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A Trip Down the Memory Lane With Enid Blyton

Updated on June 30, 2017
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Enid Blyton known for her immensely popular children books was born on August 11, 1897. Her children books have been bestsellers since 1930s and have sold more than 600 million copies worldwide. Her books are still immensely popular and have been translated in about 90 languages. According to Enid Blyton Society’s database, she wrote 186 novels/novelettes, 983 short story series books, 269 character books , 252 recreation books, 268 education books besides writing for various magazines. Enid Blyon created a literary empire and sometimes she published fifty books a year in addition to her numerous newspaper and magazine contributions.

There is hardly anyone who hasn’t spent his/her childhood reading Noddy, Famous Five, Secret Seven and so on. Critics have found her work unchallenging and without any literary merit. Some accused her themes of being elitist, racist and sexist. Some schools banned her works and BBC refused to broadcast her works from 1930s to 1950s because they were perceived as having no literary merit. But the fact remains that she has been the most popular children writer of all times and her books still continue to be widely read by children all over the world. Let’s take a trip down the memory lane with some most popular works of Enid Blyton:

Famous Five

A group of young children (Julian, Dick, Anne and Georgina or George) along with their dog Timmy go on adventures discovering shipwrecks or finding treasures on an island. Yes, George’s parents own an island where these children spend most of their time chasing adventures which most of the children dream of. The immesely popular Famous Five series is often accused of being racist because the lead character George is actually a girl but behaves like a tomboy. The high sales and commercial success of the series prompted Blyton to write twenty-one full length Famous Five novels. More than 200 million copies of the books are sold each year making them one of the biggest best-selling children series ever written.

Noddy

Made even more popular by the animation series of the same name, Noddy is a fictional character from Toyland who was carved by a woodcarver. The woodcarver also carved a wooden lion that scared Noddy so much that he ran away to live in his famous House-for-one. Noddy’s constant companion and his household pet was the Bumpy Dog who accompanied Noddy on almost all his adventures. Noddy was originally published between 1949 and 1963. Noddy books are widely sold with an estimated 600,000 annual sales in France alone and with a growing popularity in India which is a large market for Blyton books.

Secret Seven

A group of kids form the Secret Seven Society who have their meetings at the tree house and spend their days attending day school and the time afterwards in solving mysteries around the neighborhood. The Secret Seven consisted of Peter (Group leader), Janet, Jack, Barbara, George, Pam and Colin. Jack’s sister Susie and her friend Binkie take delight in playing tricks to humiliate the Secret Seven though much of this hatred is fuelled by their desire to join the Secret Seven. Unlike most of the Blyton series, this one takes place during the school term as the characters go to day school.

Amelia Jane

This fictional character first appeared in the book ‘Naughty Amelia Jane’ in 1939. The title character, a naughty handmade doll was based on a large handmade doll gifted by Enid Blyton to her daughter Gillian on her third birthday.

Wishing Chair

A magical chair which grew wings and could fly won many hearts all over the world and was loved by the kids & adults alike. It’s a series of two novels : ‘Adventures of Wishing Chair’ and ‘Wishing Chair Again’. A third book in the series-‘More Wishing Chair Stories’ was published in 2000 which was compiled from Enid Blyton’s short stories. The first book Adventures of Wishing Chair’ holds the distinction of being Enid Blyton’s first full-length book though it's episodic in nature. Mollie and Peter are the main characters of the series who find a magic wishing chair with the power to grow wings and fly, in a mysterious antique shop while searching for a birthday present for their mother.

You're trying to escape from your difficulties, and there never is any escape from difficulties, never. They have to be faced and fought.

— Enid Blyton

Noddy and The Island Adventure

© 2017 Shaloo Walia

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    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 weeks ago from london

      I think that she was a great story-teller for children. I loved her books to. Perhaps there is something to say for the critics, also. JK Rowling did a book outside of her genre and she needed lots of help. But she did so well with the Harry Potter series! Still, we have to remember that she was initially turned down.

      Jeffrey Archer is an awesome story-teller, but again he had help with the writing, so some people tell great stories but they are not all Charles Dickens or Samuel Clements. (Mark Twain)

      I think that she was gifted with children and told her cute stories in a simple and very successful way, like JK. Perhaps they both came with Grace. (Good karma for success) Peace.

    • swalia profile image
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      Shaloo Walia 3 weeks ago

      @manatita You are right. Everyone has their unique talents. Enid Blyton was a gifted story teller and had the ability to captivate her readers with her simple stories. They might not have great literary merit but the fact that her storybooks are still adored by the children are evidence enough of her talent.

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