The Enid Blyton Society

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Showing all messages from 2017...

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Posted by Alice on November 22, 2017
Hi, Barney! I'm currently doing my Extended Project as part of my A-level studies. I am focusing on Enid Blyton's books and how society's preoccupations with women influenced her writing. I was wondering if you had any insight into how Enid Blyton was perceived when she first began to start writing. Thank you, Alice x
BarneyBarney says: That's a big question for a dog to answer, Alice! This thread on our discussion forums may be of help. You could also search for other forum discussions by typing key words into the search box. Best of luck with your project!
Posted by Pete9012s on November 22, 2017
I'd like to thank Barney for answering all of OUR questions so kindly and patiently throughout the year. Is there any question Barney YOU would have liked to have asked Enid Blyton if that was possible?
BarneyBarney says: A jolly wag of the tail to you, Pete! I'd like to have asked Enid Blyton if I could go rabbiting with her fox terrier, Bobs!
Posted by Noni on November 20, 2017
Hi, Barney. I want to know what Enid's favourite books were by other authors... and did she have a personal favourite book of her own? Greetings!
BarneyBarney says: We don't know which of her own books Enid Blyton liked best, Noni, but she said in an interview that her favourite character was George (an adventurous girl who wants to be a boy) from the Famous Five series. When Enid Blyton was a child, she loved the magical atmosphere of The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. Other books she enjoyed as a girl included Lewis Carroll's "Alice" books, Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott and The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne.
Posted by Billy on November 20, 2017
They have announced today that the Faraway Tree series is being made into a film by the same people who made the Paddington films!
BarneyBarney says: Yes, that is exciting news!
Posted by Robert Rhomas on November 20, 2017
How have you allowed some of the disgusting books in the new series to be printed? Five Give Up the Booze etc. must make Enid Blyton turn in her grave. Is there no limit to money grabbing?
BarneyBarney says: The Enid Blyton Society had nothing to do with Bruno Vincent's books, Robert. You can see what our forum members think of them here.
Posted by Pippa Thomas on November 18, 2017
Dear Enid Blyton Society, My cousins and I performed a play called 'The Currant Bun'. It was inside one of the annuals, I think approximately 1965 to 1970. Please could I have a copy of this play? I would like to send it to my cousin Joy, who performed the role of Fatty. We all had such a delightful time. Thank you for your help in this matter. Yours, Pippa Thomas.
BarneyBarney says: I'm unable to make a copy of the play but I can tell you the title of the book it was in - Enid Blyton's Book of the Year. It's a very entertaining play to perform or watch.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 17, 2017
I'm kind of peeved that Zerelda has lost her Victory Rolls in modern reprints. She now has a vague and unspecified elaborate hairstyle, probably in an attempt to make Malory Towers less "1940s".
BarneyBarney says: It is a shame when little details like that are lost.
Posted by Lunai Dragonborn on November 15, 2017
I'm re-reading Malory Towers for a bit of light reading, and I'm on the third book. Lossie Laxton has just been mentioned and I was wondering if she was real - or perhaps based on a real person? For example, I know Darrell Rivers was based on Enid's second husband. Thanks for reading this, it was 'wunnerful' of you! ~ Sorry, I couldn't help myself :p
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton probably based Lossie Laxton on the film stars of the day but not necessarily on any particular one - though Deanna Durbin also had an alliterative name and sometimes wore her hair in rolls.
Posted by Tracey on November 15, 2017
Hi, I am looking for a poem about a tall blue policeman who stood in Oxford Street and stopped the traffic for the fairy queen to go by. My gran read it in a book when she was a child in the Second World War but has never found it since. Hope you can help.
BarneyBarney says: The poem your gran remembers is 'The Kind Policeman', Tracey. You can see the poem and publication details here.
Posted by Red on November 13, 2017
I am trying to find the Noddy Happy Families card game you show on your website. Is this still available or reissued? Please let me know where I might find same for my grandchildren. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: It isn't available new but I just checked eBay and there are at least three packs for sale second-hand. If you buy the game, I hope your grandchildren have great fun playing it!
Posted by Jenny Symonds on November 12, 2017
I remember as a child playing with the Noddy Car Game - would love to buy one for my grandson if the cost is reasonable.
BarneyBarney says: There are three available on eBay at the moment, Jenny. If you manage to get one I hope your grandson enjoys the game as much as you did.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 12, 2017
I cannot forgive Enid for accepting uncritically the views of her time that bullying was beneficial for the victim. She even has Darrell say "We were being cruel to be kind". Today, we know the harm bullying can do, not just at the time, but haunting the victim into adult life.
BarneyBarney says: I must say I can't remember Darrell ever setting out to taunt or torment people just for the fun of it. Occasionally she loses her temper and deals out slaps or shoves but she's always horrified with herself afterwards and apologises at the first opportunity. She also takes part in punishing girls who are persistently nasty, e.g. sending Gwendoline to Coventry, but that kind of action is only taken as a last resort. Alicia does seem to get away with being sharp-tongued and hard-hearted though, just because she's lively and clever and plays tricks in lessons.
Posted by Barry on November 10, 2017
Can anyone advise me how to get hold of the poem 'The Tall Daisies' that starts "The Michealmas Daisies have grown so tall/They peep over the garden wall..."? It's a poem our late father recited to us when we very little children and I would like to include it in a memoir I'm doing for the family.
BarneyBarney says: As you can see from our Cave of Books, 'The Tall Daisies' was published in the periodical Child Education in 1925. 'The Very Tall Daisies' also appeared in Autumn Days in 1926, but that might not be the same poem. Early publications like these are hard to find but I hope someone is able to help you, Barry, as it would be lovely if you could include 'The Tall Daisies' in your memoir.
Posted by Joane on November 9, 2017
I have found an original Enid Blyton Patapouf's Circus (copyright 1953). I can't find any information about it and wonder if this is considered a rare find? I am thinking of auctioning it for charity - do you have any information about this book? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Patapouf's Circus is in the Hackett's Little Gift Books series, Joane. The 12 books in that series were originally published in French with illustrations by Pierre Probst, but the author wasn't credited. The "Enid Blyton" versions are translations of the French originals. Whether Enid did the translations or simply agreed to lend her name to the English editions for some reason, no one knows.
Posted by Michelle on November 7, 2017
I am desperately searching for St Clare's audio CDs for my daughter. We have Second Form and Summer Term but cannot find any others. Please can anyone help? She listens to St Clare's and Malory Towers every night. Kind regards.
Posted by Bob Black on November 7, 2017
Hello there: I know you give no values, but a charity has asked me to find out about some Enid Blyton books: two - The Mystery of the Strange Messages and Five Get Into a Fix - I can find nothing about at all. No mention anywhere! They seem to be first editions but the last has Copyright 1957/1958 instead of a date. What does that mean? Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: Five Get Into a Fix was serialised in Enid Blyton's Magazine from July 1957 - May 1958 before being brought out in book form in July 1958, so that would explain the date. If you look in our Cave of Books you can see what the first edition dustwrappers looked like (and boards, in the case of the Famous Five book). However, I'm not certain whether there were any changes for subsequent early editions. If advertising the books for sale online, to avoid any confusion you could include photos of the inside pages showing the dates.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 7, 2017
Reading Blytons with a Christmas theme just reminds me that Christmas is not the same when you are an adult.
BarneyBarney says: Hopefully her stories will help adults recapture that feeling of wonder and joy.
Posted by Barbara Spencer-Jones on November 6, 2017
Are the characters in Enid Blyton's Famous Five books under copyright or can anyone write about the same characters and places?
BarneyBarney says: The books and characters are still under copyright, Barbara. If writing for publication or public performance you'd need to contact the copyright holders, Hachette UK.
Posted by Ciade on November 6, 2017
Hello. Are there any plans to publish, in French, the Malory Towers continuation books (number 7 onwards)? I love these books but I do not speak English. Thank you for your reply. (Bonjour. Est il prévu de publiet, en français, la suite des Malory School (volume 7 et suivants)? J'adore ces livres mais je ne parle pas anglais. Merci pour votre réponse.)
BarneyBarney says: Bonjour, Ciade! I worked magic with my paws to translate your message and I hope you're able to translate my reply. The only way to find out whether the sequels are likely to be published in French would be to contact the publisher of the French editions.
Posted by Iola on November 5, 2017
I am writing a book review as my assignment for college work about the book Amelia Jane is Naughty Again! It asks if the book is equal opportunities. Can anyone help me? The assignment needs to be handed in tomorrow morning! Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: I'm sure you understand your assignment better than we do but the book is about toys which come to life when nobody is around so the stories appeal to boys and girls - and even to some dogs!
Posted by Phil on November 5, 2017
I would like to buy the Faraway Tree series (three books?) but translated into French. Are they available?
BarneyBarney says: The Faraway Tree series is known as "La forêt enchantée" in French but I'm not sure whether the books are currently in print, Phil. You could do an internet search for "La forêt enchantée" and see whether the books come up, either new or second-hand.
Posted by E.S.Black on November 3, 2017
My brother is about 14 years old and we want to improve his English composition. Is there anything for him from my favourite...or any other writer? Please suggest.
BarneyBarney says: Reading anything by Enid Blyton will expose a reader to good grammar, natural-sounding speech rhythms and economy of expression. If your brother wants to examine specific things, e.g. how a plot is constructed, The Six Bad Boys would be a good book to choose. Enid Blyton moves between three families as well as sketching in the backgrounds of several other children outside those families, skilfully weaving all their dramas into one narrative. She deals with tough situations and emotional events without becoming too sentimental. The Valley of Adventure would be perfect for studying the construction of an adventure story as it includes pathos, history and some interesting and unusual characters - as well as being a fast-paced, thrilling adventure full of memorable scenes. Look at the descriptions to see how atmosphere is created. Regarding non-fiction, your brother could read Enid Blyton's Nature Lover's Book or Enid Blyton's Animal Lover's Book to see how facts are presented with an air of discovery and excitement, often through children going exploring with an adult who introduces them to the wonders of the natural world. The personal touch helps bring things to life. When it comes to other authors, there are many who write with mastery and succeed in drawing the reader into another world. Has your brother tried Anthony Horowitz, Julia Golding or Sally Gardner? There are also classics like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Posted by E.S.Black on November 1, 2017
I have little cousins about 2 to 8 years old. Please suggest stories for them.
BarneyBarney says: All children are different but, as a rough guide, I'd suggest Noddy and Mary Mouse for the under 5s. The short stories about characters like Mr. Pink-Whistle or Mr. Meddle, or about fairy-folk or naughty children etc., are perfect for boys and girls aged about 5-8. The Faraway Tree and Wishing-Chair books are great for that age-group as well, and so is The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies. Don't forget the Galliano's Circus and Willow Farm series too. Many readers are ready for the mystery and adventure books around the age of 7 or 8, perhaps starting with the Secret Seven series and moving on to the Famous Five, etc.
Posted by Jayne on November 1, 2017
I am helping a friend clear her father's house and have found The Talking Teapot by Enid Blyton which I've found on your site. It appears this was published in 1940 which is when my friend's father would have received it. Do you know if this was published after this year as I want to get my facts right before listing to sell?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know whether that edition was reprinted. Are any dates given at the front of the book? Some publishers include a lot of detail about different printings and impressions but others (frustratingly) don't.
Posted by Shekina on October 31, 2017
Hi, I live in Melbourne but my parents are from Tamil Nadu. My parents suggested me to read Enid Blyton although I'm twelve. Please send me a suggestion of what book series I should read to improve my vocabulary.
BarneyBarney says: As you're twelve you'd probably enjoy some of the more mature books, Shekina. I'd particularly recommend the Adventure series, the Barney series, The Six Bad Boys and House-at-the-Corner.
Posted by Jane on October 29, 2017
Hello, I am in the U.S. and just heard of Enid Blyton from a local Indian-American magazine. I would like to read one of her books (I'm an adult). Please send me suggestions for a good book to start with. jane4338@hotmail.com Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton wrote so many brilliant books that it's hard to know where to start, Jane! Particularly popular with adults (as well as children) are the Adventure series, the Barney mysteries and the Famous Five. I'd recommend beginning with the Adventure series (The Valley of Adventure and The Sea of Adventure are two of Enid Blyton's most praised books). Some of her novels about family crises also have a lot of adult appeal, especially The Six Bad Boys and the two "Six Cousins" titles. The Naughtiest Girl in the School is also mentioned frequently by readers of all ages as it's an unusual school story about a co-educational school where the children deal with punishments and rewards themselves.
Posted by Paul Austin on October 26, 2017
You can't remove reference to George's short hair making her look like a boy because girls don't need long hair to be feminine when the entire point of her character is that she likes being mistaken for a boy and would prefer to be one. You can't take away Dame Slap's corporal punishment because she was supposed to show that it is wrong and abhorrent. Enid's attitude towards race is far too often innocently insensitive but as that quote from 'A Fine Defence of Enid Blyton' said, she was born a Victorian and had an Edwardian upbringing.
BarneyBarney says: Readers will absorb a fair amount of fascinating social history if they approach older books with the understanding that attitudes change over time - as well as enjoying some cracking stories!
Posted by Mary on October 26, 2017
Who was Enid Blyton inspired by to write amazing stories?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton was inspired by books she read, people she knew, things she saw and things she did. As a girl she enjoyed making up stories for her younger brothers and found that stories came flooding into her head at night when she lay down to sleep. She was delighted when Arthur Mee printed one of her poems in his magazine. Enid's parents didn't take her writing seriously as they expected her to become a pianist like her aunt, but her schoolfriend's aunt (Mabel Attenborough) encouraged her.
Posted by Mary on October 24, 2017
Were the characters from the Five Find-Outers and Famous Five real characters in Enid Blyton's life when she was a child/teenager?
BarneyBarney says: It's unlikely that Enid Blyton based many of her characters firmly on specific people, though she may well have thrown certain traits from real-life acquaintances into the mix. As far as the Famous Five are concerned, Enid seems to have put aspects of herself into the character of George as Enid was a feisty, hot-tempered girl with a strong sense of justice. We also learn that Anne collects horse-brasses just like Enid's younger daughter, Imogen. Turning to the Find-Outers books, Enid Blyton told readers that Fatty was based on "a plump, ingenious, very amusing boy" she had once known. You can find out more about real-life influences here.
Posted by Sharonjacques on October 23, 2017
Please could anyone tell me as to whether or not the Mary Mouse stories were put all together into one book and if so the title, and where I could buy it from? Thanks very much for helping me out.
BarneyBarney says: Unfortunately I don't think the Mary Mouse stories have been brought out as a complete collection, Sharon. If you look in the Cave of Books you can see the different editions of the Mary Mouse books that have appeared over the years.
Posted by Chloè on October 23, 2017
Hello Enid Blyton, I'm Chloè Jungers, a fifth-grade girl, and I love your Famous Five books. I also like adventures and nature. I do not have a favourite colour and my favourite sport is swimming. I'm sending you this email to find out a bit more about a good author. Do you have tips on writing? Do you come up with the title first, or the story? Why do you write? What is your nationality? Thank you for your books. Greetings, Chloè. P.S. I am ten years old. (Hallo Enid Blyton, Ik Ben Chloè Jungers, een meisje van het 5de leerjaar en ik hou van youw boeken De Vijf.Ik hou ook van adventuren en natuur.Ik heb geen lievelings kleur en mijn lievelings sport is zwemmen.Ik stuur je deze mailt om een beetje meer over een goede shrijver te weten.Heb jij tips om te schrijven? Vind jij eerst de titel of eerst het verhaal? Waarom schrijf je? Wat is youw nationaliteit? Dank u voor uw boeken, groetjes, Chloè. PS: Ik ben 10 jaar.)
BarneyBarney says: I worked magic with my paws to translate your message into English, Chloè! I hope you'll be able to translate my reply if you need to - as well as the information in this link, which will tell you a lot about the way Enid Blyton wrote. Like you, Enid Blyton loved swimming. She used to swim round both piers at Swanage when she went there on holiday (nowadays, Swanage only has one pier).
Posted by Caroline Siegel on October 22, 2017
Hi. I still have Enid Blyton's Bedtime Annual 1981 which I would now like to give to my granddaughter. Unfortunately one page is missing. It is page 9/10 (Mr Stamp-About). Is it possible to copy and email this page to me? Thank you kindly, Caroline Siegel.
BarneyBarney says: I've just had a look at the annual with the aim of helping you, Caroline, but I'm wondering whether you do have a page missing after all. The Mr Stamp-About story finishes on page 8 (the last few paragraphs are at the top of the right-hand column) and there's a poem on page 9 - 'I Am the Night'. A Brer Rabbit story begins on page 10.
Posted by Mary on October 22, 2017
I have another question, about the Secret Seven. Didn’t they make a sequel, and if so do they still make them?
BarneyBarney says: Twelve Secret Seven sequels by Evelyne Lallemand were published in French in the 1970s-80s, nine of which were translated into English and published as Knight paperbacks between 1983 and 1987. They're out of print but may still be available second-hand. New sequels by Pamela Butchart are due to be published from July 2018, the first being The Mystery of the Skull. We also have a couple of Secret Seven sequels in our Secret Passage, written by Ilsa Cheeseman and Julie Heginbotham, along with continuation books for other Blyton series. They are available to Society members/Journal subscribers.
Posted by Mary on October 20, 2017
I have a question about one of the books. In The Famous Five's Survival Guide I tried to look for the answer for finding out the location of the Royal Dragon on the website but I couldn't find it. Can you tell me the steps in order to find out my answer, please and thank you?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid it's a long time since I read that book and I'd have to do a great deal of digging with my paws to unearth it at the moment! Maybe someone will reply after reading your message.
Posted by Pete9012s on October 16, 2017
Dear Marie, Five Go Off in a Caravan audio can be downloaded to keep as an audiobook on Amazon. Regards, Pete
BarneyBarney says: Thanks very much, Pete!
Posted by Marie on October 15, 2017
Could you help, please? Our son Robert is registered blind and very much enjoys listening to the Famous Five stories on CD. He used to have most on tape and then updated his collection to CDs only. The only one he has been unable to find in CD version is Five Go Off in a Caravan (he loves caravans). Trying to locate it in time for his birthday on the 30th. Thank you very much. Marie King
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone is able to help, Marie.
Posted by Paul Austin on October 10, 2017
Who's your favourite TV George, Barney? For me, 1995 George just wasn't George, way too girly. No one would take her as a boy.
BarneyBarney says: I thought the 1970s George and the 1990s George were both excellent. George is a complex character and it must be a fabulous part to act. I wouldn't mind taking on the role of Timmy myself!
Posted by Stephen Astbury on October 9, 2017
75 years since the first Famous Five book was written! I'm lucky enough to have a full set of first editions which I still enjoy reading. Most are a bit tatty, especially number one which fetches ludicrous money in good condition. The colour prints in the front cover are nice which were dropped in later editions. The audio books are good on CD and follow the original stories with little "modernisation". These stories really got me into reading novels when I was 8 or 9. I used to read them to my kids at bedtime. It says something about Enid Blyton's writing skills when she could write one of these in about a week!
BarneyBarney says: Great post, Stephen! It's lovely that the books continue to bring children and adults (not to mention some dogs!) so much joy.
Posted by Jennifer Hill on October 9, 2017
Was there an Enid Blyton book with a fairy that scuttled in an oak leaf so that if you saw a leaf blowing across the road it might be Mrs ....? I think it had a story of rabbits and possibly three naughty pixies or fairies. It was a hardback and had no dust cover and was mustard yellow.
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone is able to identify the book, Jennifer.
Posted by Paul Austin on September 24, 2017
Jamie: The BBC in Enid's day was quite snobby and elitist, thinking it was bringing high culture and the classics to the unwashed masses. It's sort of like how Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister looked down on Jim Hacker because Hacker "only" had an education at the LSE while Sir Humphrey had a degree in Classics from Oxford.
Posted by Courtney on September 23, 2017
Hi! I'm currently writing a doctoral thesis on Enid Blyton and the Enid Blyton Magazine clubs in particular. I'm wondering if anyone was a member of the Famous Five Club and can let me know what the 'initiation'/welcome materials consisted of? I know you'd send away for a badge and membership card, but were there any further details provided about how to go about being part of the club? Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: I hope you get some responses, Courtney. Good luck with your thesis!
Posted by Ken Sayner on September 21, 2017
During our Heritage Weekend we displayed some Enid Blyton New Testament pictures, in a box of 30 or 36, published by Macmillan and co. ltd. Where can I find information about them please?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's New Testament Bible Plates were produced in the 1950s to accompany her retellings of New Testament Bible Stories. Teachers would put up the relevant poster ("plate") in the classroom so children could look at it while listening to/reading the corresponding story, or while answering questions about it. The illustrator was Elsie Walker. There was also a set of plates for Enid Blyton's Old Testament Bible Stories, produced in the 1940s and illustrated by John Turner. I believe there were 30 plates in each set. The New Testament Plates came out in book form in 1957, published in two volumes, and the Old Testament Plates came out in book form in 1960, also published in two volumes.
Posted by Jamie Davies on September 20, 2017
Enid Blyton died in 1968 which is almost 50 years ago. It will be 50 years in 2018. Could something be organized in Beaconsfield in 2018 to remember Enid? I think the BBC should say a big sorry for banning Enid Blyton for most of her life. Today we lack so much of Enid in film and radio recordings because of the very bad BBC ban.The BBC Director General should say sorry to everyone because today we all collectively lose out as there are very few TV and radio recordings of Enid.
BarneyBarney says: Blyton-themed events have sometimes been held at Beaconsfield but I don't know whether anything is being planned for next year. We can't blame today's BBC Director General for decisions that were made during Enid Blyton's lifetime! At least the material that is available has now been collected together in the BBC Archives.
Posted by Rob Houghton on September 18, 2017
Hi Jenni - many thanks for your kind words regards my Barney serial! Hope you continue to enjoy it! :-)
Posted by L. Pearson on September 16, 2017
Does anyone remember a short story (possibly by Enid Blyton) called 'Harry and the Haystack'? I thought it was in one of the Naughty Children books but I can't find it and I loved it as a child, so if anyone can tell me where I can find it I'd be very pleased. Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know that story but I hope someone is able to point you in the right direction.
Posted by Jenni on September 14, 2017
Barney, this is a message for Robert. Hello Robert, I am really enjoying your Barney mystery and it's lovely it has such a long run. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Jenni. Feedback is always welcome and I know Robert will be pleased to know you're enjoying the story.
Posted by Kaw Nga on September 13, 2017
I love the Malory Towers series.
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you love the Malory Towers books, Kaw Nga. They're very popular. If you'd said a bit more about what you like about them (e.g. who your favourite character is, and why) it would have made your post more interesting for others to read. Have you also tried the St. Clare's and Naughtiest Girl series?
Posted by Paul Austin on September 12, 2017
It's been heartbreaking but a comfort is that dementia is a disease that we can one day defeat.
BarneyBarney says: I hope so, Paul.
Posted by Paul Austin on September 12, 2017
Enid falling victim to dementia touched me personally because I had to witness it happening to my father. Dementia turned my father from a kind and gentle man into a paranoid and aggressive person who thought his family were plotting against him. He's now declined beyond that - and beyond remembering much of who he is.
BarneyBarney says: That's sad, Paul. A heartbreaking situation. Enid Blyton would wander off by herself and ask to "go home" to her parents, which must have been a great worry to her loved ones.
Posted by Elizabeth on September 11, 2017
I have been given a first edition copy of The Magic Faraway Tree for my birthday. Looking forward to reading it again I have been surprised that many of the pages are not in the right order and have been sewn in that way. Is this how they were all printed or have I found a one-off? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I'm sorry the pages are out of order in your copy, Elizabeth. It may be a one-off or have come from a faulty batch. Unfortunately, errors of that kind don't tend to increase the value of books. I hope you're still able to read and enjoy the story.
Posted by P.Sajeewan Hatangala-Hiru Library for rural children and young population/Hirusa Early Childhood Dev on September 8, 2017
Dear Sir, In 2002 we established a library in our village for poor children aged between 5 and 18, to improve their English language and general knowledge. It is a private welfare project designed by me. This is a non-profit making private institution. We don't charge our library members a fee. We have about 1100 library members from poor families. Through this project, we expect to improve their knowledge of English by letting them borrow grammatically correct, high quality English books. If you were able to donate a set of Famous Five books to us, it would be of great benefit to our children. If you can donate, please send your donation to our postal address by a courier service (because the government tax donations. We haven’t pay tax by our owned money. We manage our institutions by the personal money of the management). We hope you will give kind consideration to us. Thank you. Contact Details:- P.S.Hatangala, HIRUSA EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, No-141/C-Pugoda Road, Kanduboda, Delgoda, Sri Lanka. Telephone-0711 353650. (If you can donate, please send a reply to us.)
BarneyBarney says: Your library sounds very worthwhile. Best of luck for the future!
Posted by Janet on September 4, 2017
I am trying to get the Christmas Stories tape from 1987 I think with 'A Coat for the Snowman', or the original book. Been looking for a few years. Can anyone help? janlay422@yahoo.co.uk
BarneyBarney says: Email addresses don't normally show, Janet, so I've added yours to your message in case anyone can help you. I believe the cassette you want was first released in 1985 - you can see a picture here. If you put the story titles into the search box in the Cave of Books, you can see what book(s) they appeared in.
Posted by Tix on September 2, 2017
On August 31st, 2017, Molly Walker asked for information about a Faraway Tree illustration. The only thing that seems relevant is the artist who is, of course, Georgina Hargreaves. She's received pretty good write-ups about her large and colourful illustrations. The inside pictures of the original books are in mono unfortunately, but The Folk of the Faraway Tree (Dean edition - 1980s) which is in colour, has the required image on Page 109. Can't think of any other details that might be needed offhand.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Tix. Those editions are big, annual-sized books and Georgina Hargreaves' coloured illustrations are beautiful.
Posted by Catriona on September 1, 2017
Just interested to know if anyone knows if the word "dammit" features in the Secret Seven, Famous Five or Mystery novels of Enid Blyton. My poor wee 6-year-old has just been devouring these over the summer and was sent out of class for saying "dammit" today which is certainly nothing he's heard at home. Poor mite didn't understand why he was in trouble and I just wondered if Julian, Dick and George are to blame!! ;)
BarneyBarney says: Sorry your son got into trouble without realising he was saying anything inappropriate, Catriona. I'm sure Enid Blyton never used words like that in her books though. Her characters normally say something like "Blow!" or "Bother!" Can your son remember where he came across the expression? Maybe he just heard someone say it in the street or park or somewhere.
Posted by Molly Walker on August 31, 2017
I need help finding an illustration or some key words, any information on one of the Faraway Tree scenes where Connie is being handed sardine ice cream and there is a kitten next to her? I've spent an hour googling everything and nothing is coming up! I remember finding the image about a year ago and it's my absolute favourite illustration. Also, I had a book that had all of the Faraway Tree books in one, it looked almost like the yellow cover with the blue binder? But it had the same illustrations as the 1985 version. Any ideas?
BarneyBarney says: I know Connie only appeared in one book - The Folk of the Faraway Tree - but I can't find a picture like the one you describe online either. I hope someone is able to help. Regarding the book with all the Faraway Tree titles in one, I know there are/have been Faraway Tree omnibuses titled The Faraway Tree Collection, Enid Blyton Collection and The Magic Faraway Tree Collection. If you search for that kind of thing and select "Images", maybe you'll recognise something. Good luck!
Posted by Glenn on August 29, 2017
Hi there. I have only one Noddy book - Noddy and the Bunkey - which I was given by my Nanna for my 5th birthday. Anyway, when checking it with your copy I noticed my copyright date was in Roman numerals (MCMLIX) and your copyright date wasn't and was wondering why. I also live in New Zealand if that matters. Thanks for your time.
BarneyBarney says: The copy in the Cave of Books is a first edition, Glenn, so maybe Roman numerals were used for later printings. Or maybe they were used from the beginning for some foreign editions. I hope someone reading this will know for sure.
Posted by Paul Austin on August 21, 2017
My feeling is that if they want to make political statements, the activists should leave children out of it. Altering Blyton is like those rallies where adults have brought their children along and have them holding signs that they don't really understand.
BarneyBarney says: A few of the changes to Blyton books have been made in the interests of "political correctness" but the rest have involved modernising the language. The thought behind that is that young readers will be able to understand the stories more readily. However, many fans would argue that any old-fashioned words and phrases can easily be understood from the context and that it's a shame to give children an edited view of the society of past decades - and to alter the flow and rhythm of Enid Blyton's prose.
Posted by Ness on August 20, 2017
Just to let readers know there is a very good celebration of 75 years of the Famous Five at Rosemoor Gardens in Great Torrington, Devon, with an Enid Blyton exhibition and two trails whereby the young at heart have to work out clues in order to solve a mystery. It's an excellent day out, suitable for children of all ages and older fanatical nutters like me! We had a really good fun day, and the prize for completing the task is excellent. It's on until 3rd September so try to go if you can.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Ness. I'm glad you had such a great time. I believe similar Famous Five-related activities are going on at RHS Wisley in Surrey, also finishing on 3rd September.
Posted by Brigid Brown on August 19, 2017
In one of the Enid Blyton books (Adventure series, perhaps) the children are involved in an eclipse. I read this years ago and now know a bit about the coming eclipse. Which book was this, please?
BarneyBarney says: You're thinking of The Secret Mountain, Brigid, which is the third book in the Secret series. It's a truly thrilling adventure set somewhere in Africa.
Posted by Bassan Frederique on August 19, 2017
Hello, I'm an English teacher in France and I would like to get my students (12 - 13 years old) to know Enid Blyton better this year, by proposing a selection of books for them to read and tell about in class. I used to be fond of the Famous Five when I was a child and I have a lot of the stories at home, but they are all in French and, as an English teacher, I would like to have my pupils read them in English. I am thus looking for "Famous Five" books that I could be given (sorry, but I have no budget for this project). My question is as follows: could you please send me the name and email address/website of people who could help me gather Famous Five books for my students? Looking forward to reading news from you. Best regards. Frédérique Bassan, bassan@ecs-sallanches.net
BarneyBarney says: I've added your email address to your message, Frédérique, in the hope that someone reading this will be able to help. Other series would also be good for that age-group, e.g. the Adventure books and the Barney Mysteries.
Posted by Andrew Clark on August 16, 2017
Apparently my mother-in-law appeared in an issue of Little Dots Playways years ago in an item she remembers as 'Ann on the Farm'. It must have been an early one as she reckons she was only two or three at the time. I know it's not an Enid Blyton comment but I'd love to get a copy for her if anyone can point me in the right direction? Andrew Clark - Andy740876@sky.com
Posted by Paul Austin on August 10, 2017
Soo: That Noddy book is copyrighted 1987 because that is when the text was revised to make it more "modern". The original book's copyright was much earlier.
BarneyBarney says: If Soo means the Purnell editions with illustrations by Edgar Hodges (1986, 1987 or 1988 depending which title is being talked about), the stories are quite heavily abridged. I assume Soo knows they are revised reprints but wants to make use of that particular text.
Posted by Pete9012s on August 7, 2017
Regarding Pat's enquiry, see here on the forums for the poem 'The Kind Policeman'.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks very much, Pete! That's great!
Posted by Maddie on August 6, 2017
Hi Barney! I'm trying to remember the name of a story about a brother and sister whose rabbit is taken by a fairy queen to pull her carriage. I think it was within a compilation of stories but I'm not sure. If you could find which one it is I would be really grateful.
BarneyBarney says: I think the story you remember is 'The Land of Nowhere', Maddie. It appeared in these short story collections.
Posted by Pat on August 6, 2017
I want a copy of the poem 'The Kind Policeman' from the 1924 edition of The Enid Blyton Book of Fairies. How can I get this please?
BarneyBarney says: Maybe someone who has a copy of the book will be able to type the poem out for you, Pat. If they send it to me, I'll put it up on the Message Board.
Posted by Aminmec on August 6, 2017
Where are publishing houses Armada, Dean, Dragon and Knight in this present day and age? Have they closed down publishing?
BarneyBarney says: Publishing houses often merge or get taken over, so perhaps that's what's happened. I'm afraid I don't know about individual cases.
Posted by Soo on August 3, 2017
How long are the copyrights in place for Enid Blyton's Noddy books published by Purnell with the copyright text 1987 to Darrell Waters? And who holds them currently?
BarneyBarney says: The copyright for everything to do with Noddy is held by DreamWorks Classics. Enid Blyton's books won't be out of copyright until the end of 2038.
Posted by Sam Talbot on July 31, 2017
Can we still post our collected tokens from books to get a Secret Seven Club Pack?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know, Sam, but you could contact the publisher about it. You'll find their contact details here.
Posted by Aminmec on July 30, 2017
With regards to Daughter's post, I'd be very interested in knowing if the 1980s Famous Five covers with the red digit 5 were drawn by the artist in question. I especially liked those. Is there any picture you could mail me of the art to see if the style is similar? Email: amin_mecci@hotmail.com
BarneyBarney says: Email addresses don't normally show in posts, Aminmec, so I've added yours to your message.
Posted by Yazzy on July 30, 2017
Hi there, Just curious - were any of Enid Blyton's characters from the Five Find-Outers or St. Clare's books based on real people? Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: Yes, a few of them were. Fatty was based on "a plump, ingenious, very amusing boy" whom Enid Blyton once knew, while Claudine was inspired by a Belgian classmate from Enid's own schooldays. Apparently she was "extremely naughty, very daring, not at all truthful, and hated games. She was, as our form-mistress said, 'as artful as a bagful of monkeys,' and yet everyone liked her. She would go to great extremes to 'pay back' a slight, or to return a kindness." Plump, amusing, hot-tempered Mam'zelle in the St. Clare's books was modelled on one of the French mistresses who taught Enid Blyton at school: "She did many of the things she does in the books. She flew into rages, she stamped and wailed aloud at our stupidity. She was terrified of bats, mice, beetles, bees and spiders." The girls played tricks on Mam'zelle and she always fell for them, much to their delight. She was theatrical in her displays of anger but she had a marvellous sense of humour and the girls loved her.
Posted by Daughter on July 26, 2017
Thank you for your comment. The plot thickens!
Posted by Daughter on July 26, 2017
Hello, I'm afraid I have a very random question! Is there any evidence to suggest that a woman named Penelope Nelson did any illustrations for any Enid Blyton books? I can't find any, but my father has just died and in a letter written to us he says that he has a painting by Penelope Nelson who was a mum at his school in Chorley Wood and who did some illustration for the Famous Five (which I can't find any evidence of!) It is very strange to have written this in a letter to us. He was of sound mind. Does the name mean anything to anyone?
BarneyBarney says: Sorry to read that your father has just died. I think some of the Famous Five books from about the 1980s onwards have uncredited covers, though I could be wrong about that. Also, the illustrators of Famous Five annuals, jigsaws and audios often went uncredited. Is it possible that Penelope Nelson was one of the uncredited artists, I wonder? It would be great if someone could help.
Posted by Paul Austin on July 20, 2017
To people asking would TV and film companies be allowed to base Blyton adaptions on the original texts. A friend of mine who works at the BBC indicated that any BBC adaption would have to follow the BBC's editorial guidelines so, for example, any story with a racial slur or pidgin "Amos 'n' Andy" type English for black characters would have to be changed. They indicated sexist attitudes wouldn't fly either.
BarneyBarney says: TV and film companies wishing to stick closely to the original text and language would have to choose carefully - e.g. perhaps The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage rather than The Island of Adventure. Normally a few changes need to be made anyway when adapting a book, as things that work well on the page may not work as well on the screen.
Posted by Rachel on July 15, 2017
Thank you for the clarification on the dates, Barney. Much appreciated. 😊
BarneyBarney says: No problem, Rachel. I hope all goes well with your dissertation.
Posted by Rachel on July 14, 2017
Hi, I am writing a dissertation on the relevance of classic children's literature to today's children, looking at stereotypes in particular. One of the authors I have chosen is Enid Blyton because her golliwog books changed the characters' names and then the characters themselves as time progressed. I have a copies of the golliwog collection post 1969 when the characters' names were changed to Waggie, Wiggie and Wollie but I need some examples from the original book of the 1950s for comparison. I appreciate this book is now a collectors' item but if anyone has a copy and could send me two or three screenshots of pages where the characters' names are mentioned I would be very grateful. I am particularly interested in the story 'A Muddle of Golliwogs' but any other will do also. Also the page number needs to be visible for citation reasons. Many thanks. Email: Rachelkclifford@gmail.com
BarneyBarney says: Best of luck with your dissertation. I've included your email address in your message in the hope that someone will be able to send you the relevant pages. To clarify things, the book title is The Three Golliwogs and it was first published in 1944. The chapters had previously been printed as individual stories in the magazine Sunny Stories, some having been written in the 1930s.
Posted by Jenny on July 12, 2017
I have the 1987 edition of The Adventures of the Wishing-Chair. Is anyone interested in purchasing? If so, I will provide all the details. Email: jen.benalla@iinet.net.au
BarneyBarney says: Email addresses don't normally show, Jenny, so I've copied yours into your message so people can contact you if they're interested in the book.
Posted by Fiona Kennedy on July 12, 2017
Hello, I am contacting you from a bookshop in London. We have a customer who would like to contact you but has no access to the internet. Are you able to give me your phone number or mail address that I can pass on to him? I look forward to hearing from you.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Fiona. If you click on our "Fireside Journal" button (over on the left) and then on the link that says "subscribing", you'll see our postal address.
Posted by Evelyn on July 6, 2017
Wonder if you can help. I have a Bible inscribed with 'Here is the greatest book in the world. I hope you will read it every day. Love from your friend, Enid Blyton.' Think it was for the Coronation as faded writing on the front looks like EIIR. Any ideas if this is what it was for?
BarneyBarney says: Yes, it's known as the Coronation Bible and was published to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The message from Enid Blyton was printed in every copy.
Posted by Paul Austin on July 5, 2017
I often see it mentioned in the mainstream media that Enid used East German or Soviet villains but I doubt she'd want to be as political as invoking the Cold War, considering her young readership? Barney?
BarneyBarney says: To be honest, I don't actually recall any Soviet villains off the top of my head. There may well be some but they obviously haven't stuck in my mind. The German villains are mainly in the stories with wartime settings (a notable exception being The Castle of Adventure) so the notion of East/West Germany wouldn't have been relevant. There are also crooks with names which appear to be South American, French and Middle Eastern. However, the vast majority of criminals in Blyton books actually have names which sound British - Stan, Jim, Clara, Dick, Maggie, Raymond, Jake and numerous others.
Posted by Julie@owlsdene on July 4, 2017
In answer to your message, Paul, I wouldn't want to move from a family home no matter how much money I had. A house like that would pass down through the generations. The big bonus also is that it is beside the sea and you own your own island.
BarneyBarney says: It would indeed be terrible to see Kirrin Cottage (together with the island and castle) being sold. I always feel sorry when Craggy Tops and Smuggler's Top are to be sold in The Island of Adventure and Five Go to Smuggler's Top respectively. Such wonderful houses full of character and history, in fantastic locations.
Posted by Paul Austin on July 4, 2017
If Quentin (Famous Five books) does get more money, you'd think he'd move house to a place a lot less vulnerable than a tiny seaside village?
BarneyBarney says: It seems that both sides of the family have strong links to the area though!
Posted by Tix on July 4, 2017
Shadow the Sheepdog is a real favourite but some of the prices being quoted on eBay are outrageous. There's a copy (well read) on Trade Me being offered for just under three pounds, plus postage. It's a 1950 printing with original script and illustrations of course - none of that updated stuff with this one; and naturally it's 'well read' being such a popular example of Enid Blyton's work.
Posted by Tony Baker on July 4, 2017
Please tell me the book that has Noddy driving a train. It has a poem that begins: "We've come to the station to wait for the train - we all want to catch it you see..." I would like to get the book for my grandson and read the whole poem. Yours sincerely, Tony Baker.
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone is able to help, Tony.
Posted by Shruti on July 3, 2017
Hi Barney...please can you tell me if Shadow the Sheepdog will ever be in print again? I have been wanting to read it for a long time. Unfortunately I haven't chanced across a second-hand copy yet. From what I have gathered it is a fabulous book.
BarneyBarney says: Shadow the Sheepdog is a wonderful story, Shruti. In my opinion, Shadow is one of Enid Blyton's bravest, cleverest, most admirable characters! I'm afraid I don't know if the book is likely to be reprinted in the near future but there are plenty of second-hand copies available online so I hope you're able to get hold of one soon.
Posted by Anjali on July 2, 2017
The Famous Five and Secret Seven were the first books that I read during my childhood. These books shaped my personality, career and life. I love Enid Blyton's style of writing and sequencing plots.
BarneyBarney says: Many readers say a similar thing, Anjali. It's amazing to think of the power that stories have - especially stories by Enid Blyton!
Posted by Ella on July 1, 2017
Hi, I love the books you have written. They are so good and entertaining. I am your fan!
BarneyBarney says: Although Enid Blyton died in 1968, her books and characters live on and I'm sure she'd be delighted to know that children around the world continue to love them.
Posted by Aminmec on July 1, 2017
What's in Memoirs of Enid Blyton by Gillian Baverstock? I can't seem to find much detail anywhere.
BarneyBarney says: Gillian Baverstock wrote two books about her mother - Tell Me About Writers: Enid Blyton and Gillian Baverstock Remembers Enid Blyton. The first is for very young children, containing basic information about Enid and her books. The second covers similar ground but in rather more detail.
Posted by Paul Austin on June 30, 2017
Uncle Quentin's work presumably involves either using advanced technology or *creating* advanced technology, so why isn't he rich and famous?
BarneyBarney says: In Five on a Treasure Island it seems Quentin works independently with few resources and that he hasn't yet become a success. Events at the end of that book no doubt give him the means to conduct more experiments and mingle with other scientists, enabling him to earn more money (in addition to the gold) and make breakthroughs in his work.
Posted by Richard Lockwood on June 29, 2017
I have a copy of the Noddy in Toyland book of the play (1956) . The print is upside down in relation to the cover. Is this normal or some kind of misprint? Thanks, Richard.
BarneyBarney says: Well, it's obviously not meant to be like that but it shouldn't make much difference when it comes to reading the book! You could always read it in public and see if people give you puzzled looks!
Posted by Ann on June 28, 2017
This is a message for Paul Austin. The Family at Red-Roofs is available on eBay new or used. Hope you get one.
Posted by Joanne McNicoll on June 22, 2017
Can someone help? Been looking for a copy of the short story 'The Land of Nod' - where two noisy children end up at the top of the Faraway Tree and learn the importance of being quiet sometimes or they will be put to bed. Can anyone help? Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: Ah yes - the story you're looking for is actually called 'Two Noisy Children' and the land the children visit at the top of the Faraway Tree is the Land of Sound-Asleep. If you go to our Cave of Books (see button over on the left) and put 'Two Noisy Children' into the search box, you'll see which books contained that story.
Posted by Paul Austin on June 22, 2017
Wish I still had my copy of The Family at Red-Roofs. It's criminally underrated.
BarneyBarney says: It tends to be rated highly by people who read it, but many readers of Enid Blyton only know the main series like the Famous Five, the Faraway Tree, Malory Towers, etc.
Posted by Steven on June 22, 2017
I am trying to purchase copies of the original versions of the six books that became the Riddle Series. Any advice?
BarneyBarney says: You should be able to find second-hand copies of the original versions online, Steven. Their titles are Holiday House, The Mystery That Never Was, Adventure of the Strange Ruby, Hollow Tree House, The Treasure Hunters and The Boy Next Door. They often come up on sites like eBay, or you could try the sellers we've listed under Lashings of Links (see button over on the left).
Posted by Paul Austin on June 18, 2017
It seems to me entirely pointless to have altered Jill and Mary which are fairly timeless - there isn't even the argument that today's child readers might find the names funny or obscene - and it feels a bit silly to 'update' names in a book that, unusually for Enid Blyton, is actually firmly situated during WWII! (Unless of course that's also been altered...?)
BarneyBarney says: I think various details have been altered so it's no longer as clear that The Adventurous Four is set during the Second World War. However, part of the plot relies on a gramophone so if that hasn't been changed it will be obvious that the action is set some decades ago.
Posted by Scot on June 15, 2017
I do wish they wouldn't modernise the St Clare's books. I've just bought the first three and they've all been modernised. One bit I noticed is when Isabel and Pat are at a midnight feast and Mam'zelle catches them. The original said she'd box their ears - but the copy I've got merely has her threatening to scold them. Another modernised part is when Matron threatens Janet after Mam'zelle becomes poorly. The original copy says she'll spank her - but this one merely says she'll punish her. And finally, in the Second Form book, when Mirabel is playing the fool, the first copy says Carlotta boxed her ears - but this copy says she merely trod on her toe. Why do they have to modernise them? It spoils the books!
BarneyBarney says: Treading on someone's toe to punish them just doesn't have the same impact!
Posted by Jane on June 5, 2017
I've got an Enid Blyton book called The Flying Goat. Please can you tell me how old this book is? I've looked on your website and it isn't listed. I've been collecting Enid Blyton books for years and this book I'd never seen before until I picked it up from a shop. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: The Flying Goat is listed on the website, Jane. You can see it here. It's one of the Pitkin Pleasure Series and it was first published in 1951.
Posted by Scot on June 4, 2017
They shouldn't modernise the Malory Towers or St Clare's books - they weren't meant to be modern. They should stay true to the era they're set in - obviously early post-World War II.
BarneyBarney says: Just about all of Enid Blyton's books have undergone some modernisation but many readers would prefer to have the original text. The St Clare's series was written during the Second World War but it's set in a fictional early 1940s with no war.
Posted by Natalie on June 4, 2017
My daughter has been collecting the 70th anniversary editions of The Famous Five. She has books 1-15 but we cannot find book 16 anywhere. Has this been published yet? If not, does anybody know when it will be?
BarneyBarney says: Unfortunately, only the first 15 Famous Five books were published as anniversary editions. Since then, all 21 books have been released with new covers by Laura Ellen Anderson.
Posted by Scot on June 2, 2017
Hi, Barney. I only meant that one copy of First Term at Malory Towers had Darrell slapping Gwen for bullying Mary-Lou - and another copy said she only shook her. Another bit that was reprinted was when Alicia asked if she should cut Gwen's hair - the original said she'd spank her with a hairbrush. I loved the books as a boy - and still do now.
BarneyBarney says: Ah yes - I see what you mean, Scot. It's a shame details like that have been changed in the name of modernisation. Readers who read the original text absorb a great deal of fascinating social history while enjoying a cracking story.
Posted by Scot on June 1, 2017
Hi, Amanda (March 19) - I'd see if there's a local bookshop that would buy your Noddy books. There's a bookshop near where I live that buys second-hand books and sells them on - it's called Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland. I'm sure they'd buy them. I loved the ink blot trick in one of the St Clare's books - I played that on my teacher once back in my native Glasgow. Why did they reprint the Malory Towers and St Clare's books? I loved them and so did my brother David.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Scot. I'm not sure I understand your question about the Malory Towers and St. Clare's books. Books will go on being reprinted if they're popular - and most of Enid Blyton's certainly are!
Posted by Hope on May 31, 2017
"Lashings of ginger beer" doesn't even make sense as lashings imply something hard and solid and ginger beer is a liquid.
BarneyBarney says: If you know the origin of the word, it makes sense. An old meaning of "to lash" was "to lavish" or "to give in large quantities". "Lashings of" is related to that.
Posted by Hope on May 30, 2017
Has anyone to do with Enid lived past 90 or 100?
BarneyBarney says: Marjorie Davies, Enid Blyton illustrator, lived to be 101.
Posted by Samantha M on May 29, 2017
Hi. I have a 1990 copy of A Book of Brownies. I believe the book to be a misprint or a prototype as it is missing signature, series list and the pictures are in an orange-looking colour inside. Would this book be worth anything?
BarneyBarney says: I doubt the book would have much extra value but you could put it on a site like eBay and see what you get for it.
Posted by Margaret on May 27, 2017
I have been given a Bible with a Christmas message by Enid Blyton handwritten on the front book plate. Is this one of many or is it quite rare?
BarneyBarney says: I believe it's a printed message that appeared in all the Bibles, even though it looks handwritten. Nevertheless, it's a nice item to have.
Posted by Sarah on May 24, 2017
I have been desperately searching for the pocket library collection - is there anywhere I can still buy these? :)
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean the Parragon Pocket Library books, Sarah? You may be able to get them second-hand from sites like eBay or Amazon, or from the sellers we list under Lashings of Links (see button over on the left).
Posted by George Johnson on May 22, 2017
Is the name NODDY still copyrighted?
BarneyBarney says: It probably depends how people want to use the name. Certainly the character of Noddy is still under copyright until the end of 2038. If in doubt, check with DreamWorks Classics who own the Noddy copyright.
Posted by Pamela Green on May 21, 2017
Hi. I am searching for a book I used to love when I was a child. I think it is by Enid Blyton but am not sure. One of the stories in the book is about a little girl called Pamela and it is her birthday. Please can you help me? I would be so grateful. Thank you very much.
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone is able to help, Pamela. In the meantime, you could try doing a search in our Cave of Books (see the button over on the left) for words like "birthday" or "party". Maybe something will come up that jogs your memory.
Posted by David Stewart on May 16, 2017
Where is the video section on the site? I.e. the Famous Five TV series x 2, The Secret Series TV, The Adventure series TV, The Adventures of the Wishing Chair TV, Enchanted Lands/Faraway Tree TV (also x 2 Polygram VHS).
BarneyBarney says: We'd certainly like to have a section on TV series, films and cartoons but I'm afraid we haven't yet had time to add one, David.
Posted by Naomi on May 15, 2017
Hi there; I am trying to find a short story about a girl with curly hair whose brother somehow ends up in the power of a demon or the Devil, and she has to rescue him. She does this by challenging the demon/Devil to a contest, which she finally wins when she asks him to straighten one of her hairs, and he can't. Can you help identify this? Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: Ah yes - that's 'The Tenth Task' from The Enid Blyton Book of Fairies. Jack is captured by Zani, chief of the wicked spirits, and he will only be released if he can think of a task the spirit cannot perform. Jack's sister Jean pulls a curly hair from her head and tells Jack to command Zani to make it straight.
Posted by Sheryl on May 15, 2017
I am looking for the Enid Blyton book that contains the story called 'Snowbound'. I would like to buy the book if it can be found. Thank you, Sheryl.
BarneyBarney says: Are you sure it's by Enid Blyton, Sheryl? There's no story of that title listed in the Cave of Books.
Posted by Paul Austin on May 14, 2017
Where did Enid get the names for her characters? (Elizabeth Allen, Pip and Bets Hilton, etc.)
BarneyBarney says: Enid said her characters' first names came to her instinctively but she had to look up suitable surnames in a telephone directory.
Posted by Tot on May 13, 2017
Does anyone remember the silkworms sold through Enid Blyton's Magazine?
BarneyBarney says: There was some discussion of that on our forum if you're interested, Tot.
Posted by Christine Moulding on May 13, 2017
I'm looking for a book which began, "It's time to get up, I must jump out of bed, and put my blue hat on my nid-nodding head. I'm cleaning my car and making it shine. Oh dear little car I'm glad you are mine."
BarneyBarney says: Someone asked about that book before and TG identified it as one of the 'Nursery Colour Picture' books entitled A Day With Noddy. You can see a picture of it here. Copies sometimes turn up on eBay, or you could try the sellers we list under Lashes of Links.
Posted by Riley on May 8, 2017
Hi, I was just wondering if you knew what breed of terrier Lucky is in Mr. Galliano's circus. My family is thinking about getting a dog and would particularly like a small as well as clever breed, and since I have a reading obsession I think of fictional dogs. I couldn't seem to find what breed she was (all I found was that she was a terrier and I don't know what type). If you don't know that's okay. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Lucky is a fox-terrier, Riley. I'm sure your new dog will be a wonderful companion!
Posted by Anne on May 6, 2017
I loved this book as a child. Do you know if I can purchase a copy? The Little Roundy Man - Sunny Stories for Little Folks (Issue 108, December 1930) - The Little Roundy Man, The Pets' Adventures [37-40], A Surprise For Mary, The Runaway Cheeses, Pippitty's Pet Canary, Pretending.
BarneyBarney says: If you're looking for that issue of Sunny Stories for Little Folks, Anne, it could be difficult to find. You could try sites like eBay or Amazon - or the sellers we list under Lashings of Links (button over on the left). Alternatively you could search in the Cave of Books to see what books those stories and poems were published in later on.
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 vbalkwill@talktalk.net. 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: nataliehowes84@gmail.com. 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 times......so 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.
Posted by Anjana on February 1, 2017
Woof! Woof! Thanks a ton, Barney! You have given a hope and direction to this long-cherished dream of mine! Just cannot express how happy I am. Thanks again!
BarneyBarney says: A wuff of good luck to you, Anjana! I hope you're able to open up your library.
Posted by Aminmec on February 1, 2017
In some Dean editions of the 90s I've come across 'printed in India' on the inside. Is it a probable practice to get text blocks printed from India and finally bound into the book in the UK, as it doesn't seem to be an 'Indian edition' by markings or appearance anywhere else? I do know that way back in the 50s or earlier Enid Blyton's Five Find-Outers were published in India to be sold in the UK.
BarneyBarney says: It's quite common for UK publishers to use printing firms in other countries. I've just checked a 1993 copy of Five Minute Tales published by Dean and it says, "Printed in Italy". The Enid Blyton Dossier by Brian Stewart and Tony Summerfield (Hawk Books, 1999) was printed in Spain.
Posted by Anjana on January 31, 2017
Would appreciate it a lot if you could give me an idea as to whether I need any specific permission from anyone for opening up an Enid Blyton themed library here in India. The thought has been churning in my mind for quite some time now. So please help if you can. Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: If it's just a question of building up a collection of Enid Blyton books for people to borrow I'm sure that'll be fine, Anjana. However, if you want to do things like use Enid Blyton's signature, paint Blyton characters on the walls and hold Blyton-themed activity days it would be worth checking with the copyright holders first. Hachette UK own the Enid Blyton copyright (except for Noddy). Here are their contact details. For anything related to Noddy, look for contact details on the DreamWorks Classics website (they own the copyright for Noddy).
Posted by Shirley Murphy on January 29, 2017
What's the story where Mr Meddle goes home in the dark but misses the right street and ends up in a stranger's house? Didn't they have streetlights in the 1940s?
BarneyBarney says: The story is 'Mister Meddle Makes a Mistake' from Mr. Meddle's Muddles. It was first published in Enid Blyton's Sunny Stories in March 1940, when the blackout was in force because of the Second World War. That's why the streets were "very dark" with "no lamps lighted", as stated in the story.
Posted by Avantika on January 28, 2017
Hello, I am Avantika from India. I am a great fan of Enid Blyton. I knew her from my library. I just want to ask for information on her since I am writing a journal on her.
BarneyBarney says: Click on our "Author of Adventure" button (up above, over on the left) if you want to know about Enid Blyton's life, Avantika. For information about her main books, click on the "Popular Series" buttons (just above these messages).
Posted by Clare on January 27, 2017
Hello, I can't wait to show my son and daughter this site, as they are both fans of the Famous Five! My son has the whole 21 book collection but we are desperately seeking a copy of the Survival Guide....he has been asking for the last year but we have not been able to find a copy. We are in Western Australia, so if anyone knows where we can purchase (online) we would be very grateful! We have read it is no longer being published, but it would be wonderful to surprise him on his birthday! Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I think you're right that The Famous Five's Survival Guide is no longer in print, which is a pity. Second-hand copies in good condition sometimes come up on eBay or Amazon, and some sellers will post worldwide. You could also check equivalent Australian sites. If buying second-hand, check with the seller that the book still has the cardboard codebreaker. You can see what it looks like here, below the big image of the cover. Hope you manage to get a copy in time for your son's birthday!
Posted by Adrian Scott on January 26, 2017
Hi to Barney and all Enid Blyton fans. When I was young I used to love story time when my parents would read to me as I went to bed. My own daughters loved it when I read to them too. I remember being quite excited to learn that Enid Blyton had lived in Beckenham and my parents believed it was close to the house where we had lived until I was three. You can imagine my surprise when I looked up the address and found out it was the same house! My birth certificate shows 95 Chaffinch Road, but I was over 60 when I found this out. I now have a grandson Ozzie and he loves his books. I hope he will be interested to hear about this coincidence. Oddly, I still have very clear memories of the house and many photographs as my Dad was a semi professional photographer. It seems such a pity that he and my Mother never knew about it being the same home.
BarneyBarney says: That's very interesting, Adrian. How lovely to discover that a house you lived in was once the home of Enid Blyton! Enid and her family lived at 95, Chaffinch Road from 1897 to 1903 and the house now has a blue plaque to commemorate the fact. I'm glad to know that your grandson loves reading!
Posted by Lynne Bruce on January 24, 2017
I am 65 years old but as a child was an avid reader of Enid Blyton and was a member of the club. Unfortunately my club badge was stolen when the house was burgled few years ago. My 8 year old granddaughter is now enjoying her works so I ask is there any club I could join her into, for her birthday, where she too could get a badge etc. as I did? 😊
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know of any current clubs or badges, Lynne. Sorry about that. If you're talking about a Famous Five badge, second-hand ones come up quite frequently on eBay so you could get one there. Alternatively, I've heard that there are websites which will make you a badge if you send them the design you want. Searching for "make a badge" will bring them up. I hope your granddaughter has a lovely birthday.
Posted by Sian Awford on January 23, 2017
I have a tape recording of Enid Blyton reading about Noddy and Twizzle. Is this of interest to anybody?
Posted by Miss JJ on January 23, 2017
Hi Enid Blyton web site. I'm doing a school project and would like to ask you to answer some questions. Did Enid go on adventures? Did she play music because I play piano, violin and guitar. Thank you!! (Age 7)
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton would have been interested to know that you play so many instruments, Miss JJ! She was a talented musician and her father wanted her to become a concert pianist. Enid Blyton had a place at the Guildhall School of Music but she turned it down to train as a teacher (she was a teacher for a few years before writing full-time). As a child, Enid Blyton used to like going for nature walks and bike rides which probably felt like going on an adventure. You can find out more about her life by clicking on our "Author of Adventure" button (over to the left of this page) and then on 'A Biography of Enid Blyton—The Story of Her Life'.
Posted by Shirley Murphy on January 23, 2017
"Enid Bottom"? I think that they were writing on their mobile and the autocorrect must've kicked in! Barney, when will it be OK to put the original Blyton text online for free?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's books will remain in copyright until the end of 2038.
Posted by Aminmec on January 20, 2017
I bought the Dean 90s edition of The Book of Naughty Children. While the cover has Eileen Soper's drawing, the stories inside are without any art. If I remember correctly the paperback editions had Eileen's drawings. What was the reason for Dean's omission of the interior art? It makes the book quite dull.
BarneyBarney says: It's a shame the illustrations have been removed. Publishers sometimes do that because they want to keep to a certain number of pages, or because they feel that the pictures look old-fashioned.
Posted by Lawrence Langton on January 17, 2017
Has Enid Bottom any connection with Bottom village in Lincolnshire?
BarneyBarney says: Eh? If you mean "Enid Blyton" and "Blyton village", Barbara Stoney says in Enid Blyton - the Biography: "Enid Blyton's early forebears are believed to have come over to England at the time of the Norman Conquest and to have settled in Lincolnshire, where the name appears under various spellings in many of the early chronicles for that county. There is a village called Blyton in the Lincolnshire Wolds and a chantry was founded in Lincoln Cathedral in 1327, apparently bequeathed by a de Bliton who was the mayor of the city four years earlier. For several centuries the family were concerned with farming or the wool and cloth trade - but George Blyton, Enid's great-grandfather, was a cordwainer." Barbara Stoney goes on to mention that George Blyton lived in Swinderby.
Posted by Charlotte on January 17, 2017
Hi, We are looking for a poem about a wooden horse of Troy and it has led us to this website a couple of times. Is it a poem that Enid Blyton wrote? I know it contains the line 'The men of Troy are simple folk and simple folk of course'. Would you know if it is one of hers and if so know the full poem? We are urgently trying to locate it to be read at a funeral. Any help would be much appreciated!
BarneyBarney says: It seems that the poem is by Hugh Chesterman and was published in The New Merry-go-round Volume 6, 1928 and A Bulletin for Schools Volume 30, 1936. Click on this link to find out more.
Posted by Rina Rivai on January 15, 2017
Hi, I am from Indonesia. I am a big fan of Enid Blyton books. I still read her books though I am no longer a kid and don't have kids. Her books have been translated to Indonesian. That's why I can read them because I cannot speak English well. Her books were my Christmas presents.
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you still enjoy the books as much as ever, Rina. Enid Blyton would be surprised to know how many adults around the world still love her wonderful stories and characters!
Posted by Maria Pia on January 6, 2017
Hi. I loved Enid Blyton. My books are 35 years old. Now my daughter and I are reading a book. The paper is yellow...but I love it. I hope my daughter loves these books as much as I did.
BarneyBarney says: Happy Reading to you and your daughter, Maria!
Posted by Adie on January 5, 2017
Did Enid Blyton ever visit Nottingham?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know.
Posted by Shrawan on January 4, 2017
Hi! Happy New Year 2017. Well, I have written some continuation books in St. Clare's and Malory Towers and I want them to be published. What can I do?
BarneyBarney says: Happy New Year! Continuation books by Pamela Cox already exist for those series. However, if you'd still like to try you'll need to contact Hachette UK as they own the Enid Blyton copyright. Here are their contact details.