The Enid Blyton Society

Journal 54

What did you think of the latest Journal?

Re: Journal 54

Postby Kate Mary » 20 Jul 2014, 06:28

I'm just back from my Hols to find Journal 54 waiting for me. It looks a treat. So far I have only read Tony's Editorial, despite his plea for more contributors I don't think I'm up to the task, and Robert Houghton's article comparing The Family at Red Roofs (I've always been fond of that book) and The Railway Children. I read a few years ago that E. Nesbit has been accused of plagiarism, an earlier book The House by the Railway by Ada Groves is very similar. I wonder if an incident in real life inspired both writers. See what you think:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ilway.html

Back to the Journal with my early morning cup of tea.
"I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine."

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Re: Journal 54

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 20 Jul 2014, 09:15

I'd heard before about the similarities between Ada Graves' The House by the Railway and E. Nesbit's The Railway Children but, although there is certainly a resemblance, I don't think the similarities are very remarkable. Trains and railways would have been exciting to children in those days, when the pace of day to day life was slow and people didn't travel as often as they do now, and toy engines were popular with youngsters back then, so it's not surprising that more than one author should write about children living near a railway. Once that setting has been established, there's bound to be some drama and danger involving a train at some point - and waving something red would be the obvious method of attracting attention. Families being parted and reunited, acquaintances turning out to be related to one another and engraved watches being presented for heroic acts are all common themes in novels of that period and earlier, so again I don't find it much of a coincidence that those things appear in both books. Several other books by E. Nesbit also feature families being separated and reunited - or acquaintances who turn out to be connected in some way.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Re: Journal 54

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 20 Jul 2014, 09:41

I'll have to wait until I get home to read the rest of my journal, being away, and I left it out purposely to bring with me and I forgot it!!! :roll:

8)
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Re: Journal 54

Postby Chrissie777 » 20 Jul 2014, 13:35

pete9012S wrote:Just don't make the mistake I made and call it a 'shed'...I did a few years back. I think Nigel's forgiven me now..... :wink:


They call them shed in the US which I never liked. I call them garden house.
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Re: Journal 54

Postby Moonraker » 21 Jul 2014, 11:00

A shed is a completely different building!

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Re: Journal 54

Postby Chrissie777 » 21 Jul 2014, 14:54

Now you misunderstood me, Nigel. I was not talking about your gazebo aka summerhouse, I was talking about sheds in general and that I call them garden house.
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Re: Journal 54

Postby Nick » 21 Jul 2014, 19:45

Robert Houghton wrote:Thanks for all the comments on my article. I enjoyed searching for similarities and contrasts...always interesting to speculate about things like this. Courtenay - I really do hope I havent put you off reading 'The Family At Red Roofs' - as Anita says, its a skilfully constructed family saga, and well worth reading. It is also one of my favourite of Enid's Family stories, despite the fact I find the ending a bit disappointing. As Poppy says, the audience the book is aimed at might not see the ending as a disappointment...although I must admit I did, even aged 9 or 10. The children had found their independence and seemed to be coping well, and this idea of being treated like an adult is very attractive to most children, so to me, even then, it seemed a shame and an injustice, that they had to relinquish it again!

Havent read much of the Journal yet...except the bits written by Enid, which are always my first port of call. I only received my Journal on Wednesday...so I have the pleasure of a good read still to come! :-)


I really enjoyed your article and somehow, having never read The Family at Red Roofs, found myself disagreeing with your conclusion. :D I've always felt that Enids works were her own way of recapturing a lost childhood and from how I read your article that is exactly what happens to the children.

You've inspired me to read it and find out for myself!
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Re: Journal 54

Postby pete9012S » 21 Jul 2014, 22:21

How did we get to Nigel's shed from Journal 54?? Sorry, I meant Summer Châteaux ! :shock:
" A kind heart always brings its own reward," said Mrs. Lee.
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Re: Journal 54

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 22 Jul 2014, 10:14

Nigel has a summer chateaux and a shed in his garden Pete!!! :lol:

8)
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Re: Journal 54

Postby Moonraker » 22 Jul 2014, 10:56

And poor Chrissie gets so confused! :wink:
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Re: Journal 54

Postby Lenoir » 23 Jul 2014, 16:57

Mine was waiting for me when I got home last night. I have just opened it and read the editorial.
I won't read the comments in this thread until I've read it myself.
It is no use locking the stable door after the cracked pitcher has gone to the well.
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Re: Journal 54

Postby John Pickup » 01 Aug 2014, 20:07

As I have been off line recently, I haven't been able to comment on the latest journal. First of all thanks to Tony for his supreme efforts in compiling such a magnificent publication. I showed my copy to my daughter-in-law who was amazed by the quality of the articles and the illustrations. Many thanks also to the many contributors, without whom there wouldn't be a journal.
John Lester's article was spot on in my opinion. When Barney was no longer a wandering fair boy, the subsequent books lost a strong character. But the Rubadub Mystery ended on such an emotional high with Barney finally being reunited with his father, the last two books were never going to live up to that.
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Re: Journal 54

Postby Moonraker » 03 Aug 2014, 10:17

The reunion should have been left to the last book. It was a pivotal sub-plot throughout the series, and in my view, was a mistake to feature it with books still left to write.
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Re: Journal 54

Postby walter raleigh » 03 Aug 2014, 12:25

I would guess knowing Enid she probably only intended to write just four '"R" Mysteries', but wrote a couple more due to popular demand. After all there were only originally meant to be six 'Famous Five' books!
"Stuck in a state of permanent pre-pubescence like poor Julian in the Famous Five!"

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Re: Journal 54

Postby Lucky Star » 03 Aug 2014, 13:21

That is what I have always thought too. It seems to have happened quite a lot with her major series'. The price of being too good a writer I suppose.
"If Hugo's treasure you would see, look for a door where none should be".

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