Friday 19 October 2018

Enid Blyton

Throughout my whole 71 years of life, two sets of books have always dominated. The Wind in the Willows and the Famous Five series. I have read most of the books about Kenneth Graham and Enid Blyton, have several editions of the Wind in the Willows and all twenty one of the Famous Five books, all in their original covers.
Even to this day, when I'm feeling depressed or nostalgic, I simply pick up one of those books to read and they're like a comfort blanket. They give me the same simple escape from life that they did all those years ago as someone suffering an unhappy childhood.
This week I took receipt of the latest book about Enid Blyton's life and read it over two days and nights.

 It is not as detailed as the one below, which I bought some years ago but in it's final chapters does detail the degree to which both she and her books became black-listed in later life.

It may also come as a surprise to a lot of people to find that, despite being the favourite "auntie" to millions of children worldwide, always finding time for them if she met them, replying to every letter that they sent, that in her private life, Enid virtually ignored her own two daughters as they grew up. She could be a quite a nasty person at times.
Anyway, to get back to the good bits, she was adored by children worldwide, and in her prime was writing c.8,000 words a day and publishing dozens of books, magazines and articles a year, all for children of various ages. However, in the mid 1950's adults got involved - all of a sudden they branded her books as sexist, racist and just about everything else-ist. Teaching establishments that had used her books and methods as educational tools and libraries for years, gradually removed her books from their shelves. Despite the fact that for donkeys years her books had encouraged children to read, to form clubs, to collect money for charities, all of a sudden adults found her a bad influence on their children.
And even today, this denying children the escapism that they get from such simple books and films is still going on, putting adults thoughts into tiny children's minds. In my paper today, I read of how one actress is telling her little girls that the scene in Snow White where the handsome prince kisses Snow White while she is asleep is "weird" and has warned her daughters about the male character's behaviour. One Japanese person went even further and accused Snow White of perpetuating "quasi-compulsive obscene acts on an unconscious partner". So it now seems that Walt Disney, that mainstay of childhood pleasure and dreams, is going to be picked apart by adults and denied to their children.
What a sad world we live in.


  1. Yes I do agree Derek - there were some bad things but it has all gone a bit too far.

  2. I saw that article about Snow White, Derek. It is getting absolutely, bloody ridiculous! Some are trying to visit modern mores onto previous, different times. If they had their way we should be eliminating most of history!

  3. Sad to agree, the times they are a changing.

  4. After reading your posts I have just ordered The real Enid Blyton from the library. As I said before she was my first introduction to serious reading and escapism so I'm looking forward to reading it. Judging historical events by todays standards and values is not always appropriate, its a case of if I knew then what I know now things might have been different, aren't we supposed to learn from history?

  5. Well done Dave, I hope the facts about how she was at home don't disappoint you.

  6. The brain dead Thought Police are alive and unwell. We must be constantly on our guard.