TBT: The One, The Only… Enid Blyton!

If I were to make a list of favourite/most memorable/most treasured things about my childhood, my Enid Blyton books would make it to the top three.

Those enchanting book covers, the simple yet magical titles, that beloved signature I grew to love and admire.

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I collected the paperbacks, buying them from old book stores and jumble sales, the guy who sold battered books off a cart down the street every week. I borrowed them, and even rented out my own during the summers, strung out on a line tied to the backs of two chairs outside my house. I’d use the money to buy more of every Enid Blyton series and add them to my collection. Mallory Towers, The Five Findouters, Amelia Jane, The Adventure series, St. Claire’s, The Secret Seven, and of course my favourite of them all, The Famous Five.

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As a kid, I didn’t like the world all of the time. I knew early on that everything wasn’t sunshine and rainbows, that people were flawed and sometimes terribly so, and that being a child wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. But, when I read, and specifically anything by Blyton, things changed, at least in my mind. Between the age of 7-10, her books became my escape, my refuge, a companion I sought above more or less everything else. By reading those books I learned that magic could be found in the most unlikely places, that every adventure was a journey where you discovered a lot about others, and mostly about yourself; your strengths, your weaknesses, your abilities. Most importantly, I learned that there is a lot children can endure and overcome however harsh life may sometimes be, and there is nothing they cannot do once they put their minds to doing it.

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Enid Blyton was not a childhood phase, nor was she just an author of childrens books. How can that be if I and countless others can still as adults pick up one of her books and get lost in the magic of her words? Why did the lessons we learned in those pages still resonate with so many of us even now?

She was incredible in shaping the minds of millions of children, and she continues to be till today. She was an original, the original. A beloved author and friend to scores of us.

I spent a good deal of time just last week on chat with Chani, reminiscing about when we were kids and how much we adored reading Enid Blyton books. We laughed and traded quotes, favourite titles, adventures, food!! So, I know she’ll be chiming in soon with some of her EB memories, and I will too in the weeks ahead. We’ll be featuring our favourite books and characters, as well as the many series written by one of the most loved authors of all time.

Stay tuned for our Enid Blyton Celebration Series, if you’re a fan (I know some of our readers definitely are) do join in on the posts via the comment box, and if you’re not, you’re invited to stay anyway and join in the fun.

Happy Reading!

xoxo

Anne

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24 thoughts on “TBT: The One, The Only… Enid Blyton!

  1. I used to love them as a kid.

    Do your kids enjoy them? I always wonder when I buy books for my son if stories like these have become outdated for today’s world and worry if my son would love them if I get it for him. Sometimes I feel frustrated because the series books recommended for them seems pretty silly (Stink, Captain Underpants,Bad Kitty etc.) compared to anything Enid Blyton or may be it is because I am older and don’t have patience to read children’s books in general. My son enjoys all of these since the humor and the words used seem to be right for his generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My daughter went through the Mallory Towers series like a bullet. She loves EB books and will read almost anything I recommend or buy for her. My son didn’t take to them immediately, but then his taste in books is still a little up in the air. One good thing is that their school library has a massive EB section, so he discovered the Secret Seven there and liked it enough to read a few. Then came The Five Findouters and he loves those. I think that’s the thing with EB books, most kids will find something there they can relate with or take to. I’d say buy him a few from various series and see how it goes. Also, being able to discuss plots/characters with them is a good motivator, and with EB you’d already know your stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have tears , like the happy ones.

    Enid Blyton was my escape too , she gave me emotions, space where I just liked being with myself.

    I was around 8-9 when dad gifted me my first EB , struggling to contain my excitement , I ran around, picked my fav corner and just entered a different world. It was love, ever lasting and eternal. Her stories , characters all spoke to the child in me about real world and it’s emotions.

    Years later I read her biography, probably the only one which touched me. The way her characters became her life and soul. How she numbed her pain by the might of her pen . Writing was her closing off the world , her therapy. it was emotionally very powerful read , to see her world which gave me so much happiness and it took her away from reality.

    Somewhere the impressions of her emotions have stayed with me , forever.

    This still makes my head go buzzing , “Remorse is a terrible thing to bear, Pam, one of the worst of all punishments in this life. To wish undone something you have done, to wish you could look back on kindness to someone you love, instead of on unkindness – that is a very terrible thing.” – House at the Corner.

    Thank you for this space, I needed to embrace her again.

    Hugs and love!!

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  3. HI Anne, I’ve had a fun few minutes reading your posts and trying to work out how the devil I can reply to your reply to my reply on Blogging201! Hope this works! Huge thanks for your visit to my blog and comments and guest blogging invite! You even like Enid Blyton and Audrey Hepburn AND Oscar de la Renta – spooky enough for Halloween! My e-mail is jane.morley@orange.fr Look forward to hearing from you !

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  4. I am a big fan….actually i looked at the libraries here in Houston and did not find a single book of hers strange. …now i trying getting them through ebay and amazon….so count me in…

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  5. I am twenty one and a bit ashamed to say I have never read enid blyton. my childhood memories of story telling came from my grandparents, who sat down every night to tell me, mostly hindu mythology , isop stories and panchathanthram. Most ly in my mother tongue. started reading in English only later that too I started with sherlock holmes….
    but its never late to read, and I shall start

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My daughters are reading St.Claires and Malory Towers and I am reading with them. I have lost count of how many times i have read them before.

    My elder one is now coming out of the phase of EB but the little one loves all EB books. We have 3 shelves full of EB books and collecting more each day 🙂

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  7. I have never read her but since all you ladies recommend it I will surely look for them as my kids love reading even on a trip in an aeroplane or in the car they always are reading something. And my daughter is crazy for books.

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  8. My dad had a massive collection of her books. And, I wasn’t much of a reader, well never been one:(
    And, famous five surely did make the torturous reading hour, worthwhile.

    BUT I found out, when I was in my mid teens I think, that Enid Blyton was a LADY!
    Hahahahaha
    Sigh.
    Such shame, no?
    THAT DAY!

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  9. I loved her books. What attracted me most was the book covers, titles as you said…but you have rightly put what I have gained out by reading books -” By reading those books I learned that magic could be found in the most unlikely places, that every adventure was a journey where you discovered a lot about others, and mostly about yourself; your strengths, your weaknesses, your abilities. Most importantly, I learned that there is a lot children can endure and overcome however harsh life may sometimes be, and there is nothing they cannot do once they put their minds to doing it.”

    Like

  10. OMG…..you all love her too. Enid Blyton was my savior and an integral part of my childhood. Her books were hard to come by in East Africa where I grew up and once i read my first EB, it was a mission and a passion to aquire and read everything she had ever written. I would save up and trudge to the few bookstores around to buy her booksand barter with friends who had them. I too ran a library for a fee and would use money to buy more and even wrote to my maternal uncles in UK to send me the books I could not find in Africa.

    When my family had to move to England, I begged and cajoled my Dad into including my entire collection of books in the shipping container with the rest of our belongings ….alas…..our belongings never made it to UK…my first EB collection….along my childhood memories such as family photos etc all got lost or stolen. Hope the people that took our stuff off the shipping docks somewhere in Uganda had a taste for EB!!!!!!!

    But once in UK, I started saving again and there the EB books were a lot easier to find. I survived my often tumultuous childhood by getting lost in her stories. I have never outgrown her and have introduced both my daughters to her stories….and watched with delight as they too loved her stories.

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  11. I might have read a few from the school library. But dont remember much. Though I have tried a lot, but I have failed miserably in inculcating reading habit in my son. Reading for him is Tintin, Archie…

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  12. I recently had a wave of nostalgia for her books. They gave me an outlet to a nicer world, one with pixies and slippery slips and midnight feasts. I love this post.

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  13. Enid Blyton does bring back memories of being in that adventurous world of friends & hostels. Being from a hostel background myself at that age, the empathy was greater! Borrowing from friends, local libraries, forming our own secret club, sneaking out after midnight for rendezvous, inventing passwords….it was a beautiful time!

    Enid Blyton lives on in so many countries, across time, in memories! Though I think girls liked reading her more than boys, my boys completely bypassed her, while my nieces latched on!

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  14. I started reading Enid Blyton when I was seven. The school library had a full bookshelf dedicated to Enid Blyton books from top to bottom marked for grade three which was unfortunate since I was in second grade at the time. I would sneak over every week during the library period to choose my book and sneak back, efforts which I now realize were useless since the librarian obviously knew where they were from and didn’t mind me borrowing them.

    I remember finding it so difficult to choose. How was I supposed to survive the week with just ONE? I loved The Magic Faraway Tree series and The Enchanted Wood, and Mr. Twiddle would always make me laugh. I discovered the Find Outers and lived to see Mr. Goon being thwarted, all those stories which made me wish I was going to a boarding school, read Secret Seven which has since become my favourite series from all EB books. Ah, the excitement of finding a good book :’)

    I’m so glad I have a sister who’s ten years younger, now SHE can go and borrow the books so I can reread them. Not that it does any good these days since I’m out of the country for most of the year, thank god for summer breaks! Definitely look forward to the celebration series, although I shouldn’t make promises, my attendance here has been nothing short of horrible lately. Studies and life seriously cutting into reading time. :/

    Thanks for the lovely read, Anne!

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  15. What an adorable post…. growing up I always wanted to go to Mallory towers! I envied those girls so much.. The Famous Five were awesome, their friendship and ability to tackle anything was great.. Alas my daughter loves Harry Potter Books !! (I just could not get into reading those)
    Sita

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