The Enid Blyton Society

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Posted by Catherine on January 17, 2018
Hi Barney. Regarding Sylvia's query, it would be a good idea to check out The Book People website. They have box sets of Enid Blyton books including Noddy and a complete set of Secret Seven stories, as well as a set they call the Friendly Folk which includes The Book of Brownies, The Adventures of Pip and Brer Rabbit. They aren't expensive either.
BarneyBarney says: Sounds good, Catherine. Thanks for that!
Posted by Sylvia on January 16, 2018
Hello. I've got a five-year-old boy (turning six next month) who is a wide reader and I would like him to start reading chapter books. A few colleagues have recommended Enid Blyton. Which sets do you think should I get for his age? Looking forward to hearing from you. Kind regards.
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton is great for children who are beginning to read chapter books independently. The Noddy books might be good to start with as they have short chapters and colourful pictures. I'd also recommend Tales of Toyland, the Wishing-Chair series, the Faraway Tree series, The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies and Bimbo and Topsy. There are also books which consist of collections of short stories about a particular character or characters, e.g. Mr. Pink-Whistle, Mr. Meddle, Amelia Jane, Binkle & Flip and Brer Rabbit. They're not chapter books but all the stories are about the same character/s and some tales run across two or three chapters. You can find out more about all these titles in our Cave of Books.
Posted by Brian Richards on January 8, 2018
Hi. I have all the Mary Mouse books and from perusing the "also in the series" on the back cover, I have established a publication order that differs slightly from that in this society's website. Probably I am wrong, but I am simply asking how confident are you that your list is accurate. I agree with your list up to number 7 but ...
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't have the books so I can't check, but the dates of publication are given in Tony Summerfield's An Illustrated Bibliography as well as on the website.
Posted by Kumudu on January 7, 2018
Hi Barney, I would love to know how so many cocker spaniels are included in Enid Blyton books. I love cocker spaniels too, and noticed recently that most of her books include them. I have read of Scamper (Secret Seven), Loony (The Rockingdown Mystery), Lulu (Mr Galliano's Circus), Bundle (The Family at Red-Roofs), etc. Are there any others that I might have missed out?
BarneyBarney says: I can think of Crackers in the Six Cousins series and Loopy in The Ring O' Bells Mystery but there may be others too. Enid Blyton kept spaniels as pets so it's not surprising that she wrote about them so frequently. She had a black cocker spaniel called Lassie and then another one called Laddie (she said that Loony in the Barney Mysteries was based on Laddie). When Enid Blyton lived at Old Thatch (from 1929-1938), her gardener Dick Hughes had a black spaniel named Dion.
Posted by Barbara Comiskey on January 7, 2018
Very surprised to discover books with the Enid Blyton signature displayed which were not written by her. On picking one up, one is certainly misled into thinking one is purchasing a genuine Enid Blyton book as packaged in a Ladybird-style cover for the Famous Five stories. The content is for adult reading.
BarneyBarney says: Yes, it does seem wrong that the real authors' names don't appear on the front covers or spines.
Posted by Laura B on January 6, 2018
I am trying to find some stories my mum used to read to me. Do you know of a story where a pixie collects falling leaves and gives them to an old lady so she has 365 days of good luck? Thank you. x
BarneyBarney says: You might be thinking of 'Funny-One's Present', Laura. Mother Kindly has always been good to everyone but she has had a hard life and has never known a whole year of happiness. Funny-One gives her a year of good luck by catching three hundred and sixty-five autumn leaves for her. The story can be found in these books.
Posted by Pete9012s on January 4, 2018
I was so sorry to hear that Mr. Tony Summerfield who runs this wonderful site has been ill lately and would like to take this opportunity to wish him a very speedy recovery.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Pete. My master is steadily improving and I look forward to him being as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as ever (even though that description seems to fit dogs better than humans!)
Posted by Georgina Hargreaves on January 2, 2018
So sorry Viv Endecott's shop closed.
BarneyBarney says: It is indeed a great pity. The Square in Corfe isn't quite the same without the Ginger Pop Shop.
Posted by Mary on January 1, 2018
Dear Barney the dog, didn't Enid Blyton write a mystery series named the Barney Mysteries? If she did, can you still buy them?
BarneyBarney says: Unfortunately, the Barney books have been out of print for some years even though they're excellent mystery stories full of intrigue, emotion and humour. You should be able to find second-hand copies though, Mary. There are six titles altogether, the first being The Rockingdown Mystery, and you'll get the most out of the series if you read the books in order of publication.
Posted by Paul Austin on December 31, 2017
I wonder what Enid would have thought of our world. She never really tried to predict the future in her work, did she, Barney?
BarneyBarney says: I only recall Enid Blyton giving individuals glimpses of their (possible) future selves. I'm thinking of stories like 'The Enchanted Book', 'The Magic Mirror' and 'Sulky Susan'.
Posted by Bronwyn Odermatt on December 30, 2017
Hello, I am searching for the audio CD, if there is one, for the Enid Blyton 'Mr. Wibble-Wobble'. My children loved this audio cassette, that broke with so much use. I live in Switzerland and would be pleased to order the CD or if there is no CD available, then the audio cassette would be fine. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: 'Mr. Wibble-Wobble and Other Stories' was released as a record and as a cassette in 1983. Unfortunately, it has never been released as a CD. Your best bet would be to keep an eye on sites like eBay, though it may take a while to find one for sale. Good luck with your search!
Posted by Aminmec on December 27, 2017
What does The Enid Blyton Dossier contain? I can't seem to find much information on it.
BarneyBarney says: Your question has been answered on the forums, Aminmec.
Posted by Julie2owlsdene on December 24, 2017
Happy Christmas to all Society members, and all the best for the coming New Year of 2018.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Julie, and many thanks for the continuation books you've written for the Secret Passage. I know they are much enjoyed. A hearty wuff of Christmas greeting to you and all the family, including Rosie!
Posted by Peter-Australia on December 22, 2017
Hi Barney, I wish yourself and everyone associated with the Enid Blyton Society a Very Happy Christmas. I don't often post on this site, but I read with interest every word posted by others and I look forward to more in the coming New Year. Happy Holidays! Cheers, Peter.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Peter! A jolly wag of the tail and a Happy Christmas to you too!
Posted by Mary on December 7, 2017
Two weeks until Christmas. Barney the dog, did you ask for anything for Christmas? P.S. Did Enid Blyton make any Christmas books?
BarneyBarney says: I'm hoping that Father Christmas will drop some meaty bones down the chimney for me, Mary! You can see some of Enid Blyton's Christmas titles here. Tales of Toyland, The Six Bad Boys and Five Go Adventuring Again also feature Christmas.
Posted by Barbara on December 4, 2017
Can anyone use the Famous Five characters and write about them or does permission and a licence have to be obtained first?
BarneyBarney says: If you're planning to make money or perform something you'll need to seek permission from the copyright holders, Hachette UK. Their contact details are on their website.
Posted by Paul Austin on December 1, 2017
It'd be an expensive effort - finding a part of Scotland that still resembles the past, vintage sea-planes, child actors that can reliably imitate wartime children. It would be better if the children were played by unknowns, but you just know that funding would be conditional on a 'big name' in order to be able to sell it to America.
BarneyBarney says: Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons has been filmed twice (1974 and 2016) and it would be great to see an adaptation of similar quality of Enid Blyton's The Adventurous Four.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 30, 2017
I'd like to see a dramatisation of The Adventurous Four. Hope they'd have the guts to actually set it during WWII with actual German villains. I understand German sensitivities but it's not a reason to distort history.
BarneyBarney says: The Adventurous Four would work well as a film or TV series as it's full of action and atmosphere. Plenty of other wartime dramas have been made for children and young adults, such as Goodnight Mister Tom, Carrie's War, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, so there's no reason why The Adventurous Four couldn't be done.
Posted by Mary on November 30, 2017
Dear Barney, I have some questions. Which book is your favorite that Enid Blyton wrote? And what’s your favorite Five Find-Outers book? I am reading the Five Find-Outers now, and they are splendid! My favorite one so far is The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat. Another question I have is why did some people call Enid Blyton a racist and sexist back in the day? I thought she was a wonderful author for writing books. It just doesn’t make sense to me why some people were mean back then. Thank you Barney for answering my questions I had in the past and now, also thank you for being patient to answering everyone’s questions! Have happy holidays!
BarneyBarney says: I've combined your three messages, Mary. To answer your first question, my favourite Enid Blyton book is Shadow, the Sheep-Dog because the main character is one of the bravest, most intelligent characters Enid Blyton ever created! The Find-Outers series is brilliant but it's a pity two of the books have the word "cat" in the title. "Dog" would be much better! Regarding accusations of racism and sexism, attitudes change over time and older books need to be read with that in mind. The harshest criticisms came from people who hadn't taken social history into account.
Posted by EB's GF on November 28, 2017
Hey Barney! Long time, eh? I was reading through my old messages wondering how on earth I could have been so naive back then... Well, I remembered the day and I must say it's how I always forget the August 12s. So, it's the fifty next year then. Is the Society doing something in Enid's memory or something? Because, seriously, you guys have been quiet for the past few years.
BarneyBarney says: A wuff of greeting to you, EB's GF (Enid Blyton's Greatest Fan)! We may not have had an Enid Blyton Day since 2012 (it became harder and harder to get speakers) but there have been smaller Society gatherings at places like Old Thatch, Beckenham and Bekonscot. If you look at our forums you'll see that they're still going strong too - and Issue 64 of The Enid Blyton Society Journal was published last week. The 75th anniversary of the publication of Five on a Treasure Island was marked by Hodder this year with special editions, events and articles, but I don't know whether death anniversaries tend to be commemorated in quite the same way.
Posted by Elise on November 27, 2017
At the start of The Twins at St Clare's the father says the twins are starting at the school at age 14 and that the 'top classes are 18 years old'. There are 6 year groups and the twins start in the first form so how does this work age wise? My daughter and I can't work it out!
BarneyBarney says: As you've discovered, Elise, it just doesn't work out! It's possible that Enid Blyton originally intended The Twins at St Clare's to be a one-off book but then decided to extend the series and regretted making the girls so old at the beginning. She rarely (if ever) mentions their ages again.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 24, 2017
We all know that the modern media likes to call Enid a racist, but did she ever give her actual views on race?
BarneyBarney says: A number of recent pieces in the media have been more positive about Enid Blyton. I don't believe Enid Blyton viewed race as an issue. In her magazine editorials she welcomes readers of all races and nationalities and says that they're "all part of my big family of children".
Posted by Alice on November 22, 2017
Hi, Barney! I'm currently doing my Extended Project as part of my A-level studies. I am focusing on Enid Blyton's books and how society's preoccupations with women influenced her writing. I was wondering if you had any insight into how Enid Blyton was perceived when she first began to start writing. Thank you, Alice x
BarneyBarney says: That's a big question for a dog to answer, Alice! This thread on our discussion forums may be of help. You could also search for other forum discussions by typing key words into the search box. Best of luck with your project!
Posted by Pete9012s on November 22, 2017
I'd like to thank Barney for answering all of OUR questions so kindly and patiently throughout the year. Is there any question Barney YOU would have liked to have asked Enid Blyton if that was possible?
BarneyBarney says: A jolly wag of the tail to you, Pete! I'd like to have asked Enid Blyton if I could go rabbiting with her fox terrier, Bobs!
Posted by Noni on November 20, 2017
Hi, Barney. I want to know what Enid's favourite books were by other authors... and did she have a personal favourite book of her own? Greetings!
BarneyBarney says: We don't know which of her own books Enid Blyton liked best, Noni, but she said in an interview that her favourite character was George (an adventurous girl who wants to be a boy) from the Famous Five series. When Enid Blyton was a child, she loved the magical atmosphere of The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. Other books she enjoyed as a girl included Lewis Carroll's "Alice" books, Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott and The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne.
Posted by Billy on November 20, 2017
They have announced today that the Faraway Tree series is being made into a film by the same people who made the Paddington films!
BarneyBarney says: Yes, that is exciting news!
Posted by Robert Rhomas on November 20, 2017
How have you allowed some of the disgusting books in the new series to be printed? Five Give Up the Booze etc. must make Enid Blyton turn in her grave. Is there no limit to money grabbing?
BarneyBarney says: The Enid Blyton Society had nothing to do with Bruno Vincent's books, Robert. You can see what our forum members think of them here.
Posted by Pippa Thomas on November 18, 2017
Dear Enid Blyton Society, My cousins and I performed a play called 'The Currant Bun'. It was inside one of the annuals, I think approximately 1965 to 1970. Please could I have a copy of this play? I would like to send it to my cousin Joy, who performed the role of Fatty. We all had such a delightful time. Thank you for your help in this matter. Yours, Pippa Thomas.
BarneyBarney says: I'm unable to make a copy of the play but I can tell you the title of the book it was in - Enid Blyton's Book of the Year. It's a very entertaining play to perform or watch.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 17, 2017
I'm kind of peeved that Zerelda has lost her Victory Rolls in modern reprints. She now has a vague and unspecified elaborate hairstyle, probably in an attempt to make Malory Towers less "1940s".
BarneyBarney says: It is a shame when little details like that are lost.
Posted by Lunai Dragonborn on November 15, 2017
I'm re-reading Malory Towers for a bit of light reading, and I'm on the third book. Lossie Laxton has just been mentioned and I was wondering if she was real - or perhaps based on a real person? For example, I know Darrell Rivers was based on Enid's second husband. Thanks for reading this, it was 'wunnerful' of you! ~ Sorry, I couldn't help myself :p
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton probably based Lossie Laxton on the film stars of the day but not necessarily on any particular one - though Deanna Durbin also had an alliterative name and sometimes wore her hair in rolls.
Posted by Tracey on November 15, 2017
Hi, I am looking for a poem about a tall blue policeman who stood in Oxford Street and stopped the traffic for the fairy queen to go by. My gran read it in a book when she was a child in the Second World War but has never found it since. Hope you can help.
BarneyBarney says: The poem your gran remembers is 'The Kind Policeman', Tracey. You can see the poem and publication details here.
Posted by Red on November 13, 2017
I am trying to find the Noddy Happy Families card game you show on your website. Is this still available or reissued? Please let me know where I might find same for my grandchildren. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: It isn't available new but I just checked eBay and there are at least three packs for sale second-hand. If you buy the game, I hope your grandchildren have great fun playing it!
Posted by Jenny Symonds on November 12, 2017
I remember as a child playing with the Noddy Car Game - would love to buy one for my grandson if the cost is reasonable.
BarneyBarney says: There are three available on eBay at the moment, Jenny. If you manage to get one I hope your grandson enjoys the game as much as you did.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 12, 2017
I cannot forgive Enid for accepting uncritically the views of her time that bullying was beneficial for the victim. She even has Darrell say "We were being cruel to be kind". Today, we know the harm bullying can do, not just at the time, but haunting the victim into adult life.
BarneyBarney says: I must say I can't remember Darrell ever setting out to taunt or torment people just for the fun of it. Occasionally she loses her temper and deals out slaps or shoves but she's always horrified with herself afterwards and apologises at the first opportunity. She also takes part in punishing girls who are persistently nasty, e.g. sending Gwendoline to Coventry, but that kind of action is only taken as a last resort. Alicia does seem to get away with being sharp-tongued and hard-hearted though, just because she's lively and clever and plays tricks in lessons.
Posted by Barry on November 10, 2017
Can anyone advise me how to get hold of the poem 'The Tall Daisies' that starts "The Michealmas Daisies have grown so tall/They peep over the garden wall..."? It's a poem our late father recited to us when we very little children and I would like to include it in a memoir I'm doing for the family.
BarneyBarney says: As you can see from our Cave of Books, 'The Tall Daisies' was published in the periodical Child Education in 1925. 'The Very Tall Daisies' also appeared in Autumn Days in 1926, but that might not be the same poem. Early publications like these are hard to find but I hope someone is able to help you, Barry, as it would be lovely if you could include 'The Tall Daisies' in your memoir.
Posted by Joane on November 9, 2017
I have found an original Enid Blyton Patapouf's Circus (copyright 1953). I can't find any information about it and wonder if this is considered a rare find? I am thinking of auctioning it for charity - do you have any information about this book? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Patapouf's Circus is in the Hackett's Little Gift Books series, Joane. The 12 books in that series were originally published in French with illustrations by Pierre Probst, but the author wasn't credited. The "Enid Blyton" versions are translations of the French originals. Whether Enid did the translations or simply agreed to lend her name to the English editions for some reason, no one knows.
Posted by Michelle on November 7, 2017
I am desperately searching for St Clare's audio CDs for my daughter. We have Second Form and Summer Term but cannot find any others. Please can anyone help? She listens to St Clare's and Malory Towers every night. Kind regards.
Posted by Bob Black on November 7, 2017
Hello there: I know you give no values, but a charity has asked me to find out about some Enid Blyton books: two - The Mystery of the Strange Messages and Five Get Into a Fix - I can find nothing about at all. No mention anywhere! They seem to be first editions but the last has Copyright 1957/1958 instead of a date. What does that mean? Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: Five Get Into a Fix was serialised in Enid Blyton's Magazine from July 1957 - May 1958 before being brought out in book form in July 1958, so that would explain the date. If you look in our Cave of Books you can see what the first edition dustwrappers looked like (and boards, in the case of the Famous Five book). However, I'm not certain whether there were any changes for subsequent early editions. If advertising the books for sale online, to avoid any confusion you could include photos of the inside pages showing the dates.
Posted by Paul Austin on November 7, 2017
Reading Blytons with a Christmas theme just reminds me that Christmas is not the same when you are an adult.
BarneyBarney says: Hopefully her stories will help adults recapture that feeling of wonder and joy.
Posted by Barbara Spencer-Jones on November 6, 2017
Are the characters in Enid Blyton's Famous Five books under copyright or can anyone write about the same characters and places?
BarneyBarney says: The books and characters are still under copyright, Barbara. If writing for publication or public performance you'd need to contact the copyright holders, Hachette UK.
Posted by Ciade on November 6, 2017
Hello. Are there any plans to publish, in French, the Malory Towers continuation books (number 7 onwards)? I love these books but I do not speak English. Thank you for your reply. (Bonjour. Est il prévu de publiet, en français, la suite des Malory School (volume 7 et suivants)? J'adore ces livres mais je ne parle pas anglais. Merci pour votre réponse.)
BarneyBarney says: Bonjour, Ciade! I worked magic with my paws to translate your message and I hope you're able to translate my reply. The only way to find out whether the sequels are likely to be published in French would be to contact the publisher of the French editions.
Posted by Iola on November 5, 2017
I am writing a book review as my assignment for college work about the book Amelia Jane is Naughty Again! It asks if the book is equal opportunities. Can anyone help me? The assignment needs to be handed in tomorrow morning! Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: I'm sure you understand your assignment better than we do but the book is about toys which come to life when nobody is around so the stories appeal to boys and girls - and even to some dogs!
Posted by Phil on November 5, 2017
I would like to buy the Faraway Tree series (three books?) but translated into French. Are they available?
BarneyBarney says: The Faraway Tree series is known as "La forêt enchantée" in French but I'm not sure whether the books are currently in print, Phil. You could do an internet search for "La forêt enchantée" and see whether the books come up, either new or second-hand.
Posted by E.S.Black on November 3, 2017
My brother is about 14 years old and we want to improve his English composition. Is there anything for him from my favourite...or any other writer? Please suggest.
BarneyBarney says: Reading anything by Enid Blyton will expose a reader to good grammar, natural-sounding speech rhythms and economy of expression. If your brother wants to examine specific things, e.g. how a plot is constructed, The Six Bad Boys would be a good book to choose. Enid Blyton moves between three families as well as sketching in the backgrounds of several other children outside those families, skilfully weaving all their dramas into one narrative. She deals with tough situations and emotional events without becoming too sentimental. The Valley of Adventure would be perfect for studying the construction of an adventure story as it includes pathos, history and some interesting and unusual characters - as well as being a fast-paced, thrilling adventure full of memorable scenes. Look at the descriptions to see how atmosphere is created. Regarding non-fiction, your brother could read Enid Blyton's Nature Lover's Book or Enid Blyton's Animal Lover's Book to see how facts are presented with an air of discovery and excitement, often through children going exploring with an adult who introduces them to the wonders of the natural world. The personal touch helps bring things to life. When it comes to other authors, there are many who write with mastery and succeed in drawing the reader into another world. Has your brother tried Anthony Horowitz, Julia Golding or Sally Gardner? There are also classics like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Posted by E.S.Black on November 1, 2017
I have little cousins about 2 to 8 years old. Please suggest stories for them.
BarneyBarney says: All children are different but, as a rough guide, I'd suggest Noddy and Mary Mouse for the under 5s. The short stories about characters like Mr. Pink-Whistle or Mr. Meddle, or about fairy-folk or naughty children etc., are perfect for boys and girls aged about 5-8. The Faraway Tree and Wishing-Chair books are great for that age-group as well, and so is The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies. Don't forget the Galliano's Circus and Willow Farm series too. Many readers are ready for the mystery and adventure books around the age of 7 or 8, perhaps starting with the Secret Seven series and moving on to the Famous Five, etc.
Posted by Jayne on November 1, 2017
I am helping a friend clear her father's house and have found The Talking Teapot by Enid Blyton which I've found on your site. It appears this was published in 1940 which is when my friend's father would have received it. Do you know if this was published after this year as I want to get my facts right before listing to sell?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know whether that edition was reprinted. Are any dates given at the front of the book? Some publishers include a lot of detail about different printings and impressions but others (frustratingly) don't.
Posted by Shekina on October 31, 2017
Hi, I live in Melbourne but my parents are from Tamil Nadu. My parents suggested me to read Enid Blyton although I'm twelve. Please send me a suggestion of what book series I should read to improve my vocabulary.
BarneyBarney says: As you're twelve you'd probably enjoy some of the more mature books, Shekina. I'd particularly recommend the Adventure series, the Barney series, The Six Bad Boys and House-at-the-Corner.
Posted by Jane on October 29, 2017
Hello, I am in the U.S. and just heard of Enid Blyton from a local Indian-American magazine. I would like to read one of her books (I'm an adult). Please send me suggestions for a good book to start with. Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton wrote so many brilliant books that it's hard to know where to start, Jane! Particularly popular with adults (as well as children) are the Adventure series, the Barney mysteries and the Famous Five. I'd recommend beginning with the Adventure series (The Valley of Adventure and The Sea of Adventure are two of Enid Blyton's most praised books). Some of her novels about family crises also have a lot of adult appeal, especially The Six Bad Boys and the two "Six Cousins" titles. The Naughtiest Girl in the School is also mentioned frequently by readers of all ages as it's an unusual school story about a co-educational school where the children deal with punishments and rewards themselves.
Posted by Paul Austin on October 26, 2017
You can't remove reference to George's short hair making her look like a boy because girls don't need long hair to be feminine when the entire point of her character is that she likes being mistaken for a boy and would prefer to be one. You can't take away Dame Slap's corporal punishment because she was supposed to show that it is wrong and abhorrent. Enid's attitude towards race is far too often innocently insensitive but as that quote from 'A Fine Defence of Enid Blyton' said, she was born a Victorian and had an Edwardian upbringing.
BarneyBarney says: Readers will absorb a fair amount of fascinating social history if they approach older books with the understanding that attitudes change over time - as well as enjoying some cracking stories!
Posted by Mary on October 26, 2017
Who was Enid Blyton inspired by to write amazing stories?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton was inspired by books she read, people she knew, things she saw and things she did. As a girl she enjoyed making up stories for her younger brothers and found that stories came flooding into her head at night when she lay down to sleep. She was delighted when Arthur Mee printed one of her poems in his magazine. Enid's parents didn't take her writing seriously as they expected her to become a pianist like her aunt, but her schoolfriend's aunt (Mabel Attenborough) encouraged her.