clock Tales", just the best. I am going to be a priest in the future and I will put Enid Blyton's stories into one of my sermons. :0 :)Thank you for making reading a complete joy for years and to continue on.
BarneyBarney says: Welcome, Scott. Enid Blyton has helped many through their exams!
Posted by Tessa on April 22, 2015
I'm trying to find the tale of the little pink pig who wasn't very fat and wasn't very big but he always wore a feather in his Sunday hat. I remember my mother saying it to me when I was a small child in the 1950s.
Posted by Espage on April 19, 2015
I am curious to know whether Enid Blyton wrote a young child's book with ten pages called Our Little House. It was published by Dean and Son, 41,43 Ludgate Hill London. The story takes place in the Faraway Wood and there are Faraway elves in it. No author or illustrator mentioned, but must be from around 1945/1950.
BarneyBarney says: Sorry, but I haven't heard of a book with that title.
Posted by Corina on April 17, 2015
Hi everyone, I am looking for the original title of the book about a chair that will take Mollie and Peter everywhere they want to go. I only know it in German, since I am from Switzerland. I so loved these books when I was a girl and would love to read them in English now. Can you help me? Thanks. :-)
BarneyBarney says: The Wishing-Chair books about Mollie, Peter and Chinky the pixie are wonderful fantasy stories. Enid Blyton brought out two Wishing-Chair books in her lifetime - Adventures of the Wishing-Chair and The Wishing-Chair Again. In recent years, a third book has been released called More Wishing-Chair Stories. It's a collection of discarded chapters and Wishing-Chair tales taken from anthologies, etc.
Posted by Andrea on April 15, 2015
Is there a copyright on images in any of the Enid Blyton books? I paper cut and was looking at doing a few to sell if I can.
BarneyBarney says: That sounds interesting, Andrea. I'm not sure what the copyright laws are regarding images so you'd need to check with Hodder Children's Books (part of Hachette), who own the Enid Blyton copyright. The copyright to Noddy is held separately, by DreamWorks Animation. Check their websites for contact details.
Posted by Jay on April 11, 2015
Hey Barney, Have you heard of the Faraway Tree movie coming up and the new Noddy, Toyland Detective TV series? Thanks, Jay.
BarneyBarney says: I've heard that they're being made, but time will tell whether they're any good!
Posted by Kim on April 11, 2015
Hi, we have been looking for a copy of the book The Folk of the Faraway Tree, in particular the large hardcover book with the 1983 cover (illustrations by Georgina Hargreaves). We had this many years ago with our older children, and are looking to obtain a copy for our younger children. If anyone could help, that would be awesome! We live in Canada.
Posted by Irving Braxiatel on April 9, 2015
Does anyone have the text of a poem by Enid's nephew Carey Blyton, which starts: "I know you're down there plug-hole man, in the dark so utter"?
BarneyBarney says: I don't know that poem, but it sounds good! I hope someone will be able to help.
Posted by Amaya on April 7, 2015
The Six Bad Boys seems to be a detour for Enid from her usual themes. Here she explores the darker aspects of childhood and family. Was it an intentional bid to move away from stereotype? Either way I liked the book.
BarneyBarney says: The Six Bad Boys is indeed an unusual book, and highly rated. It deals with themes which were of concern to Enid Blyton at the time. She was greatly respected as an entertainer and educator of children and she had become used to being invited to give her views on topical issues such as working mothers, capital punishment and the influence of comics and the cinema on children's behaviour. She got to know magistrate Basil Henriques and made visits to juvenile courts. Since publishers Lutterworth Press required family stories with a strong moral message, the book was perfect for them.
Posted by Luke on March 30, 2015
Why can't the Famous Five meet up with Nobby again because they only see the people in the mysteries once, then never contact them again?
BarneyBarney says: A couple of additional child characters appear in more than one book (namely Jo and Tinker) but in most cases Enid Blyton probably preferred to introduce new characters - especially ones who had a connection to new locations.
Posted by Virpi Koskela on March 27, 2015
Which date is the Enid Blyton Day this year?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid there is no Enid Blyton Day this year, Virpi.
Posted by Amaya on March 27, 2015
Thank you Barney, for the quick reply on Richmal Crompton and Enid Blyton. Now I am pretty sure that J K Rowling was influenced by both. Do you agree?
BarneyBarney says: It's hard to say, though we know J K Rowling read some Enid Blyton and she would certainly be aware of "Just William" too. What shines through most in the Harry Potter books is J K Rowling's love of ancient myths and legends.
Posted by Amaya on March 26, 2015
By any chance was Enid Blyton influenced by Richmal Crompton or vice versa? I believe they worked during the same time period.
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton and Richmal Crompton did meet but they were both well-established as authors by that time and I doubt they influenced one another, though Horace Tipperlong in The Sea of Adventure says he supposes that Jack and the others are "playing at being Just Williams."
Posted by Irene on March 24, 2015
Hi, I am trying to trace a book of short stories by Enid Blyton which I had around 1967-69 (don't know how old the book was though). It was a book of short stories, about each month of the year I think, and two in particular were an auntie who took her bored nephew and niece out in the January snow and showed them all the animal tracks etc, plus there was a story of a very cold fairy who sewed leaves together to make blankets for her and a dormouse so it could hibernate. Does this ring a bell for anyone? I have tried trawling through the book list, but unless there is a breakdown of chapter titles I can't tell from the cover. Thanks in advance.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Irene! I think the book you want is Tales of Green Hedges, which has two stories for each month of the year. The stories you mentioned are 'The Winter Wide-Awakes' (December) and 'The Dormouse and the Fairy' (January). You'll see two listings for Tales of Green Hedges in the Cave of Books. One was published by the National Magazine Co. in 1946 and has illustrations by Gwen White. The other was published by World Distributors in 1961 and has illustrations by Joyce A. Johnson.
Posted by Anneysha on March 23, 2015
Hi Barney, Thanks for your wonderful support for making my show a success! We had added visual aids, downloaded from YouTube, and made some of our own (we enacted the play The Naughtiest Girl number 1 and that was great!) We also baked gingerbread and scones as there weren't many in the audience - parents, teachers, vice-principal and principal. Your wonderful ideas rocked and made our performance the best. Thanks a lot Barney! :)- Anneysha
BarneyBarney says: I'm pleased that your performance went so well, Anneysha!
Posted by Farwa on March 17, 2015
In answer to A, I believe you are looking for Five Go Off in a Caravan. Nobby, a circus boy friend, says the line about the torch. I hope this helps.
Posted by Anneysha on March 17, 2015
Thanks Barney for your previous reply. Could I have a few suggestions on Enid Blyton.... activities to cheer my audience and a few exciting ideas? The presentation is ready and you'll be pleased to know that I've recommended The Enid Blyton Society in my presentation as a reference and a portal where Blyton fans can log in and share their thoughts and enjoy themselves. Your co-operation will be really helpful for our project to succeed. Anneysha
BarneyBarney says: Good luck with your presentation. Visual aids always spice up a talk - e.g. pictures of the characters - and if you have time you could perhaps prepare a display of book-jackets over the years to show how the designs have changed. Or if you read a passage which mentions gingerbread and scones (for example) you could bake gingerbread and scones beforehand and hand round little pieces for the audience to taste. Of course, it depends how big the audience is!
Posted by A on March 16, 2015
This is a long shot, when I was younger my father would read the Famous Five to myself and my brother. We would laugh and joke at the stories, and it is one of our favourite past times. We all remember one time when the Famous Five were out on one of their adventures, they had someone else along with them, perhaps a cousin or something. One line we remember from the story, and which has strangely stuck around for years, is "Coo, I've never seen a torch before." We used to own all the Famous Five books, my father has said before that he has reread all the books looking for it. If anyone knows what book this is in, I would be very grateful.