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What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby sixret » 12 Jan 2017, 10:30

Thank you, Anita. The beauty of sharing. :D
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Rob Houghton » 12 Jan 2017, 12:06

Anita - what a great poetic post about rediscovering/rereading old books! I feel the same way exactly. I still have all my childhood books, and the memories they bring back, or the excited feelings of when I first opened them, or did the puzzles, or read a story, or coloured the colouring page, come back afresh when I open them now. There are books that have illustrations coloured, or puzzles completed in felt pen, but they are still more precious than unblemished versions of the same book, with wrappers and in great condition. 8)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Lucky Star » 12 Jan 2017, 15:19

I feel the same but alas only a mere handful of my childhood copies survive. And as those are in my parents house in Ireland I rarely see them. I have carefully bought all of the same editions that I had before so that there is much that is familiar but the original few at home still have very special status.
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Spitfire » 12 Jan 2017, 16:00

Great post, Anita.

I don't have many of my childhood books but like Lucky Star have tried to collect the same editions. The ones I do have are pretty battered, usually with my name and age scribbled in the front.

Memories and associations are powerful things. I know that occasionally when I re-read a story after many years, I can remember exactly how I felt when I first read it, or where I was, or what was going on around me - for example, Ivanhoe for me is inextricably linked with St. Margaret's beach near Dover! The moment when Robin cheeks Mr. Armstrong in The Boy Next Door always takes me to my seat in my parents Peugeot 505, having just arrived home after a trip out - even though I've read it many times since over the years. Certain Chopin pieces instantly remind me of a project on Hop Farms I did in my GCSE year. I learned how to pronounce 'conceited' (from The O'Sullivan Twins) in our back garden. None of the memories are particuarly special in themselves, except that they act as a powerful link to my former self at different ages.

My sister always says that one of the Polovtsian Dances reminds her of The Valley of Adventure!

We always shared books - my brother had Biggles and Tintin, my older sister Sue Barton and Jean Plaidy, I had Chalet School and the Anne books. We all had Enid Blytons, many of them second-hand.
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Rob Houghton » 12 Jan 2017, 16:27

Yes - I have similar memories. Like reading 'More Adventures on Willow Farm) (the ONLY novel-sized book I have ever read in one sitting!) curled up in an armchair when it was snowing, or The Adventure of the Strange Ruby - in the back of my dad's old Austin 1100, or 'The ragamuffin Mystery' on a holiday in North wales, or 'The Mystery of the Missing Necklace' which I read lying on a blanket on the lawn on a particularly hot summer's day - rather like the setting for the book! :lol:
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Spitfire » 12 Jan 2017, 16:53

I know we've said this before, but I do think there's something special about reading a book that's suited to the weather, or even better to the surroundings - like reading Ragamuffin on a holiday in Wales! - Was that intentional? I don't think I ever intentionally chose books in that way when I was a child, except certain stories at Christmas perhaps. I often do now though. My first Enid Blyton choice for snowy weather would be Rat-a-Tat (despite the characterisation failings), and my Autumn choice would be Hike. Not sure what I would choose for a hot sunny day though - there are so many that brim with sunshine!
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Rob Houghton » 12 Jan 2017, 17:14

Spitfire wrote:I know we've said this before, but I do think there's something special about reading a book that's suited to the weather, or even better to the surroundings - like reading Ragamuffin on a holiday in Wales! - Was that intentional?


No - not at all! :-) I was on holiday in Wales aged around 12 and wanted a book to read, saw 'ragamuffin Mystery' and bought it (paperback version) - the setting was a complete coincidence! It was one of the last EB books I bought before 'growing out of them' for a while, but at the time I really enjoyed it. 8)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Carlotta King » 12 Jan 2017, 17:25

Most of my Blyton books as a girl were my mum's copies that she let me have, and modern copies (80s) that she bought for me.

The Adventure series were all my mum's apart from River (which she bought for me) but my FF and SS were all bought new.

Sea of Adventure was the only one I had with red cloth boards and paper cover, although I don't know what edition it is without looking, and I've not got it here with me. That must have been my mum's when she was a girl, funnily enough I've never thought to ask her if she had others! I've never seen her with any other old editions and there were never any about in our house (apart from Sea) when I was a girl, so if she did have any they must have either been lost or given away or something. Maybe she left them behind at her old house when she and my dad bought their first house; Sea is her favourite so maybe she just took that one with her!

The rest of the Adventure series I had were the 1975 Piccolo editions, which my mum must have obviously bought for herself when she was a young woman in the 70s. She was born in 1951 so she'd have been at least 24 or 25 when she bought them.

Even though those Piccolo editions had slightly more modern cover illustrations, they're the ones I am very fond of because I grew up reading them and that was partly how I imagined the children to look. I say 'partly' because obviously I also had Sea with the original Tresilian illustrations, and the Piccolo ones also had Tresilian illustrations, so I was imagining them as both Tresilian and Piccolo!

I love the traditional Tresilian illustrations, with Lucy-Ann and Dinah looking like well dressed girls of that time, with their curly hair styles etc, but I also love the 1975 covers too, with Lucy-Ann with her straight red hair.

However, even though the Piccolos look modern compared to Tresilian's, they're still not obviously ultra modern, and the children are wearing simple shorts, jerseys and rubber shoes etc, so they still look pretty traditional to me; its not as if they'd been updated to wearing flares etc!

My FF books were mostly the 1987 Knight ones (where they look like members of Duran Duran on the covers!) and the 1992 Award ones with Jolyne Knox illustrations. Again, nowhere near the originals and I definitely prefer the Soper illustrations, but the Maxey and Knox books retain a charm and I have real fondness for them because I grew up with them.

Sorry for the long post Nigel, hope you'll forgive me! :lol:
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Rob Houghton » 12 Jan 2017, 17:41

It's interesting, talking about the Piccolo covers. They were the covers I can first remember as being 'not right!!' :lol: I don't mind them so much now, but its a good way of showing that my feelings about modern covers didn't just start a few years ago but dates back to these Piccolo covers when I was aged about 12. Up until then, I'd been brought up on what I considered were the more dramatic covers of earlier versions -

Image

So I found the new covers a bit tame and considered them to be 'interlopers' :lol: I only had two - 'Island' and 'Mountain' - and looking at them now, I quite like them, but when I was 12 I thought they were childish and not half as well drawn as the earlier paperback covers!

Image Image
Last edited by Rob Houghton on 12 Jan 2017, 17:59, edited 1 time in total.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Carlotta King » 12 Jan 2017, 17:49

Isn't it funny how we all think so differently about things!

I can quite understand what you mean about them not being as dramatic as earlier ones, as they look much 'calmer' and are painted in pale colours.

Island and Mountain were two of my favourite covers - I felt so thrilled seeing them going down that mineshaft because I knew what an adventure it was, and even Mountain, where they're just looking calmly up at the mountain, seemed thrilling because of what was happening (strange pink smoke etc).

I guess it just seemed very thrilling to me as a little girl. :)

I was (and am still) very much like you in that even as a girl I liked covers and illustrations to look real, like real kids and not silly cartoonish things, and dramatic and exciting, but even though these covers aren't hugely dramatic and the figures are perhaps slightly too slim, I still really love them. :)
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Rob Houghton » 12 Jan 2017, 18:05

I must admit I do feel quite nostalgic about the 'Island' and 'Mountain' covers nowadays. I actually quite like the style, now - although as I said, at 12, I was disappointed in them, and would rather have had the 'proper' covers. I guess that's how people also feel about the Tresilian covers (which I had never seen aged 12).

I've always preferred characters to look 'human' even when I was quite young. I guess I had quite a narrow view of what illustrations should look like, and maybe I still do. It was mainly based upon what I was familiar with - and I guess we are all the same in a way - the things we had grown up with as young children were the 'proper' versions!

That's why I've always preferred Derek Lucas's illustrations for The Secret Seven rather than the originals.

Having said all that, the 'thin' characters on the Piccolo versions do have a nice feel to them nowadays - quite nostalgic, as I said, and I can see why they would also be looked on with excitement as a child, because they were the start of some exciting adventures upon opening the covers! :D
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 12 Jan 2017, 19:05

It's lovely reading about associations and memories connected with the books. :D

I'm fond of the Piccolo Adventure paperbacks too, Cathy (Carlotta). They were the editions I had as a child and I've still got them. I love the fact that the illustrations go across the spine and onto the back cover. My favourites are Sea and Castle. The cover for Sea is very vibrant, and when I look at the one for Castle I feel as though I'm being lured into a wild, rugged landscape and invited to join the adventure.
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Lucky Star » 12 Jan 2017, 19:19

I had Castle, Valley and Sea in the Armada versions as posted by Rob above (his Castle pic). The rest I had in the Piccolo editions and so I love both sets.
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Carlotta King » 12 Jan 2017, 21:18

Anita Bensoussane wrote:It's lovely reading about associations and memories connected with the books. :D

I'm fond of the Piccolo Adventure paperbacks too, Cathy (Carlotta). They were the editions I had as a child and I've still got them. I love the fact that the illustrations go across the spine and onto the back cover. My favourites are Sea and Castle. The cover for Sea is very vibrant, and when I look at the one for Castle I feel as though I'm being lured into a wild, rugged landscape and invited to join the adventure.


Yes, Castle certainly captures the wilderness of Scotland very well, with the moor-like hills. Funnily enough though, whenever I read it I never feel as though it is actually in Scotland, the descriptions of the hillside with the pretty cottage and the woods and the farmhouse etc sound like somewhere lush and green in the English countryside. Rather like Little Brockleton in Circus.

Another thing I like about the Piccolo covers is that they show us a different landscape sometimes; we get to see inside the fern cave in Valley, and we get a mysterious looking moonlit night at the edge of the riverbank in River (I'm assuming its the bit where Raya Uma pinches their launch), rather than the usual boat on the water like the other covers.
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Re: What Enid Blyton book are you reading right NOW!

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 12 Jan 2017, 22:17

I agree that the Piccolo covers are notable for showing striking scenes. Viewing things from inside the fern cave on the cover of Valley is inspired.

Am I right in thinking that we're not told in Castle that the children are in Scotland, but that it's mentioned in a later book in the series? As a child I first read Castle on a beach in North Wales which had views of wild, rocky hills. Maybe it was that that made me imagine the story was set in Wales - even though it didn't feature any characters uttering "Look you", "Whateffer" or "Cooking good, very good cooking"!
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