The Enid Blyton Society

Journal 63

What did you think of the latest Journal?

Re: Journal 63

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 22 Jul 2017, 10:25

I'm sorry that we are taking over Journal 53 thread about this, but I have to say I do agree with just reading Moonrakers comments here. I find all this very upsetting indeed.

Sixret you just don't appreciate how a little deceitful you've been. And as for the comments about not liking articles with a full review of the book and spoilers etc, well for me, it's better not to say anything hurtful as the writer has taken their own time and trouble to put forward their articles to Tony.

Back peddling, I'm afraid Nigel has it spot on there, Courtenay, sorry. But you have gone on and on about this sort of thing and made it clear on the forum.

I do hope the air is clear now, and we really can move on. :)
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Domino » 22 Jul 2017, 11:13

As a footnote to this, can I please point out that the word is backpedalling not backpeddling. We are constantly seeing the English language undermined on the Internet anyway, so it is sickening when Society Members exacerbate the problem.

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Re: Journal 63

Postby Rob Houghton » 22 Jul 2017, 11:48

I'm not sure about backpedalling - as someone who agreed with Courtenay that I'm not keen on articles that just reiterate the plot, like some articles do, in actual fact the Dame Slap article didn't really do that - and anyway, its different when the plot is as slight as Dame Slap and Her School' and isn't something you are likely to read. So I think its quite okay to say you weren't keen on one article, but enjoyed another similar one - not all articles are the same, nor do they necessarily provoke the same response.

When it comes to apologies, 'I apologise for that' with a smiley - is hardly an apology, as others have said. Also, if a PM had been sent to Tony as he first requested, then none of this public 'humiliation' would have occurred. Tony did give the culprit the chance to 'fess up' privately and they didn't.
'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: Journal 63

Postby Courtenay » 22 Jul 2017, 11:50

Gosh, I was hoping the ongoing kerfuffle on this thread might have died down by now... :x

To clarify, I did honestly enjoy Angela Canning's article on Dame Slap, despite the fact that it gave much of the story away — it still made some very good and interesting observations and I was glad to have read it. No, I don't like it when an article rehashes most of a plot (I simply decided not to mention that again, since enough has been said about it already), but that doesn't mean the article won't be worth reading for its other merits, which this one certainly was.

And yes, I sincerely wanted to show some appreciation for that writer's contribution, having previously been accused of maligning her, which is where this whole sorry argument began. Can I not do that without being ridiculed and accused of not being genuine — especially by fellow Society members whom I consider friends? :(

sixret wrote:Knowing me, I love joking around people that I have felt comfortable with. I am very sure, Courtenay can understand it. Kudos to Courtenay! :D


No, Sixret, I can't understand it. I thought your joke was in poor taste in the first place and your apology has not come across as sincere at all, as others have pointed out. I'm not going to go on any further about it, however, and I hope we can all move on from here.

And one more thing...

Domino wrote:As a footnote to this, can I please point out that the word is backpedalling not backpeddling. We are constantly seeing the English language undermined on the Internet anyway, so it is sickening when Society Members exacerbate the problem.


Thank you, Dave, for saving me the trouble of correcting my own accusers. :mrgreen: :wink: :wink:
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Tony Summerfield » 22 Jul 2017, 12:16

Rob Houghton wrote:It was interesting to read the Letter from Enid Blyton in this latest Journal, and also to read about Tony's 'research' into finding the discrepancy between text and illustration - something only an owner of a first edition of Hurrah For Little Noddy could do! Unfortunately mine isn't a first but I found the illustration. ;-)

That was one of the nicest letters from Enid I've read, I thought - and imagine how proud that boy would have been, that his observations caused the second edition to be altered!


Chris is still proud at the age of 70, but like me he readily admitted that he certainly wouldn't now be able to spot what he had managed to do at the age of 4. As the original was the only copy he owned (long since lost) he never saw the change that Enid made, but when he recently found the letter he wondered if the book ever was altered which is why he approached me. As this was 66 years ago he couldn't remember what it was that he had found, but thought it had something to do with colour.
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Daisy » 22 Jul 2017, 12:55

I enjoyed the article on Dame Slap and her School when I could get my head round the idea that she was a rabbit! Dame Slap to me was the awful teacher in the Faraway Tree series and I can't think why Enid should have used that name again, after introducing Dame Slap in the Enchanted Wood in 1939. She can hardly have forgotten her, as she reappears in The Folk of the Faraway Tree as well, published in 1946. "Dame Slap and her School" appears midway between these two, in 1943. Most odd, I feel.
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Re: Journal 63

Postby pete9012S » 22 Jul 2017, 12:59

A Letter from Enid Blyton – No. 24 (84)

I thought this was a most touching account and read it with real enjoyment.Thank you for sharing it with us all in the latest Journal Tony.

Always something new and interesting to learn about Enid Blyton in every issue-even for some of us seasoned and grizzled veterans!

If you haven't yet become a subscriber,why not take the plunge and subscribe today!
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Courtenay » 22 Jul 2017, 13:00

Daisy wrote:I enjoyed the article on Dame Slap and her School when I could get my head round the idea that she was a rabbit! Dame Slap to me was the awful teacher in the Faraway Tree series and I can't think why Enid should have used that name again, after introducing Dame Slap in the Enchanted Wood in 1939. She can hardly have forgotten her, as she reappears in The Folk of the Faraway Tree as well, published in 1946. "Dame Slap and her School" appears midway between these two, in 1943. Most odd, I feel.


Yes, I was thinking that too. Maybe Enid just liked the name "Dame Slap" and thought it ought to have a friendly connotation as well as a scary one? It's a bit of a puzzle, but there you go. :wink:
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Rob Houghton » 22 Jul 2017, 13:58

Daisy wrote:I enjoyed the article on Dame Slap and her School when I could get my head round the idea that she was a rabbit! Dame Slap to me was the awful teacher in the Faraway Tree series and I can't think why Enid should have used that name again, after introducing Dame Slap in the Enchanted Wood in 1939. She can hardly have forgotten her, as she reappears in The Folk of the Faraway Tree as well, published in 1946. "Dame Slap and her School" appears midway between these two, in 1943. Most odd, I feel.


Yes - I agree. I first came across 'Dame Slap and her School' when I was around 7 or 8, and I was already very familiar with the 'original' Dame Slap - so I was very puzzled about this 'new' one - especially as she was a rabbit!

I got the book at a jumble sale I think, and mostly I just bought it because it had Enid Blyton's name on the front and I'd never read it. I was always a little puzzled as to why Dame Slap was now a rabbit - and also never really keen on this 'picture strip' format - so I don't think I actually read the book all the way through - though I did colour some of the pictures! :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: Journal 63

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 22 Jul 2017, 14:16

Tony Summerfield wrote:
Rob Houghton wrote:It was interesting to read the Letter from Enid Blyton in this latest Journal, and also to read about Tony's 'research' into finding the discrepancy between text and illustration - something only an owner of a first edition of Hurrah For Little Noddy could do! Unfortunately mine isn't a first but I found the illustration. ;-)

That was one of the nicest letters from Enid I've read, I thought - and imagine how proud that boy would have been, that his observations caused the second edition to be altered!


Chris is still proud at the age of 70, but like me he readily admitted that he certainly wouldn't now be able to spot what he had managed to do at the age of 4. As the original was the only copy he owned (long since lost) he never saw the change that Enid made, but when he recently found the letter he wondered if the book ever was altered which is why he approached me. As this was 66 years ago he couldn't remember what it was that he had found, but thought it had something to do with colour.

I very much enjoyed seeing the letter too, and hearing the story behind it. Items of this nature help us build up a picture of Enid Blyton and the relationship she had with her readers (and with readers' parents where relevant!), as well as giving us an insight into the society of the time.

I agree with everyone who has said what a brilliant Journal this is. What a delightfully summery cover - and gorgeous illustrations throughout. Tony's quotation from the George Gershwin song - 'Summertime, and the livin' is easy' - put me in exactly the right mood for a relaxing read (though as Tony said, the slowness of his computer meant that putting the Journal together was anything but easy for him!)

Thanks for the comments on Part 1 of my article about The Mystery That Never Was. I too rather like the Eric Parker illustrations for the serialisation of this book, Kate. They're bold and eye-catching. I notice that the red band on the cover of the paperback pictured in the Journal says, 'A Thrilling Adventure Story'. My paperback has the same cover but the red band reads, 'New in Paperback'. It's not often that my edition of something is earlier than Tony's! Of course, I appreciate that he also possesses the Collins hardback which I don't have! Interesting that your childhood experience of The Mystery That Never Was was similar to mine, Rob. In answer to Nigel, I can barely remember what I put in Part 2 but it's a similar length to Part 1! We'll both have to wait and see! I'm glad Part 1 has inspired some people to buy or re-read the book.

'One Winter Afternoon' was a cooling, refreshing read on a sweltering summer's day! The illustrations are great, especially the one captioned 'The ice parted'. An absorbing cautionary tale, as is 'Prince Furious and the Spanking Slippers' which benefits from super illustrations by Lunt Roberts. As a child I loved those kinds of tales and would shiver at Enid's warning that the slippers (or whatever object) might come looking for me if I wasn't careful!

Julie's analysis of Susie was most interesting. I must say that although Susie is bright, I find her rather mean-hearted and crafty in her cleverness. As for the rivalry between the Seven and Susie, it adds to the drama in the earlier books but later in the series it takes over and the constant squabbling becomes wearisome to read about.

John Pickup's overview of Miss Pepper was also very thorough and I particularly liked the description of her as 'enigmatic, sensitive and wise'. I'd completely forgotten that she beat Diana in a swimming race! I think you're right, John, that there are aspects of Enid herself in the character of Miss Pepper.

I loved Rob's 'cookery book' idea. My own 'Magic Pud' would have to include The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies as it's a gripping story, extremely funny in places but also unexpectedly moving. The illustrations that adorn Rob's article are sumptuous. As a child I hadn't heard of The Yellow Fairy Book (or The Queer Adventure) and as an adult I've only got the Red Fox paperback, but I was delighted when I learnt (from Tony's Bibliographies and the Cave) that H. R. Millar had illustrated an Enid Blyton book. I've always admired the work he did for E. Nesbit. I agree that the playroom in the Wishing-Chair books sounds like a cosy and exciting 'haven from grown-ups'. It's a special place belonging to the children, where they can arrange their things as they want and get on with their activities without interruption. The studies in the St. Clare's books sound similarly appealing, though more 'teenagerish' of course. And yes, the second Wishing-Chair book is the stronger of the two (I realise there's a third title but that was cobbled together much later, bringing together discarded chapters and uncollected material from various sources).

What a glorious array of book covers to accompany John Lester's article about his favourites. I agree with many of his choices but would add The Sea of Adventure, Five Get Into Trouble, The Rilloby Fair Mystery and Those Dreadful Children. If I were compiling my own list, some 1970s paperbacks and Dean books might well creep in too!

Sheila Ray mentions the National Library for the Handicapped Child, founded by the Enid Blyton Trust for Children, and says that it 'seemed a bit pointless' to her. I've read about it before but I've forgotten the details now. Does anyone know anything about it?

Like Courtenay, I found Enid's 'From My Window' a joy to read. Sitting in a buttercup field on a summer's evening, watching the sun sink lower and lower, beats playing tennis any day!

A lovely centre spread showing a selection of Five on a Treasure Island covers. My three favourites are the two by Eileen Soper and the one by Betty Maxey, though I also like the ones from 1983 and 1993. The back cover of the Journal is another feast for the eyes, with some truly delightful illustrations from Enid Blyton's Bedtime Series. Eileen Soper at her inimitable best!

Nick Hopkins' articles are always chock-full of information and I enjoyed learning about the making of the Cloud 9 Secret Series. I too feel that the Cloud 9 series is uneven and, although I take Raymond Thompson's point that every screen adaptation is 'kind of an interpretation of that story', it can't be denied that some of the episodes (particularly The Secret of Killimooin, as noted in the article) stray incredibly far from the books upon which they were based. As others have said, Harry Duffin is being unfair when he talks of the original stories as conveying the message that 'black and foreign equals bad'. African boy Mafumu (changed to a different character in the Cloud 9 adaptation) is loved and admired by the main protagonists, while Prince Paul from Baronia becomes one of the gang. I agree that the hilarious 'shattering glass' scene in Killimooin and the 'elixir of life' theme in Moon Castle betray the screenwriter's history of writing for animation!

I'd always wondered why Mike (Tom Pizey) barely appeared in a couple of the episodes, so it was interesting to read that the gruelling hours which child actors were allowed to work in New Zealand were just too much for him. Oh, and I hadn't noticed that Jack had mistakenly been given the surname 'Trent' which belongs to Jack of the Adventure Series!

John Pickup and others have said what a powerful piece of writing Anne Kirrin's Diary is, written by Ilsa,and I have to agree. Engaging, emotional and very convincing.

As IceMaiden said, there's a great deal of reading in the Journal and it pays to savour it slowly. It's impossible to gulp it down the way Timmy devours an ice-cream. It needs to be sipped at leisure, like a glass of home-made lemonade. I've enjoyed this issue as always (thanks, Tony - and contributors!) and I can't wait for the next!
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Re: Journal 63

Postby pete9012S » 22 Jul 2017, 21:23

Anne Kirrin's Diary – Part 2: by Ilsa Cheeseman (54)

What an evocative, moving piece. It felt like I was reading Jane Austin or Trollope at times. The Kirrin's downturn in fortunes and then slight upturn as they sold land to help form a roadway in front of their abode was very touching.
Inspirational too to have the entries in the Journal become less frequent over the years and the eventual mention of the arrival into the world of the newly born Fanny brought a tear to my eye!
Great stuff.Most enjoyable and a highly original idea.
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Daisy » 22 Jul 2017, 21:53

Thank you for your kind words, Pete. I appreciate them very much.
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 25 Jul 2017, 09:53

I've just been re-reading some of the earlier posts as I was busy when they were posted and I couldn't quite keep up with them all.

Lenoir wrote:The latest index up to Journal 62.

Index62

Thanks, Lenoir. Very useful and I've saved it to my computer.

IceMaiden wrote:I've never been a holidaying/travelling type, I've never felt the need to be when all the sorts of places I like are practically on the doorstep for free, but Dorset is somewhere I would make an exception for, for obvious reasons, and the article makes it sound even more enticing. I didn't know however that there is an Enid Blyton shop there that has closed :( . What a great shame, I bet it was a wonderful place to wander around and a good tourist attraction for the area. Has it moved online instead like a lot of small shops have done or has it gone completely?

Sadly, it's gone completely. It was the Ginger Pop Shop in Corfe and it was run by Viv Endecott who sometimes posts on the forums. It was a tiny shop but was bursting at the seams with Blyton books and vintage toys and games. At one time Viv also had an attraction in Poole, Eileen Soper's Illustrated Worlds, which was a centre devoted to activities inspired by the Famous Five, Eileen Soper and Enid Blyton. It had a secret passage, a mystery to solve, a caravan for children to play in, a mirror maze, etc. I visited the shop and the centre in 2010 and I'm sorry that both have now closed.

pete9012S wrote:I recently dug out an older article from Journal 54 and have just re-read it.I must say I enjoyed it.It was well written and informative about the Golliwogs first appearances in Sunny Stories and background details about the illustrator/illustrations etc.

I quite enjoyed the re-cap as to be honest the only time I've read about the Golliwogs was in this article as I've never read the books ( although I do own them)...

Question: when was the last appearance of a Golliwog in an Enid Blyton story does anyone know?
I think the article above mentions Enid Blyton's Magazine 1953 as having the last unrepeated Golliwog story?

If you're talking about the gollies from The Three Golliwogs, that may well have been their last new story. However, gollies in general continued to appear in Enid Blyton stories and she doesn't seem to have made a decision to exclude them at any point. Noddy and the Aeroplane (1963) features Mr. Golliwog and there were picture books after that date which might also have included gollies (I haven't seen them - I just know about them from the Cave).
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Re: Journal 63

Postby Chrissie777 » 25 Jul 2017, 12:15

IceMaiden wrote: I didn't know however that there is an Enid Blyton shop there that has closed :( . What a great shame, I bet it was a wonderful place to wander around and a good tourist attraction for the area. Has it moved online instead like a lot of small shops have done or has it gone completely?


IceMaiden, please check your PM. I've sent you a message.
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Re: Journal 63

Postby IceMaiden » 26 Jul 2017, 01:09

My goodness, I've missed some posts here, there were 4 pages last time I checked! I don't know what's gone on so but I'll have to say it's surprised me. Bickering on any other forum is normal and almost inviteable, but on an Enid Blyton forum it seems oddly shocking somehow, a bit like if the Queen swore at you - you don't expect it and certainly not from her :shock: !


However I digress, I have finally got around to reading the other half of the journal (I've been busy and got extra work as well) and it was well worth the wait 8) . So here at last is my part two review for, er, part two :

I found Sheila Ray's article very interesting and it gave me food for thought. One the one hand, to have so much first hand knowledge on your favourite author's life and be able to turn it into your job must be absolutely wonderful, but on the other, having so much insight means you see or know of a person's 'bad points' and can't blank them out.

From My Window is just lovely, you can see Enid's poetic abilities coming through in the descriptions and also the ideas for things like fairy dresses made of flower petals in some of the stories. Delightful little read.

The Famous Five front cover shows one thing more than any other - just how bad they've gone in the last three . I'm not a fan of any but the originals, however I do think that the early paperpacks are works of art compare to the modern stuff, and is it just me or do those dreadful covers make it seem like the books are for a younger age than they really are? In the first FF the children were 11-13 and the H&S books looked quite grown up with their plain red boards and serious looking dust wrappers, they looked right for the age they were aimed at and even older. Those modern things look childish and as if their meant for age 5-7, which would surely put most older children off as they'd think them were being given a 'babyish book'.

I've never seen the Cloud 9 Secret series, only the Adventure one but it was nice to read how it was made and some behind the scenes info. I liked the Adventure one they made a lot (except for Castle which was nothing like the book!) so I might try and find this one to watch as well.

Anne Kirrin's Journal is wonderful, so evocoative and very cleverly done to bring it right round to the characters that are known by any fan in an instant. It's not half frighteningly true either, the way she kept meaning to write in the diary but somehow didn't get around to it, and when she finally did a few more years had slipped by :( . Extremely enjoyable, like getting a glimpse into a bygone world.

The Spanking Slipper is very good, reminds me of the Grumble Goblin whose shoes wouldn't let him stop walking to punish him for his bad behaviour! I do love Enid's short stories with a moral, and like Anita, as a child I used to worry that it might happen to me if I behaved badly. I'm sure that's the main reason I didn't really misbehave as a child :lol: .

I loved the article on Miss Pepper and found myself nodding along in agreement at every word. Miss Pepper is a marvellous character, I was quite sad that she wasn't in Rilloby Fair or Rat-a-Tat. It's not until I've seen all those illustrations together though that I've realised they are nothing like how I imagine her to look!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who though Dame Slap was the same one as in the Faraway Tree! I don't have the Dame Slap and Her School book and thought it was part of the series like Up the Faraway Tree :oops: . I find it hard to think of her as a rabbit too, Dame Slap doesn't somehow suit a big cuddly bunny :P .

I enjoyed reading the letter and the story behind it. How on earth did a four year old spot that?! I had to read the last bit twice to work out what it was!

I am very sorry to hear that the Enid Blyton shop has completely gone :( . It sounds like it was a wonderful shop, a proper old style little shop with warmth and charm which are sadly disappearing, and it's a shame it wasn't allowed to be left open as an Enid Blyton heritage centre or local interest museum of some sort. Places like that should be kept not closed.

Chrissie - I've had your pm, I'll read and reply to you tomorrow if I get a chance as it's really late here now!
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