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Showing all messages from 2011...

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Posted by Melisande on December 31, 2011
Are there still places in England that just have a single village policeman like Mr. Goon or do even villages have full police stations now?
Posted by Suki on December 30, 2011
Thanks Barney for the reply. I find House-at-the-Corner a truly inspiring book. I enjoyed all the articles in Journal 45 very much and I wonder if Anita could share with the society members the Five Find-Outers story she composed as a child, as well as the illustrations! Thanks as always to the writers for the Journals who highlighted the changes to the original text so that I may note the changes and amend my books! =D
BarneyBarney says: Thank you very much for your kind words, Suki. I hope you're also enjoying Journal 46, which came out last month. We don't have space on the website for fanfiction like Anita's 'The Bingagaham Mystery' but her story (without the pictures, I'm afraid) can be read in the "files" section of the Blyton Yahoo Group. It's necessary to join the group to read it though.
Posted by Melisande on December 29, 2011
Hi Barney. Happy New Year to you! Have a bone! And Best Wishes of the Season to your master, too. As I sip tea from my Doctor Who "TARDIS" mug that I got for Christmas, I was wondering if anyone had ever produced any Enid-related cups or mugs? What about Enid-themed audiobooks? If so, are there any audio versions that I should avoid - for example, ones that are heavily abridged or in the case of full cast audios, poorly acted?
BarneyBarney says: Happy New Year to you too, Melisande, and thanks for the bone! My master wishes you a wonderful 2012 as well. Viv Endecott sells some Blyton-themed merchandise in her Ginger Pop Shop, though I'm not sure whether that includes mugs. You can see what has been done audiowise in the Cave, but many recordings will now only be available secondhand. I've listened to a number of Blyton audio books and the ones I've heard were all abridged, but sensitively, and I enjoyed them. There are some unabridged recordings by Chivers and Chorion.
Posted by Pamela on December 28, 2011
I have a first edition (no dust cover) of First Term at Malory Towers. I lived near Enid Blyton and asked her to sign the book for me. It says - Best wishes from Enid Blyton. I was about 12 at the time. I wonder what the book is worth now and how I go about selling it. Any ideas please.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we don't do valuations, Pamela, but you could check what signed Blyton books are selling for on sites like eBay and Abebooks. Or how about contacting a dealer of secondhand children's books? The dealers listed under "Lashings of Links" (see button over on the left) have a great deal of knowledge about Enid Blyton. It's wonderful that you met her - what a memory to treasure.
Posted by Suki on December 28, 2011
Hello Barney, Have you had a jolly good Christmas? I wish you had and I hope it is still not too late to wish you a very blessed and happy Christmas! I finished re-reading House-at-the-Corner and I couldn't help wondering if Elizabeth is based on Enid herself? For example the money she made from the success of selling her stories was just as described by David Chambers' article in Journal 45 of Enid's early days.
BarneyBarney says: I had a very jolly time thanks, Suki, and I hope you did too. I expect you're right that Enid Blyton drew upon some of her own early experiences as a writer for Elizabeth Farrell in House-at-the-Corner. It's an unusual and interesting story.
Posted by Melisande on December 28, 2011
Barney, Why do you think the Famous Five are the most parodied of Enid's work? There are plenty more riches of Enid's that could be mined, after all.
BarneyBarney says: I suppose it's because they're the best known of Enid Blyton's books for older children.
Posted by Timmy-dog on December 27, 2011
Greetings Barney, {Barks} Looks like you've learnt to type! George's cousins have come to Kirrin Cottage for the holidays! I'm so hungry, I just had a thin little non-juicy bone from Georgina, I mean George. I read Ana's message but I'm the most handsome dog ever! Barney were all of Enid Blyton's characters real (in the novels)? Please try to spare me some of the juicy bones you get here!
BarneyBarney says: "Knick knack, paddy whack, give a dog a bone..." as the old song goes. Here you are, just this once! I find it hard to believe that George is starving you! Some of Enid Blyton's characters were inspired by real people but most of them came from her imagination. You can find out more here.
Posted by Nicky on December 27, 2011
My mum remembers reading a poem about some toys that came to life in the Sunny Stories series. One of the toys was a bear called Rumajo (not sure of correct spelling). Anyone know the name of the poem? Thanks.
Posted by Chris on December 27, 2011
I am trying to purchase a 1939 edition of The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton and would be grateful for any help you could give me. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: It's always worth checking sites like eBay and Abebooks, but I believe first editions of The Enchanted Wood in good condition are hard to come by. You could try the dealers of secondhand books listed under "Lashings of Links", all of whom stock a lot of Enid Blyton titles.
Posted by Ana on December 26, 2011
Oh, brother! I mean oh brother and sister! Now that was the story I was talking about! Er - Barney what do you mean when you said, audio recording? I actually don't know where I could HEAR the audio recording and it sounds interesting. So I thought I'd turn to you for help. And Barney uh - actually the stuffed box message I sent you er - you rather did think I was boasting didn't you? Well,sorry. I didn't mean to. I was just wanting to show how I love Mrs. Blyton! Now that's an improved spam-check question! So long! Tadaa!
BarneyBarney says: Hi Ana, I'm afraid you won't be able to listen to the audio recording of 'Mr. Wibble-Wobble' unless you buy the record (which is only available secondhand, and you'd need a record player). Never mind, at least you've got the story in a book! As for your box stuffed full of Blyton books, I think it sounds great - a real treasure chest!
Posted by Sondos on December 26, 2011
Hello, I am writing an undergraduate essay on post-1945 children's literature, particularly changing presentations of parenthood. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions of particular Enid Blyton books which portray parenthood (or children replacing parents) in interesting ways. I would very much appreciate your help and would be happy to give due credit in my essay. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: An interesting topic, Sondos. The Six Bad Boys sheds a great deal of light on attitudes to parenting in the 1950s. Also relevant are the Six Cousins books and The Very Big Secret. George's parents (Quentin and Fanny) are worth looking at in the Famous Five books (the first few were published prior to 1945), as are the Lyntons and Barney's parents in the Barney Mysteries. Then there's the Adventure series, in which Bill Smugs/Cunningham goes from suspect to family friend to stepfather. You might get more response if you asked your question on the forums - and some of the information that's already there may well be of use. You could add your query to the most recently-revived thread on parenting, which can be found here.
Posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011
Thanks, Barney! The local bookshop do not know what I am barking about, but I can get it at Amazom.com. Woof and a bone to you!
BarneyBarney says: A woof of thanks for the bone, and I hope you enjoy the book!
Posted by Melisande on December 25, 2011
Do any recordings exist of Enid's voice and if so, can they be uploaded to the site? Why do both the Secret Seven and the Five Find-Outers and Dog take place in Peterswood? There must have been very interesting fights over who got to work on a mystery.
BarneyBarney says: You can hear one or two short recordings of Enid Blyton's voice here. She also narrated some of her Noddy stories for records, though I don't know whether they're available to listen to online. It's only in the final Secret Seven book that Enid Blyton talks of the Seven living in Peterswood and it was probably a slip-up as she was suffering from dementia by then.
Posted by Ana on December 25, 2011
Hi again 'handsome fellow'! I did sound a bit solemn there when I said 'May Peace and Blessings shower over you'...didn't I? So I edit it! It now is 'May peace and juicy bones shower over you'...And as for the rabbits, you won't get so much as a single sniff of them!! That's two mails today. Goodbye! And look out for the next mail tomorrow!
BarneyBarney says: An even bigger "OOOOH" at the thought of showers of juicy bones! Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain...Your rabbits may like to see a rather startling record cover that was produced for an audio recording of 'Mr. Wibble-Wobble and Other Stories' in 1983 - click here.
Posted by Ana on December 25, 2011
Hi there, Barney! I've just owned two rabbits named Wibble and Wobble! I named them referring to Mrs. Lovely-author Blyton (Enid Blyton)in her short story book The Goblin Hat. May Peace and Blessings shower over you and make the year 2012 most memorable to you. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Love, Ana.
BarneyBarney says: Oooh - rabbits! My ears prick up immediately at the sight or sound of that word! ;-) It's nice that they're Blytonian bunnies, with names inspired by one of her stories. Thanks for the good wishes. Merry Christmas to you too, Ana, and I wish you (and your rabbits!) all the best for 2012.
Posted by Anonymous on December 25, 2011
Where can I find The Secret Island in Chennai, India? My local library and bookstore don't have it. HELP!
BarneyBarney says: Have you tried asking your bookshop or library if they can order the book for you? If they can't, you could consider buying a copy (new or secondhand) from an online seller who is able to ship items to your area.
Posted by Terri Crow on December 22, 2011
HELP - I would like to buy The Enchanted Forest trilogy - in it's original format without all the edits and name changing etc. Can you point me in the right direction (I can't afford first editions or anything like that - need them to be affordable)? Thanks for your help.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Terri, It's known as the "Enchanted Wood" or "Faraway Tree" series and I'm pretty sure you'll be fine with any editions dating from before 1990 (you might even be able to go slightly later, though I'm not absolutely certain of that). Avoid the 3-books-in-1-volume compilations though, as most of those have had some chapters removed. You can see various printings and their dates in the Cave of Books.
Posted by Terri on December 22, 2011
I would like to know where you can buy the whole collection of Malory Towers and St. Clare's books in Nigeria at a reputable bookshop. They are my favorite series. :) What are yours? Anyways, Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year to you. ;)
BarneyBarney says: If they're not in stock your local bookshop might be able to order the books for you, Terri. My favourite titles are Shadow the Sheep-Dog and Bimbo and Topsy because they contain some of Enid Blyton's most likeable and intelligent characters! Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!
Posted by Simon (Didgeridude) on December 21, 2011
Hello Barney, Thank you for answering my questions and queries over the past year. May I wish you, all Enid Blyton Society members and visitors, a peaceful and happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Simon. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and I hope 2012 is a great year for you.
Posted by Sahithi on December 21, 2011
Where can I buy Enid Blyton books in hyd
BarneyBarney says: Did you forget to finish your message before submitting it, Sahithi? I'm not sure what you mean by "hyd". Hyderabad? Hydrangeas? Wherever you live, you should be able to buy books from online sellers if you can't obtain them locally.
Posted by Bethan on December 19, 2011
My daughter loves Malory Towers and St Clare's. She is doing her year 6 project on Enid Blyton and spent a lot of time writing a letter to the society some time ago. She particularly wants to find out which countries Enid's books have been sold in and when the language of some of the books was updated. Can you please tell us where we can find out these facts? Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Bethan, I'm glad your daughter is such a great fan of Enid Blyton. Sorry if she didn't receive a reply to her letter but we get so many queries by post and email that we can't possibly answer them all, I'm afraid. We do, however, aim to include as much information as possible on this website and I hope your daughter will find it useful. Her questions about countries and updates are tricky ones to answer. Enid Blyton books in English are sold in a number of countries besides the UK, including Australia, India and the USA. They have also been translated into many other languages - this thread on the forums gives some idea of that. Regarding updated texts, publishers modernised various books at different times. This thread is just one of several discussions on the subject. I hope that helps!
Posted by Abby on December 18, 2011
I would like to write to you about the book Naughty Amelia Jane! I think it is amazing and please can you write back to me and if you do write back I just want to say Merry Christmas!
BarneyBarney says: Merry Christmas to you too, Abby! The Amelia Jane books are great fun. Did you know that Amelia Jane was a real rag doll belonging to Enid Blyton's daughter Gillian? Sometimes Enid Blyton would make the doll "come to life" at the tea-table, speaking for her in a squeaky voice and making her do naughty things, e.g. throw food on the floor.
Posted by Johnny on December 17, 2011
Hi Barney! I love all Enid Blyton books!! They are excellent!
BarneyBarney says: They are indeed, Johnny, though it would make your message more interesting if you said which ones are your personal favourites.
Posted by Sahithi on December 17, 2011
Where can I find o' clock tails?
BarneyBarney says: Er - on o' clock dogs? ;-) If you mean the book The O' Clock Tales, it's published by Egmont. You could order it from your local bookshop if it's not in stock, or buy it from an online seller.
Posted by Rainrach on December 15, 2011
Hi Barney! I was always under the impression that the Malory Towers building is based on Ludlow Castle and the swimming pool based on Ludlow Cove - I didn't know Blyton had drawn inspiration from an actual school, too (obviously, I understood she must have drawn inspiration from an amalgamation of schools but not ONE school in particular!)
BarneyBarney says: It has been suggested that Lulworth Castle (I think that's what you meant, not Ludlow?) may have influenced the Malory Towers building and that the Malory Towers swimming pool may have been inspired by (so I've read) Dancing Ledge, though it's only speculation. Enid Blyton did indeed state that she didn't base her fictional schools on any particular real school, but that she brought into them bits and pieces of various schools she had known.
Posted by Jane Manaster on December 14, 2011
Hello, I just found the Society. As an English/American grandma (and dedicated Enid Blyton fan), I'd like to know if you have members in Texas. Jane
BarneyBarney says: Welcome, Jane! I don't know whether we have any members in Texas, but if we do perhaps your message will encourage them to introduce themselves.
Posted by Ivatt on December 11, 2011
Hello, I am looking for a copy of the spoken word The Flyaway Cottage. We used to have a tape that was played in the car constantly to the delight of my children. Now a Grandmother I would love to find a copy for my Granddaughter.
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone can help. Cassettes of Enid Blyton stories sometimes turn up at boot sales or charity shops, or on eBay. The cassette that you are looking for is Holiday Stories.
Posted by Poppy on December 10, 2011
Hi Barney, thanks for your reply. Yes, my edition is Dean. I'm really enjoying the book - I've got More Adventures on Willow Farm as well which I'll read after this one! Thanks again, From Poppy.
BarneyBarney says: You're welcome, Poppy. Have you read The Children of Cherry Tree Farm? It's about the same children but it's before they move to Willow Farm. They go to stay on their uncle's farm, where they learn mainly about British wildlife rather than about farming.
Posted by Poppy on December 9, 2011
Hi Barney, just finished Five Go Down to the Sea. It was great - one of my favourites I must say! I'm reading The Children Of Willow Farm. Inside it says: First Published in 1973. This was after Enid died wasn't it? Was it found afterwards? Thanks, Poppy x
BarneyBarney says: Hi Poppy, Your edition of The Children of Willow Farm is probably a Dean (Dean & Son) printing. Dean weren't consistent when it came to putting dates in their books. Sometimes they put the date the book first came out, but sometimes they simply put the date of the first Dean printing. 1973 is the date of the first Dean printing of The Children of Willow Farm but there had been earlier editions. It was first published in 1942 by Country Life. You can see pictures of the original book and reprints here.
Posted by Fatty on December 9, 2011
Kavita Khandekar, please PM me (I'm 'Fatty' on the Enid Blyton Society forum). I might be able to help.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Fatty! Fatty has been a member of the online Enid Blyton world for a long time, Kavita, so you don't need to have any worries about contacting him. If you're not already a member of the forums you'll need to register to send him a PM, but registration is free.
Posted by Anonymous on December 8, 2011
Please could you tell me when Enid Blyton started writing and which prizes she acquired?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton started writing stories, poems and articles for magazines on a regular basis in the early 1920s. Her first book was a volume of poetry, Child Whispers, published in 1922. The only literary award Enid Blyton ever received was in America, for Mystery Island (The Island of Adventure retitled). It was awarded a prize by the Boys' Club of America for being one of the six most popular books of 1947.
Posted by Kavita Khandekar on December 7, 2011
Could you please tell where in Pune (Maharashtra, India) can I get Enid Blyton's The Book Of Naughty Children = books 1 and 2?
BarneyBarney says: Maybe another visitor from India will be able to help you, Kavita. If not, some online booksellers will ship to all parts of the world (though of course you'd have to take postage and packing costs into account). I believe The Book of Naughty Children and sequel have been out of print for some time, so you'd be wanting a seller of second-hand books. I hope you manage to find what you're looking for.
Posted by Curious Connie on December 7, 2011
Did Enid ever give an opinion about what she wanted to happen to her stories after she was gone? I'm curious because a lot of people have said that she wouldn't have approved of the bowdlerisation since the 1980s.
BarneyBarney says: My guess is that Enid Blyton would never have envisaged her books being revised to such an extent, so wouldn't have said much on the matter. No doubt she'd be glad to know that her stories are still popular with children in 2011.
Posted by Anuska on December 7, 2011
Hi, I am looking for a cassette tape of Naughty Amelia Jane narrated by Sue Pollard. My children loved it and I was looking for one for my grandaughter. Any ideas?
BarneyBarney says: We don't have an image of that particular cassette in the Cave yet, Anuska, but it was first released in 1982 by Worldwide Audio. Some of those old tapes are hard to find but you could try boot sales, charity shops or eBay. Good luck with your search.
Posted by Colin on December 7, 2011
How can you sell other authors' work as Enid Blyton's? Shouldn't this be made clear on the front of the book? It makes me angry when Malory Towers books etc are written by other authors and it is deliberately misleading as the author's name is in small print at the back with Enid Blyton's name at the front.
BarneyBarney says: Many would agree with you. That very topic was discussed on The One Show in May, and Chorion stated back then that they would be asking publishers to put the real author's name on the cover in future. There's a forums thread about it here. Since Chorion are in the process of breaking up and selling everything off, including the rights to Enid Blyton, no one knows what the position will be a few months from now.
Posted by Aoibhinn on December 5, 2011
I loved the twins at St. Clare's and the Naughtiest Girl. Love if any more coming out. Any chance?
BarneyBarney says: As I said to EnidBlytonfan, it's over ten years since Anne Digby added six books to the original Naughtiest Girl series so it doesn't look as though there will be any more of those. Pamela Cox wrote three St. Clare's books to fill in some gaps in the St. Clare's series, as well as six Malory Towers sequels, but again it doesn't seem likely that there will be any more.
Posted by PublicationDate on December 5, 2011
I have a Noddy's Book of British Birds book I found in a box of junk. It seems to be an album to collect bird cards from jam packaging. The copy I have has a publishing date of 1955 but when I have researched the book online all the information says it was first published around 1958, like this site does. Does this mean my copy isn't the real thing? Can you help me as I would like to know more about the book. Many Thanks
BarneyBarney says: The dates in our Cave of Books are correct here. The Three Chivers books were produced in 1956, 1958 and 1960, 'Farm Animals', 'British Birds' and 'Wants to Travel' respectively. All three books have a copyright date of 1955 on them, but this is the Noddy Subsidiary Rights copyright and not a Chivers Publishing date. Companies producing Noddy merchandise had to get a licence from the Noddy Subsidiary Rights Company and this is the date that appears on the item, be it a game, a jigsaw or as in this case a book, but it is not necessarily the date that the merchandise item was actually produced.
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on December 5, 2011
Hey Barney! I have a very soft chewy bone for you! I have one question...Will there be any further adventures of the Naughtiest Girl?
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for the bone, EnidBlytonfan! It's over ten years now since Anne Digby added six books to the original series, so I'm afraid it doesn't look as though there will be any more Naughtiest Girl stories in the near future.
Posted by Gil on December 4, 2011
Hey everyone, I'm currently working on my Bachelor thesis which focuses on the controversies related to Enid Blyton's books, specially on the "Famous Five" stories. Does anyone by any chance know any books, articles, surveys which deal with the children's reception/opinion of Enid's stories? Any hints are welcome! Thanks in advance!!
BarneyBarney says: You may like to try getting hold of The Blyton Phenomenon by Sheila Ray (Andre Deutsch, 1982, ISBN 0-233-97441-5) and Enid Blyton and the Mystery of Children's Literature by David Rudd (Macmillan, 2000, ISBN 0-333-74718-6). Good luck with your thesis!
Posted by Ana on December 2, 2011
Regarding Yolanda and the missing page (16th November) Barney, is she talking about magic? Looks like she'll have to say a spell to bring the Famous Five to life and ask them to solve that mystery! Well, sorry for laughing at you Yolanda but it gets muddled up in my head, disappear, appear and again disappear. You know I just can't get the better of it! But Barney are the Famous Five actually real?
BarneyBarney says: Now you're making my head spin, Ana!
Posted by Melisande on December 2, 2011
Asperger's Syndrome? Um, the poster does know that Uncle Quentin isn't real? That he's just a fictional character in a book?
BarneyBarney says: Like a talking/typing dog, you mean?! ;-)
Posted by Julie@Owls Dene on December 1, 2011
In response to Richard Pearson's message. I think that you may have missed one vital thing, Richard, and that is Uncle Quentin doesn't actually exist, he's a character in a book, and I think Enid's intention was to make him interesting.
BarneyBarney says: She certainly succeeded in that!
Posted by Richard Pearson on December 1, 2011
Hi everybody, I believe Uncle Quentin Kirrin in the Famous Five has Asperger's Syndrome. The reason I believe this is that when he is working he gets very upset and bad tempered when he is disturbed. He has wee patience with children and when he works in his study he has to see his work through and the study is his den where he likes to be by himself, and when not working he reads his book or goes to sleep on his couch. He dislikes noise made by people, especially his daughter and her cousins, and Aunt Fanny keeps the peace and makes sure the children enjoy a wonderful time. He does have a kind heart though. What Quentin is like is a sign of Asperger's traits and he has a funny tomboy daughter, Georgina, who only likes to be called George.
BarneyBarney says: An interesting theory, Richard.
Posted by Sue Webster on December 1, 2011
Hi dear old Barney, thanks for the reply. I hope to join the Society and have a birthday next week on December 10th, so if I get any money I can use it to join. Yes, the Trebizon school stories are great, different from Enid's and I do prefer her stories. Cheers.
BarneyBarney says: Cheers, Sue. Many Happy Returns for next week!
Posted by Melisande on December 1, 2011
I hate to admit this but when I saw your reference to the Land of Clever People, I laughed and thought of the spam checker asking questions like "What was the colour of Enid's favourite hat?" I'm writing a story where the Find-Outers go up against everyone's favourite black sheep, Edmund Blackadder. I'm looking forward to combining Blackaddica with Blytonia.
BarneyBarney says: A cunning plan, Melisande!
Posted by Poppy on November 29, 2011
Hi Barney, thanks for your reply! I'm on Last Term At Malory Towers now. I'm really enjoying the school stories by Enid Blyton. Do you recommend I read the ones written by Pamela Cox? Anyway, thanks! From Poppy x
BarneyBarney says: Hi Poppy, I'd say it's worth trying the continuation books by Pamela Cox. If you don't try them, you'll never know what you think of them! Why not borrow the first one from a friend or from the library if you can, to see if you like it?
Posted by Peter Hodgson on November 29, 2011
Interested to have the words to 'A Frosty Morning' by Methuen, Sept 1934.
BarneyBarney says: That poem can be read on our Monthly Page for January, Peter.
Posted by Su on November 29, 2011
In reply to Lesley I wonder if the book you are after is The Yellow Fairy Book or the retitled The Queer Adventure (1952)? This book without the dust jacket was predominantly yellow and the 1952 version mentions the faraway tree.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for the suggestion, Su.
Posted by Sue Webster on November 29, 2011
Hi Barney, not been onsite for a while so thought it was time I did. I ordered four Malory Towers books by Pamela Cox from my local library and have just picked up two of them today. Can't wait to see what they are like. Has anyone read the Trebizon school stories by Anne Digby? They are pretty good stories too. How much is it to join the Society? Is there a discount for students? Cheers Barney, old pal.
BarneyBarney says: Hallo Sue, old chum! Nice to have you back! I hope you enjoy the Pamela Cox books. Anne Digby's Trebizon stories are certainly pretty popular but they're more modern than Enid Blyton's school series. In answer to your question, it costs £10.00 a year to join the Society if you're in the UK and for that you receive three bumper Journals, plus access to the website's "Secret Passage". I'm afraid there are no discounted rates as the Society doesn't make any profit and we only just about cover costs as it is. You can find out more by clicking on the "Fireside Journal" button over on the left.
Posted by Ana on November 29, 2011
Barney, I went through the old, old messages of 2010 when I told you that my sister said you were 'cute'. I dunno whether dogs think themselves handsome too! And those spam check messages that you display are soooooo easy!! Oh, I'm so so sorry Sue for not replying to your message! I didn't visit the Enid Blyton Society for a year so I didn't see it. I'll try sending you a PM at once!
BarneyBarney says: I like to think I'm a handsome chap, Ana, but that's for others to judge - not me! Regarding the spam check questions, we don't want to make them so hard that we hear from no one except inhabitants of the Land of Clever People!
Posted by Lesley on November 28, 2011
Can anyone help me find a large illustrated hardback book of the Faraway Tree stories? Both my daughters loved this book and I am now trying to find one for my granddaughters. I believe the cover was predominantly yellow.
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean the annual-sized hardbacks with coloured illustrations by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone/Georgina Hargreaves, published between 1979 and the mid 1980s? If you click on our "Faraway Tree" button and then click on the three full-length books one by one, you can see all the reprint covers. Or are you thinking of a one-volume compilation containing all three books (I don't think all 3-in-1 editions are shown in the Cave of Books)?
Posted by Ana Asif on November 28, 2011
Sheesh Barney! You have a strong memory! But what do you mean by her circus boy? Are you currently in England? And who taught you typing? I could pay anything for such a marvellous dog who knows how to type plus is so cute!!!
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton wrote about a circus-boy called Barney in the Barney Mysteries (six books, beginning with The Rockingdown Mystery). Yes, I'm in England and I taught myself to type by practising doggedly. Thanks for the compliments, Ana. I was inspired to learn a few tricks after reading about Lucky the Wonder Dog in the Galliano's Circus series and, like Lucky, I'm afraid I'm not for sale!
Posted by Ana Asif on November 28, 2011
Oh hallo Barney! Hope you remember me. I've collected a whole stuffed box of darling Blyton. She has improved my vocabulary and the speed of reading a lot. People gasp at my speed. I can finish a whole fat book of Blyton in a single afternoon. Bundle of thanks to her and her phenomenal books. Anyway Barney, my question is how are you related to Blyton?
BarneyBarney says: Yes, I remember you and I'd love to see your stuffed box, Ana! I'm not related to Enid Blyton even though I share a name with her circus-boy. I'm Tony Summerfield's dog (Tony being the Society Organiser) and I make my paws useful by answering queries on the Message Board - a bit like Enid's dog Bobs, who used to write letters to her readers.
Posted by Julie@Owl's Dene on November 25, 2011
Thank you, Nigel. For some reason I can clearly see you doing your Spitfire performance!
Posted by Kezrowlands on November 25, 2011
I have just come across a coronation book, with a message and signature by Enid Blyton. It belongs to a elderly relation. Where can I find out its value? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean a Coronation Bible? If so, the message and signature were printed inside every copy. You can get a rough idea of the value by checking how much that book fetches on sites like eBay and Abebooks.
Posted by Nigel Rowe on November 25, 2011
A great review of Enid Blyton's Magazine Annual No 2, Julie. You say that planes were probably popular with boys in the 40s/50s. I remember we all ran around the playground, arms outstretched, pretending to be Spitfires! Ah, those simple post-war years in England!
BarneyBarney says: Just tried that myself and fell flat on my nose. I don't think we dogs were built to do that!
Posted by Pra$il on November 25, 2011
Well wonderful site! I love to read Enid's books right from my childhood. Are EnidBlyton.net and this site related?
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Pra$il. The two sites are run separately but the people in charge of them know one another and all is friendly - there's no rivalry or anything. Keith Robinson, owner of EnidBlyton.net, also does the technical stuff for this website.
Posted by Sara Hayward on November 23, 2011
I am writing to let you know that a stunning illustration of Enid Blyton exists which I painted as part of an exhibition of 25 literary portraits to mark the inaugural Worcestershire Literary Festival 2011. Please click here to see it on our website. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you for sharing that with us, Sara!
Posted by Linda Bond on November 22, 2011
My son was a member of the Enid Blyton Society from the age of about six. He has just finished university and started his first job and thinks this is the time to downsize his collection of books. He has two LARGE boxes of books to sell. Could you advise me of some of your members who may want to purchase some or all of these Enid Blyton books? Many thanks. Mrs. Linda Bond.
BarneyBarney says: Your best bet would be to advertise the books in the "For Sale" section of our forums, Linda. It's necessary to register, but registration is free. Potential customers would want to know the titles, date and condition of the books, and a photo or photos would also be helpful if possible.
Posted by Jose on November 20, 2011
Hi Barney, Do you know if the books "Secret Seven the Short Story Collection", and "Famous Five Short Story Collection", have been edited in hardback, or paperback only?
BarneyBarney says: Hey, Hey Jose! The answer to your question is yes and no. The Secret Seven had a hardback version, but the Famous Five have only appeared in paperback.
Posted by Colin Webb on November 20, 2011
I have the original cover artwork for the 1956 Three Cheers for Noddy. It is unsigned. Does anyone know who the artist is?
BarneyBarney says: I don't think we know the answer to this. Most cover artwork was unsigned anyway, but there are a few possibilities for a book that was published in 1956.
Posted by Carol on November 19, 2011
In the 1950s, as a young girl, I remember being given an annual-sized, beautifully illustrated book of The Magic Faraway Tree. I now have a 2-year-old grandchild and would dearly like to introduce these adventures. Any idea where or if it would be possible to acquire one? I have tried shops and online, but this younger version just doesn't seem "known."
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know of any annual-sized Faraway Tree books dating from the 1950s. The only ones I've seen were published in the 1970s-80s.
Posted by Sandra on November 19, 2011
I have a full collection of the Bible Pictures and cannot find any information regarding the prints, just the plates in a book. Can you help?
BarneyBarney says: I'm not quite sure what sort of information you are looking for here, Sandra, but both the Old and New Testament Bible Plates were produced to go with a set of Enid Blyton Readers in the same way as the Nature Plates. The 14 Old Testament Readers were published in 1949 and the plates to go with them were illustrated by Elsie Walker. There were also 14 New Testament Readers and they were published in 1953 with the plates illustrated by John Turner. Both sets of plates were published by Macmillan in a pair of booklets, the New Testament set in 1957 and the Old Testament set in 1960. Sadly Macmillan never published the super Eileen Soper Nature Plates, but they can be seen in our Cave of Books.
Posted by Frank on November 18, 2011
Hi. I have a few 1st. edition books (Famous Five, Adventure, Secret Seven, Mystery Of) with dustjackets. Is there any way of telling if the dustjacket is the original 1st. edition? (This is especially so on the Adventure series.) Perhaps there are members who could upload photos so I and perhaps others can verify that they have the originals. Only just joined so the question may be out of the Society and Barney's domain! Thanks, Frank.
BarneyBarney says: It's a difficult one, Frank. There are first edition cover pictures in the Cave of Books, but in many cases only the front cover is shown. If the illustration wraps round onto the back of the book the spine and back of the dustjacket are also shown, but not the flaps. Tony Summerfield's 4-volume Illustrated Bibliography gives a very detailed description of each book but again depicts only the front cover. You could try asking on the forums but I don't expect that many members have first editions, and scanning/photographing the dustjackets and uploading the images would take some time. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Posted by Poppy on November 16, 2011
Hi Barney, thanks for my Journal - I'm really enjoying reading it! I have got a question about the St. Clare's series for you! Well Enid Blyton only wrote The Twins at St. Clare's, The O'Sullivan Twins, Summer Term at St. Clare's - where Pat and Isabel were in the first form; Second Form at St. Clare's - where they were in the second form; Claudine at St. Clare's - where they were in the fourth; and Fifth Formers of St. Clare's - fifth form. Why did Enid not write about the third and the sixth? Thanks! From Poppy x
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you're enjoying the Journal, Poppy. It's packed full of goodies as always. We don't really know why Enid Blyton didn't write about the third form or sixth form at St. Clare's but there are a few oddities in the stories, such as the O' Sullivan twins being 14 years old in the first form, so perhaps she decided to miss out a year or two in order to avoid drawing too much attention to the fact that they would be rather old by the time they got to their final years at the school! The Malory Towers series is better-structured but even there there are some inconsistencies, e.g. Darrell starts Malory Towers in the summer term, some characters spend more than three terms in one year and some members of a class move up early to the next form while the majority stay put. It's possible that things are more flexible at private schools than at state schools, but it's still difficult to make sense of it all. Luckily, we soon get caught up in the exciting stories and stop dwelling on minor details! As I think you know, Pamela Cox has written books about the third year and sixth form at St. Clares.
Posted by Yolanda on November 16, 2011
Hi, Barney! My name is Yolanda from Indonesia. I just bought Five on a Secret Trail. But, on the back, the page is gone and returned, and again lost. Strange, is it not? This is all I want to ask. Thank you, bye.
BarneyBarney says: "Gone and returned, and again lost"? You make my head spin as if I've been playing a game of Chase-My-Tail, Yolanda! Let's hope the page just as mysteriously reappears!
Posted by William Kirk on November 15, 2011
I am a relative of Enid Blyton, second cousin, three times removed.
BarneyBarney says: That's very interesting, William. If the family have any information about Enid Blyton that they'd like to share with the Society, we'd love to hear from them.
Posted by Kate Mary on November 15, 2011
Hullo Barney, I would have agreed with Simon about e-readers before I got one, but since getting my Sony Touch last year I haven't looked back. I have just downloaded The Governess by Sarah Fielding, a wonderful girls' school story first published in 1749 and one of Laura Lee Hope's Bobbsey Twins titles. The best thing is that out of copyright books are all free and they take up no space on my overcrowded bookshelves. Getting an e-reader does not mean ditching your collection of vintage Blytons, but it will open up a whole new world. So stick it on your Christmas list, you won't regret it.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for the information, Kate Mary. Maybe even an old dog like me is not past learning a few new tricks!
Posted by Simon on November 15, 2011
Hi Barney, I hope you're well, I have a nice chewy bone for you. I was asked recently if I wanted an e-book for Christmas, that's an electronic book which I believe you can download stories onto. I said, no thanks. Nothing can ever replace the feel and smell of an old Enid Blyton book, turning the pages that have been turned by whomever over the years. And when I look at my Enid Blyton books on the shelves, I wonder about who once owned them and what has happened to the books on their long journey to their final resting place on my shelves. So, it looks like socks again this Christmas. Thank you, bye.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for the bone, Simon - much appreciated! I'd choose traditional volumes over e-books any day, though I realise that e-books can be handy in certain circumstances, e.g. for people who do a lot of travelling. And nothing keeps the feet warm like a nice new pair of socks - not that we dogs need them!
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on November 15, 2011
Vineet, I am heartened to learn that you have a Nook e-book reader from Barnes and Noble. While my book, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage, is not free of charge, it can be downloaded via Nook at an almost giveaway price.
BarneyBarney says: There's a forums discussion all about Stephen's book.
Posted by Sheila Olwen Rimes on November 14, 2011
Hi, I live in Brazil! I met Enid Blyton's books when I lived in England in 1983/84, she was responsible for my joy in reading. Since then I always have a book along with me. I saw that they published The Famous Five in Brazil and I am shocked at how they completely twisted the characters and their names. It is so sad! Certainly, my son won't be reading the Brazilian version, because it has run away from its essence. George (Georgina) was turned into a real girlish character, the only name they kept was Timmy, all the others were changed, that is not nice at all. I feel like a part of my childhood has faded. I wouldn't mind if they used another name for the book or if they just said it was based on Enid Blyton's stories, but making that the story that she wrote is offensive! I love all Enid's books, and I am so happy I have my childhood memories of them. I will surely stay far away from the bookshelf when I see the Brazilian version, so the magic doesn't go away! Sorry to write all this down, but I think you should know what they did to the stories here, maybe there is a way of fixing it! Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: Nice to hear from you, Sheila. Enid Blyton's books often get adapted when they're published in different countries and all kinds of little details are changed, particularly foods, locations and character names. Even the original English texts have been "updated" several times. It does sound strange to hear of George becoming girly - I don't think that has ever happened to her before and I'm sure she'd be most indignant! At least the internet gives people the opportunity to locate particular editions of the books, if they're not happy with what's available in the shops.
Posted by Vineet on November 13, 2011
I live in America and I own a Nook (an eBook reader) and on their store they have some free Enid Blyton books. Is this illegal?
BarneyBarney says: I'm surprised to hear that Enid Blyton books are available free of charge as they're still under copyright until the end of 2038. Perhaps Nook have done a deal with Chorion whereby they're able to offer a few books free in an attempt to entice readers to buy further titles? Only someone from Chorion would know.
Posted by Lindalee Stuckey on November 11, 2011
[Name of website deleted] has illegal copies of many of the Enid Blyton books that I have reported.
BarneyBarney says: It's good that you notified them, Lindalee, but I've deleted the name of the website for obvious reasons.
Posted by Terry on November 9, 2011
Barney, If I may inquire, how do you know that Chorion is in the process of selling Enid Blyton? I am a huge fan, and to whom could they be selling it? Where can I inquire about this? All information is much appreciated. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: The story of Chorion being broken up has appeared in various newspapers and on news websites over the past few weeks, Terry. Here are some of the reports. As yet the Enid Blyton copyright has not sold.
Posted by Jacqueline Lewis on November 9, 2011
Does anyone remember the name of the books about Millicent Margaret Amanda (Milly Molly Mandy)?
BarneyBarney says: Ah yes - charming stories about a little girl in a candy-striped dress, written by Joyce Lankester Brisley. If it's the titles of the books you're after, you can find them here.
Posted by Heiko Schmidt on November 7, 2011
Who holds the rights for: Hop, Skip and Jump? (First edition: 1934, Publisher: W. & A.K. Johnston, Illustrator: Uncredited, Category: Old Thatch Series, Genre: Fantasy, Type: Short Story Series Books) - We would like to do a theatre play for children in Germany out of this story... Can you help please?
BarneyBarney says: It's very interesting that you're hoping to turn Hop, Skip and Jump into a play, Heiko. The rights are currently owned by Chorion though they're in the process of selling everything off, including the rights to Enid Blyton, so no one knows how things will stand in a few months' time. Best of luck with your project.
Posted by Arthur on November 7, 2011
I have found 5 copies of Enid Blyton's Sunny Stories, Nos. 67 and 85 (Old Thatch), Nos. 90, 92, 104, 108,and 211 (Green Hedges) and 20 copies of Sunny Stories by Enid Blyton from Issue No. 286 to 466. Where am I most likely able to sell them ?
BarneyBarney says: Did you mean 7 copies of Enid Blyton's Sunny Stories, Arthur? Why not try eBay, or the "For Sale" section of our forums? You have to register to post on the forums, but registration is free.
Posted by Anonymous on November 6, 2011
My edition of The Adventures of Mr Pink-Whistle has the first 28 pages then repeats from the beginning to page 28 and then skips to page 61. Is it worth anything? And if so roughly how much?
BarneyBarney says: Unfortunately it's probably not worth much at all, as most people would prefer to have a complete copy so they can read all the stories.
Posted by Stephanie on November 5, 2011
Do you know where I can find the Faraway Tree Books? I want to buy the old ones, not the reprints.
BarneyBarney says: If you're looking for older editions you could try sites like eBay and Abebooks, or the sellers listed under Lashings of Links. Good luck with your search, Stephanie!
Posted by Yolanda on November 5, 2011
I'm looking for a book about 'The Naughtiest Girl'. Where can I find one? (I live in Indonesia). Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: You could order it from a local bookshop or buy it (new or second-hand) from an online bookshop or auction site, Yolanda.
Posted by Sherryn on November 4, 2011
Hi! I am writing from Sri Lanka. I am a great fan of Enid Blyton and I have about 300 of her books. I was brought up on Enid Blyton and I am very glad of the values she instilled in me as a child. I saved all my Enid Blyton books and brought up my daughter on Enid Blytons too! I would love to fly to the UK with my daughter and attend an Enid Blyton Day. But of course I need to know the date for 2012 early for me to plan for the visit! Sherryn
BarneyBarney says: It's great to hear that you and your daughter are thinking of making the trip from Sri Lanka, Sherryn! The Enid Blyton Day will be on Saturday 12th May 2012 at Loddon Hall in Twyford, Berkshire. Being a dog, I think 'Bark'-shire is a wonderful county! I hope you can make it to the Day - it's always a fantastic event as you can gather from reading accounts of previous days.
Posted by Michala on November 2, 2011
Hi Barney, I have been looking for the book The Children of Willow Farm. Do you know where to get it? (I live in Victoria in Australia). Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: That's a lovely book, Michala, and until quite recently it was published by Award. However, I've just checked their website and it no longer seems to be in print. Your best bet is to look for a second-hand copy on sites like eBay, Amazon or Abebooks (or the Australian equivalent of those, as I appreciate that shipping costs to Australia from abroad can be very high). Perhaps someone from Australia will read this and be able to help you further. Good luck with your search! Edit: Actually I've just realised that it was Dean who printed The Children of Willow Farm, not Award, though that makes no difference to the fact that the book appears to be out of print at the moment.
Posted by Brian on November 1, 2011
I am trying to find an Enid Blyton book that contained the short stories 'Pop the Snow Fairy' and 'The Discontented Sunflower'. It was one I had when I was a child and I am trying to find it for my little daughter. Does anyone have any idea which book they were in? Cheers.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I'm not familiar with those stories, Brian, and they're not listed in the Cave of Books. Is it possible that they were written by another author?
Posted by Simon on November 1, 2011
Hi Barney, I have some dog chocs for you, enjoy. I am an English man and very proud of that. We have the queen, we have freedom, we have beautiful countryside, we have Enid Blyton, and we have please and thank you, something which I have passed down to my children. Please and thank you cost nothing but mean so much to those that receive them, thank you, bye.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you very much, Simon. I'll certainly enjoy the chocs! And yes, "please" and "thank you" (or the equivalent in other languages) cost nothing and make for a nicer world.
Posted by Julie@Owlsdene on November 1, 2011
In response to Jay Jay, I would have thought that your 'need' would be to use the words - thank you - and please!
BarneyBarney says: Well said, Julie!
Posted by Jay Jay on October 31, 2011
I need the character analysis of Nick, Katie, Mrs. Holly, Clare and Gareth in The Riddle of Holiday House. I can't seem to find it ... do you have any suggestions?
BarneyBarney says: Rather than just "finding" a character analysis, it would be far more meaningful to read the book yourself, make notes on the characters and write your own!
Posted by Noel G Weir on October 27, 2011
Like Rufus, I too have been perusing the comments on this message board. As well as wondering if people thanked Barney for his trouble, I often wonder why people can't do a little more research themselves. Most of the questions (although not all by a long way) can be answered by a little research on this site. An excellent site, by the way; way ahead of other Blyton sites. Barney, you deserve an elephant's femur to gnaw on for all your hard work!
BarneyBarney says: Thanks Noel, much appreciated, but an elephant's femur - I think I would still prefer the choc drops!
Posted by Paul on October 27, 2011
Barney, Many of Enid's books promote domesticity and traditional gender roles for girls. However, it is known that Enid as a child fought against her mother's attempts to turn her into a submissive feminine type. Why do her books promote the very thing she hated?
BarneyBarney says: What people think when they are a child is not always the same as when they reach adulthood, Paul. One must also realise that most authors don't often model their book characters on themselves, if this were the case an author such as Stephen King would be in serious need of therapy!
Posted by Angela on October 26, 2011
I have been given the "HAPPY HOUR STORY BOOK". On the first and second page it has been signed "Enid Blyton's" on top of the title "HAPPY HOUR STORY BOOK". It has the date 1968 on the inside. I am wondering if it could possibly be her personal copy that she wrote in???
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid not, Angela! Enid Blyton's Happy Hours Story Book is actually the full title of the book as you can see in our Cave of Books, and all copies were exactly the same as your copy, the signature is just printed in and not handwritten.
Posted by Mehak on October 26, 2011
Just to let you know Barney, I am now a society member! I used a different card and was able to subscribe. I am so happy! :)
BarneyBarney says: I am happy for you too, Mehak! I joined the Society when I was just a puppy!
Posted by Rufus Gantle on October 26, 2011
Hi Barney, I have been scrolling back through lots of old messages and I felt I must write to say how I'm impressed by some of the answers you give. You really work hard as you seem to take a lot of trouble with your replies. I was amazed to see that very few people thank you for taking all this trouble, it would seem the internet generation take everything for granted, so let me thank you on their behalf for all the pleasure you give.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks Rufus, you have set my tail wagging! I would be quite happy with some choc drops as thanks though!
Posted by Mehak on October 25, 2011
I tried subscribing to the Society journal through PayPal but it did not proceed my card number and now I'm confused as to why my transaction didn't get through! It was a visa debit card by the way.
BarneyBarney says: I am sorry to hear that you have had a problem trying to subscribe, Mehak. I'm afraid that the problem is to do with PayPal and not under the control of the Society. I would suggest that you try to subscribe again and perhaps contact PayPal if you have further problems. If all else fails you will see that there are other ways to subscribe to the Journal.
Posted by Sandra Marshall on October 24, 2011
I used to have The Second Holiday Book by Enid Blyton when I was a child and I would like to buy one to read to my grandchildren. Do you know where I can purchase one? It is the book with 'Giggle and Hop get into trouble' and 'Connie's Curious Candle' in it.
BarneyBarney says: I have just checked out Abebooks on our Lashings of Links page and they have 17 copies available at various prices. You could also try some of the other dealers there if you want as it is a relatively easy book to find.
Posted by Richard on October 23, 2011
I have a Book in my Blyton collection called " The Queer Adventure ". It has a footnote which says " originally entitled The Yellow Fairy Book ". Can anyone give me more info about this book please
BarneyBarney says: You are absolutely correct in saying that the book was originally called The Yellow Fairy Book and if you click on the link you will find masses of info on it, including the reprints which should show you which edition of The Queer Adventure you have. I hope this helps.
Posted by Melissa Elkes on October 22, 2011
I wonder if anyone can advise. I'm trying to remember the name of a book I read as a child. It is about a girl who sees a necklace in a window and wants to buy it for her mum for Christmas, but I don't think she has the money... Does this sound familiar to anyone?! I'd like to trace it so I can buy it for my daughter. Many thanks!
Posted by Belinda McGuire on October 20, 2011
I am trying to find a list of the books in the Enid Blyton Reward Series. Book 1 being Storytime Book, 2 Happy Hours, 40 The Adventurous Four Again. My three girls love to read them and I'm trying to fill in the set. Is there an easy way to find the complete list?
BarneyBarney says: There were 48 books in the original Dean Reward Series, Belinda - see the first 48 titles in this list. Further titles were added in the late 1980s/early 1990s. In case you're wondering why numbers 1 and 2 are listed after numbers 3 - 8, the ones numbered 3 - 8 were actually issued first, followed by Storytime Book and Happy Hours Story Book. At that time none of the books were numbered. However, when Dean & Son did start numbering them later on, the first six titles became 3 - 8 and Storytime Book and Happy Hours Story Book became 1 and 2. I'm delighted to hear that your daughters are enjoying the books. They are enchanting and show Enid Blyton's talent as a writer of many different genres.
Posted by Samantha on October 19, 2011
Anybody know the title of a book I read as a child? it was about a group of children who found a river boat/house boat and fixed it up during the holidays. Can't remember much more about the story but I loved it and want to buy it for my own child. Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Did it also feature an American boy named Kit? If so, you may well be thinking of The Boy Next Door. Nowadays there is only a slightly altered and modernised version available new, The Riddle of the Boy Next Door, (see the post below yours on the Message Board) so you may prefer to look for a second-hand copy. There are usually several for sale on eBay or Abebooks.
Posted by Eoin on October 18, 2011
Hi. I'm a primary school teacher. I really enjoyed The Boy Next Door when I was a child and I want to do it with my class. When I enquired about getting copies for my class I was told that The Riddle of the Boy Next Door is about to be reprinted. Can anybody tell me if The Riddle of the Boy Next Door is the same book as The Boy Next Door? Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: In some ways it is and in some ways it isn't! It has exactly the same plot but the language has been modernised in places and the names of the child characters are different (except for Kit, the American boy). The reason is that six stand-alone books were put together to form the Riddle series, The Riddle of the Boy Next Door being book number six. If you read it (whichever version) with your class I hope they enjoy it as much as you did, Eoin!
Posted by Larry Keough on October 17, 2011
I was recently on a children's book tour and found a copy of Enid's book that I gave to my friend who teaches theater at a Jr. College. I had never heard of Enid Blyton but thought he would appreciate the book. Jerry also performs plays from children's author books. He auditions students and the play is performed in the elementary schools. When I was in the military I spent a year in England. I was stationed at Ipswich while in the air force. I see Enid went to high school at Ipswich High School. I left England in 1971 and I see she had passed on in the same year. What a coincidence. Now, I'm writing books for children that also include a c-d of music. I guess I will be learning more about Enid Blyton and reading more of her stories. Larry Keough www.fragilly.com
BarneyBarney says: It is interesting to hear that you are also a children's author, Larry. I am not surprised that you had never heard of Enid Blyton as she has never had much success in America. Two things that you mention are slightly wrong. Enid did not go to school in Ipswich, this was simply where she did part of her teacher training and also she was aged 71 when she died, but she actually passed away in 1968. It was good to hear from you.
Posted by Simon on October 15, 2011
Hi Barney. I have some doggy chocs for you this time, hope you like them. Simply put, Enid Blyton books are there to be read and enjoyed, young or old. Thank you, bye.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Simon!
Posted by Nigel Rowe on October 11, 2011
If that was a message, what on Earth would an essay be like??!! ;-)
Posted by Nigel Rowe on October 11, 2011
Haven't we heard enough now on Stephen's wild theories about Enid's characters? There seems to be far too much theorising about Enid's stories. As you say, Barney, if we must endure continual theorising, write on the forums, then we can ignore the thread concerned!
BarneyBarney says: Believe it or not, that was the abridged version of Stephen's message!
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on October 11, 2011
Paul, yes, Enid Blyton had stereotypes about many things, especially in light of the era in which she lived. Nonetheless, how about if some of those 'stereotypes' were true? For instance, in Third Year at Malory Towers (1948), Zerelda Brass flunks her history exams, including the American portion of them. Fast forward to 2011, an American educational report suggested that a sizeable amount of American students are not proficient in their own history. This observation tallies very well with the Zerelda Brass character. Since Enid Blyton followed events in America through the wireless (radio) as well as being a voracious reader of newspapers such as The London Times, The Observer, The Guardian and occasionally The New York Times etc , which covered and still cover American issues in an indepth manner, including the shortcomings in the American educational system, it goes without saying that the Zerelda Brass persona was based on Enid Blyton's observation of the American educational system as reported in the British and American media. In recent years, whenever shortcomings have been reported about the American educational system in the media, I have often referred them to read about Zerelda Brass in Third Year at Malory Towers that mirrors several deficiencies in the American educational system.
BarneyBarney says: Surely in-depth discussions about topics like this would be better on the forums, Stephen (and Paul)? They would get more views there and attract more response. The Message Board is mainly for people dropping by briefly with a question or comment.
Posted by Simon on October 10, 2011
Hi Barney, I have another big bone for you as I'm sure that you've demolished the last one I gave you, and of course a big loving fuss to go with it. I hope you're well. A note for your readers, in my days as a young boy, without health and safety and political correctness, I used to get home from school, trousers ripped, plasters on my legs and stinking of witch-hazel. My mom used to say, "Serves you right, now eat yer tea." Then I would settle down and read an Enid Blyton book. Now 52 years later, I come home from work, stressed, and settle down with an Enid Blyton book. I'm so happy that some things never change. Take care Barney, bye.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for the bone, Simon. You're right that whatever else changes, our Blyton books are still there on the shelf waiting for us, just the same as ever.
Posted by Mah.Rohan on October 10, 2011
Hi, I would like to ask you the ending of The Boy Next Door to compare it with The Riddle of the Boy Next Door. If you can't supply spoilers then it's just bad luck for me!!!
BarneyBarney says: I don't want to reveal too much but I can say that both books end in pretty much the same way, though the names of some of the characters are different in the "Riddle" book, a few small details have been altered (not affecting the plot) and slices of Mr. Cunningham's birthday cake are washed down with Coke instead of ginger-beer.
Posted by Ammu on October 10, 2011
You should also enter reviews of other writers too like T. S. Eliot, Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, etc...
BarneyBarney says: The website isn't set up to include reviews of books by other writers, but if we were to do that at any time in the future we'd probably concentrate on children's authors.
Posted by Richard on October 9, 2011
I came across a number of Mary Mouse (12) and Clicky (3) paperback books at a yard sale here in Canada. If some of your members are interested they can contact me at rroach1784@Rogers.com.
Posted by Paul on October 9, 2011
Barney I love seeing your humour, especially when it's aimed at that book! It's interesting that Enid chose a "normal" name (Sadie Green) for one of her American characters and an "exotic" one (Zerelda Brass) for the other. Of course as one reviewer noted, Enid didn't really know much about America so she relied on stereotypes which can make the modern reader uncomfortable.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Paul. I suppose I am a bit of a wag!
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on October 9, 2011
Sue Berry, I support you in your observation that Enid Blyton's books are never outdated, contrary to what a few critics suggest. Whenever I have picked up an Enid Blyton book to read, I have found something very relevant to the contemporary era, be it the environment, education, science, business, you name it. In fact, this was one of the cornerstones of my writing, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage, that is to demonstrate the relevance of Blytonian Literature for succeeding generations.
BarneyBarney says: Many moons ago there was a programme on the wireless with the title ITMA, which stood for 'It's That Man Again'. I feel we should now introduce 'ITBA' - 'It's That Book Again'!
Posted by Guau Guau on October 7, 2011
Hi Barney, The Valley of Adventure edited by Thames Publishing in 1960, with 2nd cover by S.Tresilian; was it reprinted any time?
BarneyBarney says: It wasn't edited by Thames, but was just published by them as a cheaper edition. It may have had one reprint, but it didn't stay in print for long as Macmillan continued to reprint the book in the original dustwrapper right up to the early 1980s.
Posted by Arsalan Alamgir on October 6, 2011
@ Barney...thanks a lot! I found the book. It's called Fifteen Minute Tales. I had the name wrong. The gnome's called 'Niggle'. I used to call it Niggle but my mom once told me that the only name similar to that in the English language is 'Nigel' when I was describing the story to her; she obviously must have thought I had the pronunciation wrong. But thank you ever so much!
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you were able to identify the book, Arsalan! Gnomes are often called names which would not be used for humans, such as Ticklem-Up or Nobbly-One.
Posted by Sue Berry on October 6, 2011
Paul, When people refer to Enid's books as outdated I can only assume they did not grow up in the 30s, 40s or 50s during the actual time Enid was writing these books. My friends and I did grow up in the 40s/50s and we found her books anything but outdated, we found them very exciting and very forward thinking at the time. That's why we loved reading her books.
Posted by Paul on October 6, 2011
Thanks, Nigel. Of course, even in Western countries, attitudes towards women vary from country to country and even within countries. As someone said, if we didn't have laws in advance of public opinion, we might still have homosexuality as illegal. Someone mentioned, either on the forums or on EB.Net, that many of Enid's social and cultural attitudes were out of date even when she was writing. TV Tropes makes the same point that a writer's attitudes and outlook are formed in their teens and twenties but they generally hit the big time in their thirties and forties, so what they think is cutting edge is actually twenty or more years out of date.
Posted by Arsalan Alamgir on October 5, 2011
Hey everyone. I'm a twenty year old Pakistani and I've been reading Enid Blyton for as long as I can remember. I remember reading about a character called Nigel the Gnome in the very first Enid Blyton book I ever read. It was a collection of short stories, a very dog eared and well-used second hand copy without the covers and I never really found out what it was called. That book is the first book I remember reading for fun and it's what got me hooked on reading as a child. I'd really appreciate it if somebody could shed some light on this little mystery and tell me what it was called. Thanks... =)
BarneyBarney says: Welcome, Arsalan. There are plenty of gnomes in Blyton, but I don't remember one called Nigel. I've done a search on gnome in the Cave of Books - maybe something will ring a bell.
Posted by Nigel Rowe on October 5, 2011
I think you are reading too much into George's psychology, Paul. It must be remembered that when George was a child, girls weren't allowed to do many things that boys could. This is what George rebelled against, and when she says "I'm as good as a boy" or in a defiant mood, "I am a boy!", it was this that she was so frustrated at. Why couldn't she go out at night? She thought (quite correctly in hindsight) that she could do the things that boys could do, gender had nothing to do with it. I consider George to be a true tomboy. Yes, she preferred shorts to a dress, but I can't see anything sinister in that. Thanks to attitudes such as George's, today's girls and women (in the West, at least) enjoy equal opportunities and respect. Now if Julian were to wear a frock and want to be a girl...
BarneyBarney says: I've now got a picture in my mind of Julian borrowing Anne's hair-ribbons and insisting on being called Julie-Ann!
Posted by Paul on October 4, 2011
Barney, Blyton books, particularly the mystery stories, just don't work with mobile phones. Imagine if Fatty was contactable anytime, anywhere or the Secret Seven were traced by their phones while on a scout out. Onto the Famous Five for a moment, George is so one-dimensional that she is hardly a character in the true sense of the word; she embodies all that is anti-feminine and I don't think, if that actually happened in real life, that it would be at all healthy, balanced or likely to lead to happiness. Leaving that aside, she has a very poor relationship with her parents and very few friends in her peer group. (This is at the beginning of the series, though even so she doesn't seem to get much better at making friends as time goes on.) She is not a tomboy, ie a girl who enjoys pursuits regarded in the 1940s and 1950s as boyish; she actually pretends to be a boy, which is a different matter. It seems ridiculous to talk about her as if she's a real person, she's such an exaggeration of one aspect, but if such a child did exist, I can't see that it wouldn't be cause for concern that a child couldn't accept the most basic biological truth about itself, ie its sex. I'm not saying that all girls should be interested in girly things and vice versa for boys, because that would clearly be ridiculous and because it would fly in the face of observable facts; I'm saying that George is taken to such an extreme that she's not believable. Yes, there are positive aspects of her, but she isn't really a rounded character who can be analysed as if she were real.
BarneyBarney says: I agree that if the mystery/adventure characters were issued with mobile phones, it would change everything. Regarding George, she does take things to extremes but I think many readers will identify with her determination to be herself and refuse to comply with society's expectations.
Posted by Mah.Rohan on October 2, 2011
Hi, I just wanted to know whether the titles in the Riddle series have a different plot than the ones Enid wrote by herself. I am planning to buy the Riddle series and want to be assured that the books have the plot Enid wrote. Thanks again!
BarneyBarney says: I'm not familiar enough with the Riddle books to say exactly how much has been changed in each one, but they started off as six stand-alone novels so a number of alterations were obviously made to the characters and plots to turn the books into a series, and updating was done at the same time (the language is more modern in places, and characters drink Coke and have mobile phones). Another option might be for you to look for second-hand copies of the original books - then you'd have them as Enid wrote them. An interesting fact that not everyone may know is that it was Enid Blyton's elder daughter Gillian Baverstock who adapted the books for the Riddle series.
Posted by Mah.Rohan on October 2, 2011
Hi, I want to know whether there is a big difference between the Riddle series and the original books that were used to form that series. I also want to know specifically about The Riddle of the Boy Next Door. I also want to know whether there is a big difference between the Adventurous Four and the new series in which the titles are Stranded!, Shipwrecked! and Trapped! Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Some of the titles in the Riddle series have been changed a lot - others less so, but still quite considerably. The plot of The Boy Next Door remains pretty much the same but the characters are different and have different names (except for Kit, the American boy). There have also been updates throughout. To give just two examples, Katie talks about Aunt Marion defrosting the freezer and Kit has a computer and TV in his attic playroom. I'm not sure how much updating has been done to the Adventurous Four books, but I know that Jill and Mary have become Pippa and Zoe even though the first book is still set in the Second World War! The third title, Trapped!, was originally a short story of four chapters in Enid Blyton's Omnibus!, so a lot of material has been added (by Clive Dickinson) to turn it into a full-length novel.
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on October 2, 2011
Hi Barney! Thanks for your advice on what to do in the holidays. And I've written some stories, indeed many stories that have been published! Can I send some of my stories to you so that you can view them and give me your opinion about them? I'd be happy! And I want to write to Enid Blyton, but bad luck for me! OK now, can you please give me your personal email address or your residential address?
BarneyBarney says: Sorry, but I get a number of people asking if they can send stories for me to have a look at and I'm afraid I simply don't have the time. As you've already had many of yours published, you're obviously on the right track. Good luck with future stories!
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on October 1, 2011
Hi Barney! We currently have holidays but I already read all the books of Enid Blyton. Give me something to do in my holidays.
BarneyBarney says: Surely you can think of something to do, P. V. S. K. Chaitanya! What about borrowing books from the library, or writing and illustrating your own stories? If you get together with friends, perhaps you could put on a play or go for a picnic or practise writing in invisible ink. Or you could research something that interests you, and put together a folder of your findings. How about taking up a new sport or hobby, or learning a new skill such as making something from wood, or sewing something? If all else fails, I'm sure your parents would be delighted for you to help with the housework!
Posted by Poppy on October 1, 2011
How did Enid Blyton get her first book published? I'm wanting to get one of my stories published and I thought it would be interesting to know how Enid got hers done! Thanks Barney! From Poppy.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Poppy! Enid Blyton kept on submitting stories, poems and articles to publishers of books and magazines despite receiving hundreds of rejection slips. She believed in her ability as a writer and didn't get disheartened. Her first book (published in 1922) was a volume of poetry, Child Whispers, illustrated by Phyllis Chase who was a former schoolfriend.
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on October 1, 2011
Hello Barney! I want to know how the journey of Enid Blyton began and from where she got her inspiration. Can you help me get the information?
BarneyBarney says: You can find out all about Enid Blyton's life and her writing in our Author of Adventure section.
Posted by Simon on September 30, 2011
Hi again Barney, hope you enjoyed your meaty bone. Now I have some biscuits for you and another fuss. Please thank Julie for showing an interest in my question and thank Petermax for me for answering my question.I didn't think that Stuart Tresilian would make a mistake. Petermax's answer is interesting and I've learnt something new. Thank you, bye.
BarneyBarney says: You're welcome, Simon. Yum, biccies - thanks! I'm a bit like the Cookie Monster where biscuits are concerned!
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on September 30, 2011
Hello Barney! I'm having a good time reading Enid Blyton's books in my holidays currently. I read that a new book, named 'Bumpy's Caravan' manuscript, has been found! How can I get to read it? Is it available in stores?
BarneyBarney says: Hello, P.V.S.K.Chaitanya! The recently discovered book is called Mr. Tumpy's Caravan (it's not the same book as Mr. Tumpy and His Caravan). I'm not aware of any plans to publish it in the near future but I hope that one day we'll all get to read it.
Posted by Petermax on September 30, 2011
@Simon. The steering wheel that you refer to is actually known as a "yoke". Stuart Tresilian's drawing is actually quite accurate as it appears to depict the cockpit of a DC3 Dakota.
BarneyBarney says: Many thanks for the information, Petermax. That's very interesting.
Posted by Julie@Owlsdene on September 29, 2011
What an interesting question from Simon. I've never noticed this before. The wheel certainly does look like a car's steering wheel and not the usual pilot's wheel we often see in a plane of today. I hope you enjoyed your meaty bone, Barney.
BarneyBarney says: Munch, slobber, crunch!
Posted by Simon on September 29, 2011
Hi Barney, before I ask my question, can I give you a big fuss and a nice big meaty dog bone? In my 1956 The Valley of Adventure book, page 25, the picture shows a car steering wheel in the cockpit of an aeroplane. With respect to Stuart Tresilian, is this the way it should be? As I've joined the society, I'm looking forward to the Enid Blyton Day. Thank you for your trouble, bye, Simon.
BarneyBarney says: A bit of fussing and a meaty bone are always welcome, thank you, Simon! I'm a dog who keeps his four paws firmly on the ground so I can't comment on the accuracy of the "steering wheel", but perhaps someone else will be able to help. Stuart Tresilian's illustrations for The Valley of Adventure can be seen here. I'm sure you'll have a smashing time at the Enid Blyton Day in May!
Posted by Niamh Philpott on September 28, 2011
Do you sell any copies of the St. Clare's books?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we don't sell Enid Blyton books, Niamh, or give valuations. We simply provide information (lots of it!) about Enid Blyton and her writing.
Posted by Georgina Hargreaves on September 28, 2011
I also illustrated The Little Green Imp and The Little Witch-Dog. How could I forget two of my favourite books? :-)
BarneyBarney says: Great stories - and great illustrations!
Posted by Georgina Hargreaves on September 28, 2011
I have illustrated twelve Enid Blyton books - Enid Blyton's Mini World Series, The Swallow Fairy, The Witch's Cat, Whiskers for the Cat and The Mischievous Panda, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Folk of the Faraway Tree, Adventures of the Wishing-Chair and The Wishing-Chair Again. Also cassette books of The Magic Faraway Tree and The Folk of the Faraway Tree.
Posted by Selena Singh on September 27, 2011
Hi Georgina, can you tell me how and where do you celebrate Miss Enid's birthday?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's birthday is celebrated every year on 11th August, at Corfe Castle in Dorset. The celebrations are organised by Viv Endecott of The Ginger Pop Shop.
Posted by Selena on September 27, 2011
Hi Gloreena, you can become an author by writing a book of magic or fairytales or take others' advice on which topic they would like to read. Use impressive words. If you want to write stories you can write them, otherwise you can write poems.
BarneyBarney says: In her autobiography, The Story of My Life, Enid Blyton advised would-be writers: "Fill your mind with all kinds of interesting things—the more you have in it, the more will come out of it. Nothing ever comes out of your mind that hasn't already been put into it in some form or other. It may come out changed, re-arranged, polished, shining, almost unrecognizable—but nevertheless it was you who put it there first of all. Your thoughts, your actions, your reading, your sense of humour, everything gets packed into your mind, and if you have an imagination, what a wonderful assortment it will have to choose from!"
Posted by Georgina Hargreaves on September 27, 2011
I went to Enid Blyton's birthday party. I had a super day and they let me cut the cake ;-) Yum, yum, yum.
BarneyBarney says: (Pricking up ears) Since Enid Blyton's birthday was on 11th August, I suppose it's too late to hope that there's any cake left?! Lucky you, Georgina! And what a privilege to have had the opportunity of illustrating several Enid Blyton books (beautifully done, too).
Posted by Royallass on September 26, 2011
Hi, hope someone can help. Does anyone know what reading age The Naughtiest Girl in the School is appropriate for? I am doing an SEN Course and had to do a miscue analysis on the child's reading book which was this one. Any ideas gratefully appreciated :-)
BarneyBarney says: In Enid Blyton's autobiography, The Story of My Life, the Naughtiest Girl books are said to be aimed primarily at children aged 7 to 11. I hope that helps, Royallass.
Posted by Gloreena on September 26, 2011
Can you tell me how to become an author?
BarneyBarney says: Er...write a book?!
Posted by Paul on September 26, 2011
Has anyone thought of doing a Miss Blytonia competition - it would be like Miss America only about which female Blyton characters sounded the prettiest? The Grange Hill forums had a Miss Grange Hill thread which prompted my thoughts.
BarneyBarney says: You could try starting a thread on the forums. My personal vote would go to Poppet, the white poodle in The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage, who is described as "a little dear" with a "quaint little pointed nose." Reading about her always sets my tail a-wagging.
Posted by Nigel Rowe on September 26, 2011
If Junk did write to the publishers, would that make it Junk Mail? ;-)
BarneyBarney says: Grrrr-oan!
Posted by Ragav on September 25, 2011
Hello Barney! Could you write a monograph on 'Textual revisions of the Blyton books' and upload it to your website? This has to be detailed with photos showing the original and altered texts! There is a site with scans of all Enid Blyton first editions with original illustrations and text [website address removed] - I'll be printing them and binding them soon!
BarneyBarney says: I've removed the website address, Ragav, because it's illegal for anyone to make the books available free of charge online. After all, they are still in print and remain under copyright until the end of 2038. It may be argued that the copyright holders are not making the original books available, only heavily edited versions, but there is often a difference between what people may perceive to be right and what is actually legal. I'm a busy dog and certainly haven't time to write a monograph on the thousands of textual revisions that have been done over the years - even if I had access to all the various editions, which I don't!
Posted by Junk on September 25, 2011
Hi, Please, how can I contact Mr. David Rudd? May I mail him a message? Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: The usual way to try contacting an author is to write to the publisher, Junk.
Posted by Dylan Freidman on September 23, 2011
Are there any unpublished books of Blyton?
BarneyBarney says: Last year, an unpublished Blyton book called Mr. Tumpy's Caravan was discovered at an auction. It is a full-length novel and is a different book from the published picture-strip book Mr. Tumpy and His Caravan.
Posted by Paul on September 22, 2011
Does The Teachers World, which Enid wrote for, still exist? If not, when did it cease?
BarneyBarney says: The Teachers World was published by Evans, who still exist. It doesn't look as though they publish The Teachers World any more, though. I think The Times Educational Supplement does a similar job. Enid Blyton wrote for The Teachers World from 1922 until 1945.
Posted by Toni on September 20, 2011
Hi. I'm confused about the "Popular Reward Series" and other short story series. Have these stories been put together from Enid Blyton's various magazines? I've done some "googling", but I'm still not clear. Thanks Toni.
BarneyBarney says: There is no need to go on a "googling" trip, Toni, all the information you require is on this website. The short story books list the contents and say where the story was taken from. Your assumption is quite correct, almost all the short stories in these compilations were taken from magazines which they were originally written for. Most came from Sunny Stories, but a few were taken from other publications. If a story was specially written for a book this information is also there in the contents section.
Posted by Selena on September 20, 2011
I want to publish my book. Can anyone tell me how to publish it?
BarneyBarney says: I think you'd find The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook helpful, Selena (or your country's equivalent if you're not in the UK).
Posted by Anne on September 20, 2011
Thank you for suggesting the books to me! Can you tell me what the 15 main series buttons are?
BarneyBarney says: Look above these "Secret Messages" and you'll see 15 rectangular "Popular Series" buttons. When you click on one, you'll find lots of information about that series.
Posted by Zonaira Bhutta on September 19, 2011
What is the reading level for Enid Blyton?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton wrote for children of all ages, Zonaira. As a rough guide (very rough, as readers differ in their interests, ability and maturity) I'd say Noddy for ages 3-6; the short stories, Wishing-Chair, Faraway Tree, Galliano's Circus, Willow Farm and Secret Seven books for ages 5-9; and most of the mystery/adventure books, school series and family dramas (Six Cousins, The Family at Red-Roofs, etc) for ages 8-13.
Posted by Paul on September 18, 2011
I wish someone would do a proper movie about Enid's life that shows the good as well as the bad. The BBC's Enid was a disgrace. There's an unfortunate prurient desire to believe the worst of beloved children's book authors - witness the desperation by some to believe Lewis Caroll and J.M. Barrie were pedophiles.
BarneyBarney says: It would have been refreshing to see a bit more of the positive side of Enid Blyton in the Enid drama, for example her love of nature, her talent as a musician, her charity work and the fact that she was an enthusiastic and inspirational teacher. Ken Howard's Sunny Stories programme showed a more balanced picture, though the presentation was "arty" and perhaps less accessible to viewers with little prior knowledge of Enid Blyton's life.
Posted by Selena on September 18, 2011
Joan Scourfield, my sister has what you need. Would you like to talk to my sister about this?
Posted by Kumudu on September 18, 2011
I first started reading Enid Blyton books when I was just six years old. I grew up with the Mystery, Famous Five, Galliano's Circus, R Series, and her other stories. Now I am fifty years old and I still like to grab one of Enid Blyton's books now and then when I feel stressed out.
Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2011
Is the Secret Series also known as the Adventurous Four? Which series did Enid Blyton like the most herself?
BarneyBarney says: No, the Secret books and the Adventurous Four books are two separate series revolving around different sets of characters. We don't know which series Enid Blyton liked the most, but one of her favourite characters was George of the Famous Five. It would feel much nicer to talk to someone with a name rather than to an anonymous person!
Posted by Anonymous on September 17, 2011
Can you please list Enid Blyton's books for teenagers?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton felt that her Barney Mysteries series was particularly suitable for teenagers. The Six Cousins books, The Six Bad Boys, The Family at Red-Roofs and House-at-the-Corner might also appeal to readers in their early teens.
Posted by Neil on September 17, 2011
Hi, Read a lot of those fantastic stories. Need Tales of the Toyland either hardback or softcopy, for a very special person. I have been searching the internet in vain. Please mail me (c.rudranil@gmail.com) if you have a copy, and I can pay the price instantly. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Neil, Your message says Tales of the Toyland, but I think you mean Tales of Toyland. I point that out not to be pedantic, but because including the extra word might have hindered you in finding the book online. Good luck with your search. If all else fails you could try eBay, Abebooks or the sellers listed under "Lashings of Links".
Posted by Selena on September 17, 2011
Hello Barney! Thank you for suggesting such nice books. I will surely buy them. Well Barney, don't you think that Julie is right that we can't judge a person by his personal problems? Martin is wrong - he should not say anything about Enid.
BarneyBarney says: Martin wrote, on 25th August, "Had I known just what a nasty, selfish, manipulative creature she was in real life, I would never have read any of her books." I agree with what Julie said - that no one is perfect so we shouldn't judge too harshly. While Enid Blyton may have been selfish and manipulative at times, there were other aspects to her personality too. As I said before, she could also be generous, funny and vibrant and she was undoubtedly a talented and enthusiastic teacher and writer, who taught children a lot. The important thing for us as readers is that her books contain the very best of her and her wonderful stories continue to entertain and educate children, and influence them in a positive way.
Posted by Adelheid on September 17, 2011
Hello! Barney, I am Adelheid. Many, many bones for you and thank you very much for suggesting the books.
BarneyBarney says: Munch, munch, crunch!
Posted by Hattie Whitaker Myers on September 16, 2011
Hello, I was wondering how old the Famous Five are in each of the stories.
BarneyBarney says: In Five on a Treasure Island Julian is twelve, Dick and George eleven, and Anne ten. As for Timmy, George "found him out on the moors when he was just a pup, a year ago" so he's over a year old. As the series goes on the children age rather more slowly than they should - otherwise they'd all be in their twenties by the time of the final adventure! There's an interesting article about that here.
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on September 16, 2011
Ffion, I am glad that you intend to write a dissertation on some aspects of Enid Blyton's children's literature and Chloe seems to want to know what other people have written on Enid Blyton. In both instances, I would highly recommend both of you to consult my book, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage, which analytically examines some of Enid Blyton's best known series beginning with The Famous Five...
Posted by Chloe on September 15, 2011
What do people say about her books?
BarneyBarney says: Assuming you mean Enid Blyton's books, people's opinions vary a lot. Why don't you take a look at some of the topics in the "Books" section of our discussion forums?
Posted by Adelheid on September 15, 2011
Hello! Barney, can you suggest to me some books of Enid Blyton for the ages of girls 8 to 9 and also I bring two bones for you Barney. Good bye Barney! and I'll see you tomorrow.
BarneyBarney says: (through a meaty mouthful of bone - thanks Adelheid!) It depends on the girls' interests and reading ability but I think many girls that age would enjoy the Famous Five, Five Find-Outers, Naughtiest Girl, St. Clare's and Malory Towers series, among others. There are some good stand-alone books too, such as Smuggler Ben, The Treasure Hunters and Those Dreadful Children.
Posted by Gene Genie on September 15, 2011
A cousin, Alexander Munro and his wife, Ruth Moorwood were involved in illustrating a number of Blyton's children's books. I am seeking more information on this aspect of their work and would be interested to hear from anyone who can help shed light on it. I have occasional access to the Nelson archive which I hope may produce more information but its size means even a more exact understanding of when their illustrations were published would help with the research.
BarneyBarney says: Neither Alexander Munro nor Ruth Morwood (not Moorwood) illustrated any Enid Blyton books as such, but Ruth Morwood did illustrate some very simple Blyton stories about two bad bunnies, Skippit and Flip, which were used in some of Nelson's anthologies and annuals, such as The Nursery Book. This was in the late 1920s and early 1930s. These stories were not credited to Enid Blyton and we only know that she wrote them as they are mentioned in an early workbook of hers.
Posted by Ffion on September 14, 2011
Hi Barney, I would like to write my dissertation on some aspect of Enid Blyton's children's fiction. It was reading her books at a young age that inspired me to study English Literature today. There are just so many avenues of interesting discussions I can't narrow it down. Any ideas?
BarneyBarney says: There are numerous possibilities as you say, Ffion, such as style of language, social mores, different genres, story structure, Enid as an educator, etc. I can't really give you any specific guidance, though in your position I'd choose to examine an aspect of Blyton which would enable me to focus on my favourite titles. With so many books to choose from, it makes sense to look at a few in depth rather than trying to cover everything. Good luck with your dissertation and let us know how you get on!
Posted by Ryan on September 12, 2011
What a great site! I have just finished reading an early edition of The Adventurous Four and would like to start reading the Six Cousins books next. Barney, do you happen to know whether the recent publications of these books have been altered by the publishers? I prefer to read Blyton as Enid intended it to be read. Cheers!
BarneyBarney says: I'm delighted you like the website, Ryan. I haven't seen recent publications of the Six Cousins books but it's very likely that the language will have been updated. Copies up to about the late 1980s are usually okay, having nothing more than currency changes. If you want to be absolutely sure of having the original text, you'd probably need pre-1971 editions. They're great stories, by the way, full of drama.
Posted by Tony Summerfield on September 12, 2011
I was reading Barney's reply to you,Tom, and it is not totally accurate. Although he is correct in saying that there was only one version of Five on Finniston Farm, there were actually two dramatised versions of Five Go to Smuggler's Top. The first was produced by Rainbow in 1983, which was re-issued by Tempo in 1994. The version you are looking for is the Hodder version, which came out in 1995. All dramatised versions after this would have been that same Hodder version, so if you go for that you should get what you are looking for.
BarneyBarney says: I slink away with my tail between my legs!
Posted by Shagufta on September 12, 2011
Hi Barney, I recently found an old edition (hard bound) book of Every Girl's Annual illustrated by Roland Davies and others. Published by Juvenile Productions Ltd, London. I am trying to find out which year it was published in and if by Enid Blyton. Would you have a list of all the Every Girl's Annuals published during 1900 to 1960? Thanks, Shagufta.
BarneyBarney says: There are only two with Blyton content, Shagufta, dating from 1951 and 1952. Each contains one short story by Enid Blyton. Unfortunately I don't have any details of the non-Blyton ones.
Posted by Tom on September 11, 2011
Hello Barney, Quite a strange one: I appeared in several Secret Seven and Famous Five audio cassettes as a kid and was wondering if you could help me find the whereabouts of one. It was in about 95/96/97 when I was 9 or 10 and they were produced by Mike Carrington Wood, and it was searching his name that brought me here actually. Basically in the Secret Seven I was George for a few books (a small part) and I have actually got one of the original cassettes. It was the Famous Five audio books that I did that I was hoping to locate. I appeared in Five Go to Smuggler's Top, (in which I played Sooty) which I actually found and purchased on iTunes funnily enough, however I only knew that it was the one I was in and not another version as I listened to the sample and recognised the voice of one of the lads I was in it with. The other one I was looking for was Five on Finniston Farm I believe, in which I play spoiled American kid Junior I think. So I looked for this on iTunes as well and I am pretty sure it is a different version to the one produced by Mike Carrington Wood, which I appeared in, as the cover is different and I don't recognise the voices in the sample. So to sum up a long and complicated message; do you know where I could find Five on Finniston Farm produced by Mike Carrington Wood on some sort of audio format? Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: This is a difficult one, Tom! In our audio section in the Cave of Books, we can only list the actors that are actually mentioned on the cassette sleeve. Mike Carrington Wood was the producer for most of the dramatised audio cassettes of the period for both Hodder and Tempo, so that is not much help. I can tell you that the two titles that you mention, Smuggler's Top and Finniston Farm, were only produced by Hodder in dramatised form and therefore there is only one version of both. I am not too sure how you found a different version on itunes as I am pretty certain that only one version exists, though it was certainly released with different covers. Sadly you aren't mentioned on either, but do tell us more if you can solve the mystery.
Posted by Selena on September 11, 2011
Hello Barney again! Barney, can you suggest to me some good books of Enid Blyton? Well Barney, did you like the bone? There is another bone for you.
BarneyBarney says: The bones are delicious, thanks! Enid Blyton wrote so many books that it's hard to know where to start in recommending good titles. In forum discussions, books that are mentioned again and again as being much-loved include Five on a Hike Together, The Valley of Adventure, The Secret Island, The Adventurous Four, The Boy Next Door, The Mystery of the Invisible Thief, In the Fifth at Malory Towers, Fifth Formers of St. Clare's, the two "Six Cousins" books, The Six Bad Boys, the Galliano's Circus series and the Faraway Tree books. The Barney Mysteries are also popular, but really need to be read in order. That's not an exhaustive list by any means. Why don't you click on the 15 main series buttons and see what takes your fancy?
Posted by Poppy on September 10, 2011
Hi Barney, At home I have a book called Enid Blyton's Greatest Book Ever. I bought it at a car-boot sale for 10p - is it a rare book, I've never heard of it till now? Thanks! Poppy.
BarneyBarney says: Is it a fairly modern collection of short stories, Poppy? If so, we don't have all the modern short story compilations listed in the Cave yet. Or do you mean The Greatest Book in the World (1954), which was written for the British and Foreign Bible Society and is about the Bible? That's not very well-known but there are plenty of copies available on the second-hand market. I bet most of them cost rather more than 10p though!
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on September 10, 2011
Hi again! I told you about my book and you know the name - Active Detectives. I'll soon send you a summary of the book and even the plot. Do you have a personal email ID?
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for the offer, P.V.S.K. Chaitanya, but we get quite a few people wanting to send in books, stories or fanfiction to the Society and we don't have enough time to read them, so regretfully we'll have to say no. Best of luck with getting your work published, though!
Posted by Joan Scourfield on September 9, 2011
I am looking for the story about Noddy and Tessie finding a star in a pail of water. Please help.
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on September 9, 2011
HI AGAIN BARNEY! AS I TOLD, I HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK. I'VE ALREADY SENT IT TO PUBLISHERS AND IF THEY ACCEPT, THEN I'LL SEND YOU A COPY. AND BY THE WAY, IF YOU'RE A DOG, THEN HOW CAN YOU REPLY OR WRITE TO ME?
BarneyBarney says: Good luck with the book, P.V.S.K.Chaitanya, but I hope you didn't type the whole manuscript in capital letters! It is a bit of a challenge getting my paws in the right place on the keyboard, but I'm a dog of many talents and I work...well, doggedly!
Posted by Marelise on September 9, 2011
Hi Barney, I am just writing to say I have almost got the full collection of Famous Five books! Just two to go. From Marelise.
BarneyBarney says: I hope you're able to get the last two very soon, Marelise. And after that you can start collecting another series...!
Posted by Penny on September 9, 2011
Hi Barney, Please could you tell me which book the stories 'A Shock for Golden Hair' and 'Harry's New Football' are in? My daughter has some little books I got from a cheap bookshop, but I'd like to buy an original if I can. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: 'Harry's New Football' was originally printed in Enid Blyton's Snowdrop Story Book but I'm afraid I don't know about 'A Shock for Golden Hair'.
Posted by Poppy on September 8, 2011
Hi Barney, I was just writing to say I have finally reached my target of 350 Enid Blyton books and I have enjoyed every single one of them! From Poppy.
BarneyBarney says: Well done on reading so many Blyton books, Poppy. That's almost one for each day of the year!
Posted by Debbie on September 6, 2011
I have an Enid Blyton book called More Adventures of Willow Farm and don't seem to be able to track it down on the internet! It's illustrated by Eileen A. Soper, seventh impression 1954. I would like to know how much this book is worth to date, I would appreciate help please!
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we can't give valuations but More Adventures on Willow Farm is listed in our Cave of Books, Debbie.
Posted by Jacky on September 6, 2011
I found the St.Clare's books more happy go lucky than Malory Towers, but I loved all of them.
Posted by Paul on September 5, 2011
Hi Barney. Enid's ability to appeal to both boys and girls is pretty rare in the wider scheme of things. Even on TV today, many producers find it difficult to find hosts or characters that will successfully appeal to both genders.
BarneyBarney says: Good point, Paul. That's probably a factor in Enid Blyton's popularity.
Posted by Aminmec on September 5, 2011
The new series buttons are a welcome addition. They look really fresh and attractive. Naughtiest Girl truly "jumps" out...
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Aminmec. You've set my tail a-wagging! It's useful to have direct links to yet more series, and it brightens up the home page at the same time. We've got a veritable patchwork quilt of buttons now!
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on September 5, 2011
I'm writing a book that is a novel named Active Detectives. I've been inspired by Enid Blyton. Please give your view on it. Please.
BarneyBarney says: I haven't read the book so I can't comment on it but I think Enid Blyton would be proud to have inspired so many people to write.
Posted by Taryn on September 5, 2011
Hi Barney, I am searching for the A4 illustrated version of The Enchanted Wood or The Wishing-Chair. Have you got any ideas where I could find these? Thanks a million!
BarneyBarney says: Those editions sometimes turn up on eBay or Abebooks, Taryn. Alternatively, you could try the booksellers listed under "Lashings of Links".
Posted by Anna on September 5, 2011
I'm a fan of Enid Blyton. Which author's books should I read after finishing the Enid Blyton adventure stories?
BarneyBarney says: You could try Malcolm Saville, who was writing adventure stories at about the same time as Enid Blyton. His most popular books are his Lone Pine series. There are 20 books in the set and the first is Mystery at Witchend. For more modern, fast-paced adventure books you could try Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" series, if you haven't tried it already.
Posted by Malory Towers Lover on September 5, 2011
I love the Malory Towers series! I have all the books, 12 novels, right? Barney, can you give me some advice as to what novels contain stories about boarding school girls? I'm simply dying to read any of them! I am reading the St. Clare's series, but it's not as good as Malory Towers. By the way, is the Naughtiest Girl series as good as Malory Towers? Thanks awfully!
BarneyBarney says: Only the first half a dozen Malory Towers books are by Enid Blyton. The six sequels were written by Pamela Cox. The Naughtiest Girl series is very entertaining but feels quite different as Whyteleafe School is an experimental school for boys and girls, where the children hold weekly meetings at which they pool their money and dish out rewards and punishments. Main character Elizabeth Allen is younger than the Malory Towers girls, being 10-11 in the three books. Even in the six continuation books by Anne Digby, Elizabeth doesn't get much older. Another boarding school story is Mischief at St. Rollo's but it's not as highly regarded as Blyton's main school series. If you like school stories in general, especially ones about girls' schools, you could look out for boarding school books by authors like Angela Brazil, Elinor Brent-Dyer, Antonia Forest and Anne Digby.
Posted by AChadwick on September 3, 2011
I have a set of Enid Blyton Bible story prints approximately A3 in size, probably used for Sunday School teaching as I found them in a vicarage attic. I would like to sell them. Please advise. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: You could try a children's bookseller, AChadwick (we give details of some under "Lashings of Links"), or list the prints on eBay.
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on September 3, 2011
Was Enid a horse lover?
BarneyBarney says: I don't think Enid Blyton herself had a lot to do with horses, though she was an animal lover, but her daughter Imogen loved riding and had a horse named Lucy Glitters.
Posted by Ashel on September 3, 2011
Ohhh wow, I'm VERY excited because I found my all time favorite children's book, The Enchanted Wood! I read this book at a very young age and think of it often. However, I forgot the name so I googled what I could remember and it came up. :) I was wondering how many times it has been revised? And is the storyline any different? Thanks so so much.
BarneyBarney says: The storylines of The Enchanted Wood and its two sequels have remained pretty much the same as far as I know, but there have been changes to names of characters and to food. For example Jo, Bessie and Fanny have become Joe, Beth and Frannie, Dame Slap is now Dame Snap, Dick is Rick and Pop Biscuits have become Pop Cakes.
Posted by Ying Yi on September 2, 2011
I am staying in Singapore. I am looking for Enid Blyton books which are suitable for toddlers - 1) The Little Button Elves, 2) Pipes for Old Puff, 3) My Nut I Think, 4) The Wizard's Needle, 5) What No Cheese. I hope the books are not too expensive as I have to pay for the shipment too.
BarneyBarney says: You should be able to check the cost of shipment with the seller before you buy, Ying Yi. Or perhaps a bookshop in Singapore would be able to order the books for you if they're currently in print?
Posted by Stuart Williams on September 1, 2011
Hi, I have a book The Old Fairy Tales illustrated by Lilian A. Govey, Nelson Bumper Books. Inside it says 1937. Is there a value to this book as I cannot find it anywhere?
BarneyBarney says: Although we don't do valuations, I did look this book up because I'd be interested to know whether any of the stories were written/retold by Enid Blyton. There's a copy listed on Amazon for £10.00, here. I can't tell from that whether there's any Enid Blyton content, but if there is perhaps you could let us know, Stuart.
Posted by Selena on August 31, 2011
Hello Barney! A bone for you. I am the number 1 fan of Enid Blyton, I have read many books of hers and I have a library filled with her books only. The books that I like the most are The House in the Fog, The Sneezing Dog, The Riddle of the Hollow Tree and The Fairies' Shoemaker.
BarneyBarney says: It sounds as though you're building up a good collection, Selena, which will bring you many hours of pleasure. And the bone will bring me many hours of pleasure - thanks very much!
Posted by Gary on August 30, 2011
My very best friend Della mentioned we want an adventure, she was thinking of camping, but I had 5 star luxury with en-suite facilities in mind. It's a long time since I read about Julian, Dick and da crew, but did they ever stay in luxurious surroundings? Or maybe only muddy, cold and damp fields offer adventure? Please, is there anybody here that can shed some light on our first mystery? Whilst on the subject of Della's posting, I'm not sure I'd be keen on stumbling across flashing lights at midnight either....I think I'd rather nap. Night Anne.
BarneyBarney says: Perhaps you should try emulating the Secret Series folk, rather than the Famous Five. They start off living on an island, sleeping on heather beds beneath the stars and cooking over a campfire, but end up hobnobbing with royalty and holidaying in grand palaces and castles. The best of both worlds!
Posted by Della on August 30, 2011
My friend Gary and I want to have an Enid Blyton Famous Five holiday with friendly farmers who let us camp in their fields, milk and cakes heaped on us from the farmer's wife, lashings of ginger beer and lots of adventures. Gary wants to be Dick and I am going to be Anne (because I'm just a girl). Does anyone know where we can go? It is important that the farm is situated near a smuggler's den or other criminal hideout. We are not overly keen on staying with Uncle Quentin but would consider any other dwelling on Kirrin Island as long as there are lots of mysterious flashing lights at midnight. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: Here's hoping you can find somewhere that meets at least some of those criteria, Della! I know of farms that take paying guests, and there are plenty of campsites around, but that's not really what you're after. Maybe someone reading this has camped on a farm in a Blyton-like location and will be able to answer. I doubt anyone can guarantee smugglers or mysterious flashing lights, though - you'll just have to enjoy feasting and exploring and see whether or not you fall into adventure!
Posted by Chris on August 29, 2011
Loved Enid Blyton when I was a child. Was the poem which began "Zenzie sat in the dolls' armchair, her small tears dripping like rain", written by Enid Blyton? I would love to buy a copy.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know that poem, Chris, whether by Enid Blyton or another author, but perhaps someone else will recognise it.
Posted by Paul on August 28, 2011
I probably shouldn't say this but I wish I'd lived in the era of schools where upper forms could have power over lower forms. Some modern kids in Years 7 and 8 could use the discipline and respect for authority. Unfortunately I was at school in modern times and my school let a lot of younger pupils get away with murder. Made Grange Hill look like Cringe Hill from Marmalade Atkins.
Posted by Anna Groom on August 27, 2011
I am interested in finding out about the illustrator Marguerite Agopian. She was a friend of my parents and an unusual visitor to my childhood home. According to your website she illustrated two of Blyton's books: The Little Witch Dog & Other Stories and the Silly Golliwog & Other Stories. Where there is more than one illustrator to a book, is it apparent who did what? If you have any additional information about her, I would love to know. Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Marguerite Agopian illustrated a number of short stories for Enid Blyton in the magazine Sunny Stories for Little Folks in the mid 1930s. Although these were published by Newnes, twelve of them (nos 191 - 202) were reprinted as a set of school readers by Wheaton and three of these contained short stories illustrated by Marguerite Agopian. All her illustrations were signed and this is the only way it has been possible to identify her as one of the illustrators. As you might imagine it is now extremely difficult to find copies of any of these magazines or readers apart from in certain reference libraries. I am afraid that we know nothing about her at all, so if she was a family friend you possibly know more about her than we do and we would love to hear from you if you can provide any information.
Posted by Jonty on August 27, 2011
Hi. An update to my post of August 16th. Have had a great day today. Old Thatch in the afternoon. Garden really is superb. Lots of echoes of Enid. Blyton Close this morning. Well worth a look. Got VERY lucky. While I was there, a retired lady came out of one of the houses and we got chatting. She's lived in Beaconsfield all her life and in Blyton Close for many years. She remembered Green Hedges with Noddy outside well. Lots of anecdotes. Seems the house was pretty much where the Close road runs. This would allow for what she called the South garden - the one off the covered terrace where Enid wrote. Seems there were two drive entries. One cutting in through where number 10 stands now. She pointed out that part of the original laurel still survives in the garden of number 10. A tiny part of Green Hedges remains, and it's a green hedge. Great day. Jonty
BarneyBarney says: Wow, that sounds like a super day, Jonty! Thanks so much for getting back to us with this information. "A tiny part of Green Hedges remains, and it's a green hedge." Amazing!
Posted by Trevor Bolton on August 26, 2011
Hello Barney. I feel I must endorse Tony's and Julie's comments regarding Martin's message. I was one of the children who regularly corresponded with Enid over a number of years and who always received a cheerful and newsy handwritten reply, even when she was on holiday in Dorset. It was, at times, almost unbelievable to fully appreciate that the person who had provided those wonderful characters and exciting adventures had taken the trouble to write to me (and to all the other children). To this day I have never forgotten the pleasure experienced on reading each new story all those years ago and, I readily confess, many times since. It was Enid Blyton, not Mrs. Waters, we were interested in, as so many of us are today. Over many decades, Enid Blyton has given happiness to thousands. What a legacy!
BarneyBarney says: "Wuff wuff", which means "I agree"! It's lovely to hear from you and to know that Enid Blyton's letters, as well as her books, brought you so much pleasure. Her stories certainly do continue to bring happiness to many - as do your continuation novels, Trevor, which are written in the spirit of the great lady herself!
Posted by Mr. Burgess on August 26, 2011
Enid's potential nasty side to me means that she was, like the rest of us, a complex, real human being. Sometimes nice and sometimes nasty. No one would suggest the alleged things she did wrong were OK, but considering the war horrors and cruel times she lived through, she merely appears to be as flawed as everyone else. In fact she appears even more special as she used her courage and strength to channel the woes and frustration into work that delights. Enid has made a unique, important and major contribution to English Literature throughout the world which will last for ever. Who of the rest of us 'flawed' and sometimes cruel, human beings can say that they have?
BarneyBarney says: Good points, Mr. Burgess!
Posted by Tony Summerfield on August 26, 2011
I find your point of view very strange, Martin. It is only because Enid was so successful that her personal life is well documented. I have read a great many hugely enjoyable children's books, but in almost every case I know nothing about the author's personal life at all. This blank canvas in no way detracts from my enjoyment of the books. It is also worth adding that Enid wrote handwritten replies to letters from thousands of children, I wonder how many of our present day bestsellers would be able to say the same, if they had been writing books in the same era as Enid?
Posted by Julie@Owlsdene on August 26, 2011
Morning Barney, you're looking as cute as ever. I just thought I'd like to say that messages about Enid, such as the one Martin has given really make me angry. No one in this life is perfect, and I really don't think one should judge anybody that deeply without really knowing them personally. It's easy to listen to others, watch a TV programme on that person or read a book etc. Enid was an excellent writer for children, she was a good teacher of right and wrong and supported many good charities for children. Anyone who can be that generous by thinking of others' misfortunes surely can't be that bad. Not in my book anyway!
BarneyBarney says: Yes, there was more than one side to Enid Blyton as you say, Julie. The best of Enid is preserved in her books and it's a testament to her worth as a writer that they still sell so well today and bring joy to millions of children around the world.
Posted by Paul on August 26, 2011
Did Enid ever give a detailed interview about her school stories?
BarneyBarney says: I don't think she did, Paul. In her autobiography, The Story of My Life, she writes about Mam'zelle and Claudine in the St. Clare's books having been based on people she knew from her own schooldays.
Posted by Tkurbjuhn on August 25, 2011
Only if you have this "nasty" personal behaviour can you be a successful author/leader of a company etc. I remember from her biography that in 1944 she threw a friend and some others who were bombed out of her house. Surely not very nice. But probably otherwise we would miss The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat, which was written in this year.
BarneyBarney says: I know people talk about an "artistic temperament" but to claim that it's necessary to be "nasty" in order to be a successful author/leader of a company is surely going a bit far! A determined streak is probably essential though, and an ability to remain focussed whatever else may be going on.
Posted by Martin on August 25, 2011
Had I known just what a nasty, selfish, manipulative creature she was in real life, I would never have read any of her books.
BarneyBarney says: If you mean Enid Blyton, it seems that she was as you described - sometimes. However, that's not the whole picture. At other times she was generous, funny and vibrant and she was undoubtedly a talented and enthusiastic teacher and writer, who taught children a lot. Her books contain the very best of her so I hope people continue to read them and get a lot out of them.
Posted by Maxwell Evans on August 24, 2011
I have a 1952 copy of The Circus of Adventure which is published by Macmillan and appears to be a first edition. I don't deal in books and would prefer to sell it direct to a fan of Ms Blyton's. My email address is maxwellevanstna@gmail.com. Book is in fair condition... but it has been read a few times!
Posted by Nigel Rowe on August 23, 2011
I don't know about 'doing a notable dog', but I've had a barney with a few! ;-)
BarneyBarney says: And I've sometimes had a niggle (not a nibble, I hasten to add!) at a Nigel! ;-)
Posted by Asma Saheel on August 23, 2011
Are you a buffalodog or a bulldog?
BarneyBarney says: I'm a Staffordshire Bull Terrier!
Posted by Anonymous on August 22, 2011
I am doing Night of the Notables too and I also chose Enid Blyton. I love her books.
BarneyBarney says: I wonder if anyone has chosen to do a notable dog?
Posted by Miram on August 22, 2011
I LOVE Enid and I wish I could write like her. She's the best writer I know, I just can't seem to get off her books. If there's any series she did not complete, I'd love to continue it for her. Do you think it is possible?
BarneyBarney says: Lots of continuation books have already been written, Miram. They vary in quality, but very few come anywhere near the real thing.
Posted by Susan on August 22, 2011
Can you please tell me if there is a copy, leather bound, of The Magic Faraway Tree that I can track down to purchase?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I haven't heard of one, Susan.
Posted by Mr. Burgess on August 20, 2011
Dear Barney and Aminmec, Thank you for your kind words. Enid herself went through many traumas in life evidently, yet despite them she appears to have wished to spread kindness, happiness, boundaries, manners, morals and always with a good ending. Now that is something I believe is not something I see in many other children's stories today. Hats off to all of you for keeping her message and work alive and this family will do its best to help.
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on August 20, 2011
Who inspired Enid to write such beautiful stories?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton maintained that the gates of her imagination were always ready to swing open at the slightest touch. All the things she experienced in her life provided her with material for her stories - things she read, people she met, places she visited, emotional experiences... She said that they "sank down into my 'under-mind' and simmered there, waiting for the time to come when they would be needed again for a book."
Posted by Lizzie on August 18, 2011
I'm doing Enid Blyton for Night of the Notables at school. I've gathered some great facts and put them into my own words from this wonderful site! P.S. Enid Blyton is AWESOME!
BarneyBarney says: "Night of the Notables" sounds awfully grand - I'm sure Enid Blyton would be honoured. Best of luck with your presentation!
Posted by Aminmec on August 17, 2011
Welcome wishes to Mr. Burgess and family. I wish all parents would think as you do.
Posted by Naomi on August 17, 2011
Enid Blyton is my idol. I've admired her all my life. Her books are my favourites.
Posted by Mr. Burgess on August 17, 2011
I love Enid Blyton stories and now my own children love them too. My wife and I will keep reading as much of Enid's work as possible to our little girls before the real horrors of the world make themselves known. They will have a lifetime to catch up on what they are later. Just sent for membership for my eldest daughter who is very excited at the idea and so glad to have found this great site.
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad your daughters are enjoying Enid Blyton as much as you did (and still do), Mr. Burgess!
Posted by Jonty on August 16, 2011
Hello. I'll be in Buckinghamshire in a week or so, and thought I might take the chance and take a look at Blyton Close. Wondering if there is anything at all to look out for from Enid's era. I imagine all is gone, but have a memory of reading someone writing that they'd been and seen what 'little trace of Green Hedges remained'. Wondered if any trees survive? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I'm not sure about the trees, but people came to the conclusion in a discussion on the forums that Green Hedges itself stood where number 10 Blyton Close now stands. Upton Leigh, the house next door to Green Hedges (on the north side), still exists. Imogen Smallwood writes in her book, A Childhood at Green Hedges, "Although of the same period as Green Hedges, it was influenced by the Georgian style of architecture and was light and airy compared to the heaviness of our Tudor style. It also had a large garden, not quite as large as ours and less well planted." The Biggs family lived at Upton Leigh for some years and knew the Waters family fairly well. Enjoy your visit to Buckinghamshire, Jonty!
Posted by Paul on August 16, 2011
I was just thinking that if there was one actor that could have done a perfect job in a 1960s, '70s or early '80s series based on Blyton it would have been Patrick "Doctor Who" Troughton. Just imagining him as Mr. Pink Whistle or Mr. Meddle brings a warm smile to my face. We lost one of the greats when Troughton died. Marvellous actor and a wonderful man, too.
BarneyBarney says: I'd never thought about that before, Paul, but now you mention it I agree he'd have made a great Mr. Meddle!
Posted by John Atkins on August 16, 2011
In reply to Amy's post, There are many short stories and poems on the theme of flower-painting fairies but I can't recall any longer stories about this by Enid Blyton. One five-page story I recall appeared in one of The Daily Mail Annuals for Boys and Girls - but this by Mollie Chappell and it featured elves rather than fairies. This was called 'The Elf Who Didn't Know His Colours' and told the story of an elf who, handicapped by his inability to learn his colours in school, eventually learnt Green and was allowed out to paint grass and stems and was content with his one brush and pot of green paint. This is the only longer story on colourblind little folk I can think of!
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, John.
Posted by Amy on August 14, 2011
I am looking for a book about fairies that paint flowers, and one or more of them paint the flowers the wrong colours. I've been told it's in one of the stories in The Daffodil Story Book but I have found out it's none of these - The Quiet Kite, The Little Sugar Mouse, I Don't Want To, The Squeaky Doll, The Little White Hen, The Mischievous Tunnel, Tommy's White Duck, Betsy-May and the Bear, The Boy Who Wouldn't Race.
BarneyBarney says: The full list of stories and poems in the first editon of The Daffodil Story Book can be found here, Amy. Reprints were heavily abridged. Unfortunately I'm unable to get my paws on a copy to check out the stories. Edit: Someone has posted on the forums (where you asked the same question) to say that they've looked through The Daffodil Story Book and it doesn't contain any tales about flower-painting fairies, so you may be thinking of a different book.
Posted by Aminmec on August 14, 2011
Hello Barney, Have the publishing companies "Dragon" and "Armada" closed down? I haven't seen any of their editions after the early 90s, I think... They had especially good cover drawings on their books.
BarneyBarney says: As far as I can gather, Dragon and Armada no longer exist and have both been absorbed into HarperCollins. The Armada imprint came to an end in late 1995. I'm not sure about the Dragon imprint but it may have finished at around the same time. Perhaps someone else knows? If you look at reprint covers in the Cave for various series, you'll see when the last Enid Blyton books appeared in those formats. There is some interesting information about Armada and Dragon on this Hardy Boys website.
Posted by Sue Hale on August 13, 2011
I am searching for a book that I believe is The Enchanted Wood but can't seem to find mention of one of the creatures that I vividly remember - the Jimdandy Beast. Can you please tell me if this character was ever in any of the Faraway Tree stories - or am I thinking of another book from my childhood?
BarneyBarney says: Hi Sue, There's no Jimdandy Beast in The Enchanted Wood or any of the other Faraway Tree books - in fact, I can't recall that character appearing in a Blyton book at all so perhaps you're thinking of a story by another author. Good luck with your search!
Posted by Geet Singh on August 13, 2011
The books are very interesting and I love to read them. The book which I like the most is The Riddle of the Hollow Tree and I also like the St. Clare's books. From my cousin and me.
BarneyBarney says: Welcome, Geet and cousin! You may be interested to know that The Riddle of the Hollow Tree was originally a one-off book called Hollow Tree House. Six one-off books were put together and rewritten to form the "Riddle" series.
Posted by Arshavi on August 11, 2011
Dear Barney, a nice meaty bone and sausage from me on behalf of Enid's birthday. Wishing a Very Happy 114th Birthday to Enid!
BarneyBarney says: Yum yum! Thanks, Arshavi.
Posted by Abhijeet on August 11, 2011
Hello, Barney. I like this website very much and I am sure to visit it every day. By the way, happy birthday to Enid Blyton.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you, Abhijeet. You've put a sprightly wag in my tail. I hope you continue to enjoy the site.
Posted by Paul on August 10, 2011
I wonder what it would have been like if Enid had included "realistic" figures and places like modern writers such as Jacqueline Wilson, rather than the "imaginary England" she used. Imagine Enid's stories with a Geordie, Scouser, Brummie or Yorkie!
Posted by Aminmec on August 9, 2011
Oh sorry, it's me Aminmec commenting on the coloured pictures, a member of this site for some days now. I didn't mean to be anonymous. Happened without my notice. Will be looking forward to drooling over the attractive coloured "series buttons"...
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for letting me know, Aminmec!
Posted by Anonymous on August 8, 2011
The pictures of the various series that are there on the opening page of the site are very well done in colour. They look very attractive and lively. I suppose they were done up especially for the site?
BarneyBarney says: Thank you. The pictures were taken from various sources such as card games, frontispieces and story compilations with coloured illustrations. We'll soon be adding five more "series buttons", so keep an eye out for those. It's a pity to see so many anonymous messages on the board - it seems much friendlier if people give some sort of a name.
Posted by Anonymous on August 8, 2011
Where can you download Mr. Galliano's Circus for free online?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's books are under copyright until the end of 2038 so they can't legally be made available free of charge online.
Posted by Anonymous on August 8, 2011
Hi Barney, I have 22 Famous Five books by Enid Blyton all with dust-jackets but the one I want to know about is Five Go Off in a Caravan. The one I've got has no publishing dates, just blank pages. All the others have the dates. Cheers.
BarneyBarney says: You have 22 Famous Five books with dust-jackets? Is one of them an omnibus edition? I'm afraid I can't answer your question but there is some information on Five Go Off in a Caravan here.
Posted by Megan on August 8, 2011
Hi Barney, I love Enid Blyton and I also love to write. The first book I read was a Famous Five story and I would just like to know did she base any of her stories on her own experiences in life? x
BarneyBarney says: Hi Megan, Enid Blyton used many of her life experiences in her books. In a letter to psychologist Peter McKellar on 26th February 1953 she remarked that things she had seen on holidays, such as islands, castles and caves, would pop up frequently in her stories: "These things come up time and again in my stories, changed, sometimes almost unrecognisable—and then I see a detail that makes me say—yes—that's one of the Cheddar Caves, surely! Characters also remind me of people I have met—I think my imagination contains all the things I have ever seen or heard, things my conscious mind has long forgotten—and they have all been jumbled about till a light penetrates into the mass, and a happening here or an object there is taken out, transmuted, or formed into something that takes a natural and rightful place in the story—or I may recognise it—or I may not—I don't think that I use anything I have not seen or experienced—I don't think I could. I don't think one can take out of one's mind more than one puts in... Our books are facets of ourselves." Some books are based particularly closely on Enid's life. Bimbo and Topsy features several of her own pets, while the two girls in the story have the same names as her daughters - Gillian and Imogen. Parts of The Six Bad Boys are based on an unhappy time in Enid's childhood, when her father walked out on the family.
Posted by Tracey Apps on August 7, 2011
I have about 15 Enid Blyton Famous Five hardback books that are 50 plus years old. Would collectors be interested in purchasing them?
BarneyBarney says: Your message might get more views if you put it in the "For Sale" section of our forums, Tracey. Potential buyers would need to know price and condition, and possibly see photos.
Posted by Anonymous on August 7, 2011
I was wondering if you knew anything about Sara and Owain Baverstock, as in information about their lives at this moment?
BarneyBarney says: Gillian Baverstock's family keep themselves to themselves so I think we need to respect their privacy.
Posted by Angela Favorleigh on August 6, 2011
Did Enid back any sports teams such as soccer?
BarneyBarney says: I haven't heard that she did, though her second husband Kenneth liked sport and took a particular interest in horse-racing.
Posted by Janice Marshall on August 4, 2011
Hello Barney, Yes I thought after I'd sent my last message that I should have given my maiden name which was Atkinson. I hope someone has an ancient collection of Sunny Stories from around 1947 and is willing to look for my poem. Sincerely, Janice.
BarneyBarney says: I'll edit my reply to your last message (four posts down) to include your maiden name, Janice. Let's hope someone has the relevant magazine and will be able to find the poem!
Posted by Anonymous on August 4, 2011
Hello Barney, Please tell me among the 1990 Dean edition and 2004 Dean edition of the Five Find-Outers reprints, which is having original Blyton text? I came across a few copies of each edition at a shop and was considering to make a purchase but am confused which to buy. The 1990 ones have the olden illustrations while the 2004 ones don't, so I'm assuming they have the original text. The 2004 ones have impresssion of Egmont as well as Dean and also cover character pictures the same as the 1996 edition of Mammoth (which I read somewhere contains the original text). So is it that the 2004 ones also have the same text? Kindly advise which will be a worthwhile buy. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know much about the Dean Find-Outers books, but in most cases earlier Blyton texts will be closer to the original. Egmont and Dean are the same publisher, by the way. Egmont tend to use their Dean imprint to publish cheap hardback editions - so it's rather strange that Egmont paperbacks often contain more updates than Dean hardbacks! This thread on the forums may be of use to you.
Posted by Sara Ferrand on August 3, 2011
Does anyone know the poem/story - 'The Little Pink Pig'? I am looking for the words as my Mum and I can only remember part of them. Thanks, Sara.
BarneyBarney says: There are stories called 'The Little Pink Pig' and 'The Poor Pink Pig'. If you put the titles into the "search the database" box in the Cave, you'll see which books they've appeared in. The pig in 'The Little Pink Pig' is discontented with life in the sty, and goes around the farm to see if he can live with any of the other animals. The pig in 'The Poor Pink Pig' also looks for a new home when one of Mother Winkle's magic cakes makes him shrink. If it's a poem you're looking for, you might be thinking of What Piggy-Wig Found.
Posted by Timmy-the-dog on August 2, 2011
Hey Barney, where has the link to the most recent forum posts gone from the homepage? Woof, woof.
BarneyBarney says: A "woof" of greeting and a wag of the tail for you, Timmy! Unfortunately there were problems with the code for the links, as explained in this thread on the forums. At present we're not sure whether we'll be able to reinstate the links or not, but our webmaster will look into it as soon as he has the time.
Posted by Janice Marshall on August 2, 2011
Mid 1947, my poem was printed in the Sunny Stories magazine. I had just migrated from England to South Africa and was attending a boarding school. The amount of mail that arrived from all over the world from people seeking a pen-pal was most embarrassing to a 10 year old. Please suggest how I might search for the issue that contains my poem. I don't want to buy it - just know what I said in that poem! Many thanks for any advice. P.S. I now live in Western Australia.
BarneyBarney says: Nice to know that you had a poem printed in Sunny Stories, Janice. I hope someone reading this will be able to find it and get back to us. Did the poem appear under the name Janice Marshall? [Edit: Janice has been in touch again to say that her maiden name was Atkinson.]
Posted by Paul Austin on August 1, 2011
Hi Barney! Who were the actresses that played young and old Enid in the 1992 BBC docudrama Sunny Stories? Is there any chance of getting the 1996 Famous Five TV cast to appear at a future Enid Blyton Day? Why was Dame Slap edited out of the Faraway Tree? Are there any Blyton/Doctor Who connections apart from her nephew Carey Blyton working on the original series as a composer?
BarneyBarney says: Golly, I feel as though I'm a contestant on Mastermind! In the Sunny Stories drama, Hellena Schmied played the teenage/young adult Enid and Maureen Lipman played the older Enid. Alana Ryan-Behan took the part of Enid as a child. It would be wonderful to have the 1996 Famous Five TV cast at an Enid Blyton Day. We have approached Jemima Rooper (George) in the past and know she'd be happy to speak, but she's very busy and acting commitments have prevented her attending. I presume that Dame Slap has become Dame Snap (or Dame Tickle in some versions) because corporal punishment is no longer allowed in schools - though it does seem odd to apply such rules to a fantasy world. Gary Russell, who was Dick in the 1970s Southern TV Famous Five series, has done some writing/script editing for Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Posted by Summer on August 1, 2011
LOVE Malory Towers - so full of surprises like a warm summer breeze.
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton became adept in the school stories at dealing with a number of plot threads at once, interweaving them and resolving them in sometimes unexpected ways.
Posted by Sara Ferrand on August 1, 2011
I am trying to find a poem - my Mum thinks it is by Enid Blyton. The lines I can remember are: 'The wind blew hard/harsh and the wind blew shrill and it blew his hat right over the hill'. I think it was about a field mouse who found the hat and did not want to give it back to the owner who found a chestnut case and the lining was so smooth that the field mouse took this instead. Was it by Enid? Can you help? Thank you, Sara.
BarneyBarney says: It doesn't ring a bell, Sara, but I hope someone can help.
Posted by Adam Muhammad on August 1, 2011
Many thanks to you Barney for the marvellous information. I really felt enthusiastic about rearing animals right now when you said that! Once again, thank you Barney!
BarneyBarney says: My pleasure. Staffordshire Bull Terriers make excellent companions, by the way!
Posted by Adam Muhammad on July 31, 2011
Dear Barney, was Enid Blyton an animal-lover as most of her books contain animals, especially dogs? Did Enid rear any animals? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton longed for a pet as a child, but her parents wouldn't let her have one. She once found a stray kitten and kept it secretly for a fortnight, but when her mother found out it was given away. When she was grown up, Enid made up for that by surrounding herself with animals of all kinds - dogs, cats, tortoises, hedgehogs, goldfish, a tame jackdaw and a tame magpie, fantail pigeons, hens, ducks and turkeys. Famous pets included fox-terriers called Bobs and Topsy, a spaniel named Laddie and a Siamese cat called Bimbo. Enid Blyton bred fox-terriers and Siamese cats.
Posted by Anonymous on July 30, 2011
I am currently trying to build a collection of 1st edition Noddy, Famous Five and Secret Seven Books. I have two questions: 1. What is the relevant difference between in some instances the 'THE' is missing from The Richards Press Ltd? 2. Why are (although shown as a 1st edition) some covers of the Secret Seven series got blue covers, and some red etc? Thanks for your help
BarneyBarney says: Let me start by saying that when we answer questions it is nice to have some sort of name to reply to, rather than just seeing 'anonymous'. We do often get asked questions about Noddy first editions and it is quite a complicated business and this is the reason why each book has very full detailed images in the Cave of Books. No matter what collectors and dealers may say when selling books, it is impossible to correctly identify a Noddy first edition unless it has a dustwrapper. For this reason the front and back flaps of the dustwrapper as well as the title page of the book are shown for all 24 books. This should make it possible to identify first editions and any variation from what you can see stops the book from being the original first edition. So in answer to your first question it should always be 'THE' Richards Press. The Secret Seven books are much easier to identify, but in case there is any doubt all the cloth boards are also pictured in the Cave of Books and you will see that some of the earlier books did have cloth boards with colours other than blue. Some of the Famous Five books were issued as first editions with boards of different colours, I imagine due to possible paper shortage, but to the best of my knowledge this was not the case with the Secret Seven books. Phew!
Posted by Sophie on July 30, 2011
I love Enid Blyton's books, especially the Famous Five. I'm trying to buy The Famous Five's Survival Guide. If you know where I can buy the book for a good price I would love it!:)
BarneyBarney says: The Famous Five's Survival Guide is available from Amazon, Sophie, or you could try sites like eBay.
Posted by Ken Pillig on July 30, 2011
I gather, from reading some of the topics, that there are no legitimate ebook versions of Enid Blyton's works. Please, please, please change this decision and make them available for a whole new generation with ebook readers. I am currently reading my four and a half year old daughter the Enchanted Wood trilogy from books, however she keeps asking why I'm not using my Kindle (yes, she knows what a Kindle is) when I read to her. Perhaps a system whereby they could only be purchased from this website could be adopted. Please keep me posted, so to speak!
BarneyBarney says: Don't worry, Ken. Ebook versions of Blyton books are available on Kindle - and probably on other ebook readers too. What people sometimes complain about is that only the updated editions are available, and not the original texts.
Posted by Aminmec on July 29, 2011
I see. So is it to be understood that the significance of the reprints commemorating "100 years of Enid Blyton" is only that they have the original covers and Eileen Soper illustrations, while the text gets doctored as it has always been...?
BarneyBarney says: In a nutshell, yes.
Posted by Yoda on July 29, 2011
Why is Enid's work Bowdlerised? Aren't people mature enough to realise that Enid lived in a different society and culture to ours? Removing the spankings is silly and damages the plot as, for example, I can't see June of Malory Towers being cowed by a "scolding".
BarneyBarney says: A decision has been taken to make the books "contemporary", though that does make the stories seem somewhat surreal at times because child characters who are apparently of the 21st century never spend any of their leisure time watching DVDs or playing on game consoles or computers and they discover enemy German submarines lurking in Scottish waters, or set off on a hike lasting several days without carrying mobile phones to keep in touch with their parents.
Posted by Aminmec on July 29, 2011
Hi Barney, Please enlighten me among the 1997 and 2000 editions of the Famous Five series published by Hodder – with Eileen Soper illustrations. Which one is known to contain the original unedited text of Blyton? One is having the mark of 100 years of Enid Blyton and another marked as 1st full colour edition. Also have there known to be text changes in the Noddy series of 24 books apart from the removal of the gollywog character in the new editions? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Both the 1997 and the 2000 editions of the Famous Five books contain edited text, Aminmec. Further updates have been made more recently. Modern editions of the Noddy books have also had the language updated.
Posted by Sandy Busuttil on July 29, 2011
Hi. I am trying to replace my sister's copy of The Magic Faraway Tree which she received in the late 60s. It was a red hardcover and bought in Melbourne, Australia. Could you tell me what years it came out in a red hardcover? Have found one printed in 1952.
BarneyBarney says: I'm not sure about The Magic Faraway Tree in particular, but with many Blyton books the colour of the boards changed frequently. If purchasing online you could always check the colour with the seller before buying, and even ask for a scan if necessary.
Posted by B Thrift on July 29, 2011
Which came first, the Famous Five or the Secret Seven? If you are going to start which one do you start with? I have a child of 7 and I wanted to introduce her to the magical world of Enid Blyton.
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton had written quite a few Famous Five books before she started on the Secret Seven series. However, the Secret Seven books are shorter and aimed at a slightly younger readership, so I'd start with those. Your daughter might also like other Blyton stories such as the Faraway Tree series, the Galliano's Circus books and the various short story collections. Have fun introducing her to the enchantment that is Enid!
Posted by Adam Muhammad on July 28, 2011
Hey there Barney! I just wanna ask, what is the shortest novel Enid had written? Much thanks.
BarneyBarney says: That isn't really a possible question to answer as it just depends whether you consider something to be a short novel or a long short story and of course there is also the meaty question of the one in the middle, a novelette! It is rather like asking how big is a bone!!
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on July 28, 2011
Was Enid Blyton a fan of Adventure series?
BarneyBarney says: I assume so, since she wrote the series!!
Posted by Chrisant on July 27, 2011
Hi, what was the name of the Enid Blyton book about a walking caravan with feet? I remember reading it as a child, but I can't remember what it was called! Is it still available?
BarneyBarney says: You could be thinking of Mr. Tumpy and His Caravan, or perhaps The Surprising Caravan. I believe that both are out of print but they're likely to be available second-hand.
Posted by Angela Favorleigh on July 27, 2011
I was reading the St Clare's books and Pat and Isabel start the school at 14 but that means that if they did the full stretch at St Clare's they would have been 21 or 22 when they left! A 22 year old secondary school student is something you usually see with TV actors playing teens, not in literature!
BarneyBarney says: True. I think Enid Blyton got herself into a muddle!
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on July 27, 2011
Will there be any cartoon series of Malory Towers?
BarneyBarney says: There are no plans for one at present, EnidBlytonfan. Back in the 1990s there was a Japanese cartoon of the St. Clare's series. It was dubbed into various languages including Arabic, French, German, Spanish and Tagalog but it was never made available in English for some reason.
Posted by Anonymous on July 25, 2011
Ah, what a pity. So all the hiding in trees, talking to the policeman and dressing up in disguise were all just for the photo covers. I always felt the kids were apt portrayals of Peter, Pam, Jack and the rest. Even you could have got the part of Scamper. So what if you're not a Spaniel? Artistic license is strong these days...What say...?
BarneyBarney says: Me as a TV star? Coo! Trying my best to stretch my ears and look golden!
Posted by Anonymous on July 25, 2011
Hello Barney, Can you please tell me if there was ever a Secret Seven TV series like the Famous Five? The Famous Five TV series pictures made the covers of one edition of the Famous Five books. Were the Secret Seven covers done similarly or were they just posed pictures by people just for the book covers?
BarneyBarney says: Although some Secret Seven books have had photo covers, the children shown were simply posing for the covers and there was no TV series.
Posted by Harry Potter on July 25, 2011
Hahaha. Thanks Barney. Are there any 'magical' novels written by Enid Blyton? I hope you could list them for me. Thanks again for you, Barney!
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton didn't tend to write 'magical' novels for older readers so she hasn't written anything comparable to the Harry Potter books. Her imaginative fantasy novels for younger readers include the Wishing-Chair and Faraway Tree books and The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies. She also wrote lots of short stories about wizards, witches and fairy-folk, again for younger readers.
Posted by Darrell Rivers on July 24, 2011
Hi Barney, It's interesting that out of all Enid's books, it's Malory Towers (and to a lesser extent, St. Clare's) that has the biggest online fandom. I can't say that I approve of the fanfiction writers who turn the Malory special friendships into covert or overt lesbianism. Oddly Whyteleafe doesn't get the same attention. I guess a co-ed school is less exciting to write romantic pairings for.
BarneyBarney says: Goodness knows what Enid Blyton would have made of it all!
Posted by Harry Potter on July 24, 2011
Hai Barney! This website is great. I really love the information on this wonderful website. I'm sure to visit it every day! A lot of thanks for you!
BarneyBarney says: My tail is wagging faster than your wand at your kind words, Harry. How wizard to be visited by a wizard! "Hai" to you too!
Posted by Tyra on July 23, 2011
Hye. Can you tell me what are the moral values that I can get from this story book Tales of Long Ago? Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: Hi (or hye!), Tyra. I read a book primarily to be swept into another world by the narrative, and to be entertained and moved by it. Elements such as morals are secondary. However, many of the stories in Tales of Long Ago are not only exciting but have clear lessons. In the "Greek Myths" section the story of Midas ('The King with the Golden Touch') warns us to be careful what we wish for and not to be greedy, while in the "Arabian Nights" section a man in 'The Rich Merchant and the Genie' teaches us about forgiveness when a fairy offers to slay the man's brothers (who tried to kill him) but he tells her, "Pardon them. I do not wish their death, even though they have tried to drown me...Remember they are my brothers. We must return good for evil, so calm your anger." Many of the other stories also contain morals and Enid Blyton re-tells these traditional tales in a compelling and very readable manner.
Posted by Abigailsdaughter on July 22, 2011
Back in the late 40s, early 50s (long before Susan Cooper) I read a book in which some children have a clue of "over sea, under stone." The solution is on an island (or peninsula) where there is a formation of a rock jutting out over the water. It might have been by Enid Blyton, but I can't tell from a bibliography of her books. Does anyone know if this was one of hers, or know what book it might have been? Thanks much.
BarneyBarney says: Intriguing, Abigailsdaughter. I hope someone can help!
Posted by Childhood Fan on July 22, 2011
Are any publishers out there putting out Enid Blyton's books in their original text? I would prefer to buy new, not second hand. I can't stand books being doctored because of ridiculous political correctness!
BarneyBarney says: It's a terrible shame, but most (quite likely all) current editions of Enid Blyton books have been doctored and I don't know of any plans at present to make the original texts available.
Posted by Anonymous on July 21, 2011
Hi Barney, What's the best way to keep and preserve paperback books? Apart from page creasing, how does one prevent paper browning and stiffening? Will storing in sealed plastic bags help? Does mending books with glue and tape decrease the collectable value of books? After all, it's done to protect and repair the book for long reading isn't it?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know a great deal about preserving books, but perhaps someone else will be able to post some tips. If tape is needed it's better to use special book tape rather than ordinary sticky tape, as the latter can go very brown over the years. About storing items in sealed plastic bags, I'm not too sure about that because the plastic might trap moisture, which would encourage growth of mould. You could try doing a search on "book preservation" and see if you can find any useful information on the subject.
Posted by Tess on July 21, 2011
As a child I had a book written by Enid Blyton which was a collection of stories from Greek Mythology. Does anyone know the title or have a copy they would sell me? Thanks. Tess
BarneyBarney says: Hi Tess, Enid Blyton retold Greek myths in Tales of Ancient Greece. Later on, those stories (or most of them) were put into a book called Tales of Long Ago, together with Enid Blyton's re-tellings of some of the Arabian Nights tales.
Posted by JLC on July 20, 2011
That's OK, Barn. You're right that on the one hand it would have made a better book to accurately depict things that her school kid characters would have been interested in had they been real and that a teenager in 1940 would have been far more likely to want to listen to Glenn Miller and the then newly famous Frank Sinatra than classical music, but on the other hand I doubt that Enid knew many real teenagers. The datedness effect is still strong though. I wonder how many kids at the time read the school stories and wondered why the the kids in the stories listened to classical music instead of 1940s songs like they did. It would be the equivalent of a modern 12 year old listening to a 1955 Perry Como song instead of the latest hit by Justin Bieber.
Posted by JLC on July 20, 2011
Thanks, Barn. Funny you should mention Enid's love of classical/dislike of modern music ("modern" in the sense of contemporary to the 1940s/50s). I think it was either The Naughtiest Girl or St. Clare's where a girl goes into town and uses her precious pocket money to buy a record to play on her form's phonograph but instead of buying a Tommy Dorsey or Frank Sinatra or Glenn Miller record - as you would expect a teenager in the early 1940s to do - she buys a record featuring a great composer of classical music. It breaks one's suspension of disbelief to say the least. A number of younger 1940s readers probably snorted at Enid for that little gem!
BarneyBarney says: It's the Naughtiest Girl herself (aka Elizabeth Allen) who orders the record in The Naughtiest Girl in the School - she is even granted extra pocket money in order to buy it, as the whole school is sure to love listening to it! The music is a "sea-piece" (annoyingly, the composer isn't named) which Elizabeth is learning to play on the piano, so it doesn't seem too out of place for her to get a copy, but when she puts the record on not a single person says they'd rather listen to Glenn Miller! Mind you, The Naughtiest Girl in the School was published in 1940 so it's fairly early. Strangely enough, that episode would probably seem more dated than it does to modern readers if Elizabeth had bought a record of a popular song from 1940.
Posted by Eva on July 18, 2011
I have a set of the Faraway Tree Card Game which is missing the 8 penalty cards. Do you know where I could get them?
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone who reads your message will be able to help you, Eva!
Posted by Aminmec on July 18, 2011
Hi Barney, Please enlighten me about "editions" and " reissued ". Does edition imply that the text is changed from the original writing? As regards Famous Five - First there were the hardcover books with Eileen Soper drawings, then ones with painted scenes with FIVE in bold, then TV series covers, then digit 5 covers, then the stylish characters drawn, then golden printed covers and so on... Are they having text changed in them? In which edition can one be certain of original writing...?
BarneyBarney says: The Famous Five books have undergone much editing at different periods, Aminmec, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly when changes began to be made. Even late 1960s paperback copies contain minor alterations. You'll probably be getting the original text if you stick with Hodder & Stoughton hardbacks dating from before about 1965, though it's difficult to say for certain. There's a little more information in this thread on the forums.
Posted by JLC on July 18, 2011
Did Enid like classical or did she like later music? I just can't imagine her singing along to Glenn Miller or Buddy Holly.
BarneyBarney says: In The Story of My Life Enid Blyton talks about her love of classical music, especially Bach. We dogs like Bark too! Pop music isn't mentioned, though in The Rubadub Mystery (1952) she describes a juke-box in less than flattering terms as "a machine that played tunes if you put money into it - loud, blaring tunes that never seemed to stop!"
Posted by Tee on July 17, 2011
Where can I get Enid Blyton books in Nigeria? I'd like to be a supplier. Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: It would probably be best to contact the publishers directly, Tee. Good luck with it!
Posted by Jacky on July 17, 2011
I have just read all the Malory Towers and St. Clare's books. I am 53.
BarneyBarney says: It doesn't matter how old you are when it comes to Enid Blyton. Her books will appeal to anyone with an open heart and a taste for drama and adventure!
Posted by Al Malcomson on July 16, 2011
I have been an Enid Blyton fan since I was a small boy but find it is so hard to find her books in hard or soft cover. One in particular I would love to read again was the one about the family who lived in the house at Riversend. The dad was a surgeon and his kids were Tony who was a prankster, Dorothy who was a spoiled brat, Liz who was a book worm and there was an old aunt who showed up and stayed with them and tried to impart some good manners to the children...I think it was called The House at Riversend.
BarneyBarney says: You're almost right, Al. The book is called House-at-the-Corner and the name of the spoilt girl is Pam. There are also twins named David and Delia. If you can't find Enid Blyton books in the shops, maybe you could try ordering them online either new or second-hand.
Posted by Georgina Sherrington on July 16, 2011
Hi Barney! What's the book where a girl draws another girl as a saint with a halo of sharpened pencils? It's been 20+ years since I last read Blyton in any depth so my memories are hazy.
BarneyBarney says: You're thinking of the pious "Saint Catherine" in In the Fifth at Malory Towers. She is sketched by Belinda.
Posted by Tiggy on July 14, 2011
Dear Barney, my name is Tiggy and I have just learnt to read. My mummy said that I would enjoy Enid Blyton stories, but I was just wondering if Miss Blyton wrote any stories with cats in them. Thank you - Tiggy (I am a cat).
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton did deign to write a few stories about cats, Tiggy, including one called Two Naughty Pussies! Shadow the Sheepdog is a much meatier read though, in my opinion! Perhaps you could try Bimbo and Topsy, which is about a Siamese cat and a fox-terrier!
Posted by Mansi Kookani on July 13, 2011
Hi Barney! This is the first time that I have visited this site. And I already love it! I just wanted you to convey my 'Thank You' to the team responsible for creating this site!
BarneyBarney says: Thank you for your kind words, Mansi! I'll certainly pass on your thanks. I hope you continue to enjoy the site.
Posted by Arshavi on July 10, 2011
Hey Barney! We had an essay-writing competition in school and the topic was 'My Dream Invention' and in that I got an idea to write about inventing a marsh absorber. I had taken the idea from Five Go to Smuggler's Top where George's father had invented this machine! Although it was only a small part of it I decided to expand it according to my own ideas and I secured first in that competition! I am so thankful to Enid for this and I wish to celebrate my happiness with you by giving you A Big Meaty Bone!!! Enjoy and thanks once again!
BarneyBarney says: The Big Meaty Bone is much appreciated, thanks Arsahvi! Well done on winning first prize in the competition! It amazes me that some critics dismiss Enid Blyton's books as weak or worthless when we hear reports from individuals like yourself who have had their imaginations enriched by her stories and been inspired by them in so many ways.
Posted by Lesley on July 9, 2011
Hi Barney! Do you think Enid would have continued being as popular had she lived longer and not had dementia? The BBC article about her on their site mentions that the world she portrayed varied little between the early books written in the 1930s and the later books written in the 1950s, despite the major technological and social and cultural changes that had taken place in England. I have this sad feeling that the world would have passed a living Enid by and she would have been rejected to an extent - although not completely - in favour of authors more in tune with a changed world. Death was perhaps the best thing that happened to Enid Blyton as we never got to see her try to deal with the turmoil of the Swinging Sixties, a fight she would not have won.
BarneyBarney says: Interesting thoughts, Lesley. We do see a few changes in society as we move from early to late Blyton - in early books the characters regard the telephone with a mixture of awe and apprehension whereas in later books they take it for granted; watching television is a rare treat for the Famous Five in Five on Kirrin Island but quite an ordinary pastime for Nicky Fraser in The Mystery that Never Was; boys wear "knickers" in early stories like 'The Secret of Opaltide' but shorts or long trousers in later books. In The Rubadub Mystery Snubby reveals a liking for chewing-gum and juke-box music, though both are clearly frowned upon by the author. It's likely that Enid Blyton would have moved slowly with the times while being careful not to introduce any elements into her books that might have compromised the wholesome values she was so keen to promote.
Posted by Nigel Rowe on July 9, 2011
Thank you, John, for your kind comments about our photographs and my forum comments! We had a fabulous time at Old Thatch - not sure about rabbiting at Salisbury Plain on Boxing Day though!
BarneyBarney says: By all accounts a lot of rabbiting goes on at Blyton get-togethers - but not the kind of rabbiting John meant!
Posted by Three Cheers on July 8, 2011
Thanks for the explanation, Barney. Well, while we wait for the Bun-Dorg's appearance I'm certainly thrilled to know that Shadow the Sheepdog is out!!! Meantime, I'm re-reading Journal 44 and the Enid Blyton's Nature Lover's Book article got me to check out the review in the Cave too. What a beautiful cover illustration and I chuckled at the writer's attempt to check out Enid's description of the birds chirping from the Internet. Brilliant idea.
Posted by Three Cheers on July 8, 2011
Hello Barney, I have two questions for you. In Anita's review of The Naughtiest Girl is a Monitor in Journal 44 it was mentioned that Arabella's slippers with "swansdown trimmings" was not considered politically correct by the 1970s and was changed to "blue silk slippers". Why is it so? Any idea if Mr. Tumpy's Caravan will be published in its original form any time soon? I enjoyed the Naughtiest Girl review with its other insights. I also like the analysis article on The Secret of Cliff Castle and gotten many tips on some of the original text. Sometimes I get tips from the readathons in the forum and from illustrations from the Cave! so that I can amend my books. Haha. 'Buster - The Adorable Scottie' is also another delightful article which reminded me of his contributions in solving some of the mysteries. I love all Enid's articles in the Journal. Here's a juicy bone for you!
BarneyBarney says: Thanks very much for the juicy bone! I'm glad you enjoyed Journal 44. There are more goodies in store as Journal 45 is being sent out next week! I'm afraid it's not always easy to see the reasoning behind text changes, though sometimes down is harvested by plucking birds while they're still alive, and others are bred for their down alone. I'm not sure whether that applies to swans though. Even more mysterious is the alteration of Elizabeth Allen's hair from brown to fair! There is no news about Mr. Tumpy's Caravan at the moment, but if it is published we'll certainly mention it on this website. It would be wonderful to have the chance to read it - apparently it contains a dog with the intriguing name of Bun-Dorg, and a dog-headed dragon!
Posted by Nilima on July 8, 2011
I need to buy Enid Blyton's Good Night Stories, Purnell Sunshine Library, 1972. I have it with me but it is very old and beginning to tear.
BarneyBarney says: If you're hoping someone here will have a copy for sale you'll need to give your contact details, Nilima. Your message would probably get more views if you posted it in the "Wanted" section of our forums. Alternatively you could try eBay, Abebooks or one of the booksellers listed under "Lashings of Links". Those Purnell Sunshine Library titles are great little books, full of memorable tales.
Posted by Joanne Kilbane on July 7, 2011
Hi, I would like to purchase the book again, Shadow the Sheepdog. I read it as a child so many times I lost count. Can you tell me where I can find it please? Thank you, Jo.
BarneyBarney says: You could always keep an eye out for it on sites like eBay or Abebooks, Jo. Some sellers don't post a picture or include full details, but you could contact a seller before buying to check whether the book being sold is the edition you want. Good luck with your search!
Posted by John Atkins on July 7, 2011
Hello again Barney! As a member of the E. B. Society, may I say how much I enjoyed seeing Nigel and Jane Rowe's fine photographs of the 'Gathering at Old Thatch' and say thanks for these. I almost felt I was there and wish I had been! What a magical garden! I always laugh at Nigel's comments on the forums, too! Just my sense of humour! I'd also like to say 'many thanks' to Trevor J. Bolton and other authors for writing the eleven novels serialised weekly for members' enjoyment. However busy I am, I make it a golden rule that I always find time to read each new instalment along with my 'elevenses' every Monday morning. I also love the colourful banner heading artworks prepared for each story - which I presume are Keith's work? For those who are not members of the Society, I'd say it's well worth joining for the escapism and enjoyment these novels a provide - let alone receiving the three great Journals every year! All best wishes, See you on Salisbury Plain next Boxing Day for some more rabbiting. John
BarneyBarney says: I'm frisking like a puppy at your kind words, John. Yes, Keith makes the banners. As you say, Society membership is excellent value for money. I'll be sure to see you on Salisbury Plain next Boxing Day - watch out, rabbits!
Posted by Nigel Rowe on July 6, 2011
Is Stephen Isabirye's family rich now due to his book being published?
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on July 6, 2011
Did Enid have a friend like Alicia?
BarneyBarney says: We know that Enid and her schoolfriends liked playing tricks on the mistresses at St. Christopher's School, but we don't know whether the character of Alicia was based on any particular real-life friend.
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on July 5, 2011
In my opinion, Adam Muhammad's question as to how Enid Blyton's family is faring financially is very pertinent, especially in light of the celebrity-crazed world we live in. People all over the world want to know how the big celebrities' families such as that of Enid Blyton's are faring. If or should they be eating from trash cans, that can be very "newsworthy," especially from the point-of-view of the current tabloid-infested news media. It was George Greenfield, her long-time literary agent, that tried to answer what Enid Blyton's family was up to since her demise, in his biography on her titled Enid Blyton, when he told us that the Trocadero/Chorion company that took over from the Darrell Waters Company that had been running Enid Blyton's publishing affairs, from the late forties/early fifties through 1996, when it took over the company, it had decided that Imogen Smallwood and the late Gillian Baverstock, both daughters of Enid Blyton, as we all know, remain directors of the then newly-renamed Enid Blyton Ltd, ostensibly to ensure that the Enid Blyton books remain to their true original characteristics. In fact, they were to ensure that despite the updates that had been taking place in many of Enid Blyton's books since the early 1970s, remain to their intentions; thus this is the debate we are still grappling with in light of the recent updates of several of Enid Blyton's books. I am not sure how effective the two women were or have been in this aspect. However, I know that from my rudimentary knowledge of several companies, a director's salary is oftentimes very lucrative. In addition, a person such as Gillian Baverstock and I guess, also Imogen Smallwood, could supplement these company economic dividends with the income they garnered from their teaching careers, let alone from the inheritance arrangements that befell upon them after the deaths of Kenneth Darrell Waters and Enid Blyton, respectively. They may not have become as fitly rich as the Americans in these situations, but certainly since the demise of Enid Blyton, the Blyton family has not been eating from the bins.
BarneyBarney says: I think Enid Blyton would have been in despair at the emphasis the media put on the daily doings of "celebs". Even many children's magazines and TV programmes these days seem to assume that all children are Zereldas.
Posted by Aileen on July 5, 2011
I have a hardback book of The O' Sullivan Twins awarded to me as a school prize in 1958, I can find no reference to it, could you please help?
BarneyBarney says: There's a reference to The O' Sullivan Twins here, Aileen, showing all the different editions. I expect your copy is a reprint of the 1945 Methuen edition.
Posted by Adam Muhammad on July 4, 2011
Is Enid Blyton's family rich now due to her books being published?
BarneyBarney says: That's really nobody else's business but the family's! The family no longer own the copyright anyway - they sold it some years ago and it is currently owned by Chorion.
Posted by Peter on July 3, 2011
Hey Barney! Is the book Dame Slap and Her School based on the books of the Faraway Tree? I really really love the Faraway Tree books very much. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: You're not the first person to wonder whether Dame Slap and Her School has anything to do with the Faraway Tree books, but in fact it's not related to the Faraway Tree series at all. Dame Slap in this book is a rabbit with a bonnet and glasses and, despite her name, she's actually quite kind (unlike the Faraway Tree Dame Slap!) One of her pupils is a hedgehog called Fuzzy.
Posted by Lucy Pevensie on July 2, 2011
Hi Barney! Would anyone be interested in publishing a series I'm writing showing Darrell's adventures at St. Andrews?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we don't generally publish fanfiction here but you could try another Enid Blyton site or a literature/creative writing site, Lucy.
Posted by Joanne Kilbane on July 2, 2011
Hi. Back in the 80s I once owned Shadow the Sheepdog. I read it so many times I lost count because I loved it so much. It had no pictures (I recall) and had a plain yellow cover with just the title. I'm not sure if it was an original or a reprint. I would love to see if I could find another book. Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: The Collins hardback edition had a plain yellow cover, Joanne, with the title written in red. It would have had a pictorial dustwrapper, but those often come off and get lost. That edition had a half-page illustration by G. W. Backhouse at the beginning of each chapter. Copies are likely to be available on eBay or Abebooks. What a super story it is. Shadow is one of Enid Blyton's best characters in my opinion - intelligent, wise, courageous, friendly and loyal!
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on July 2, 2011
Hey Barney! Hope you enjoyed the bone? Will Pamela Cox continue writing Malory Towers? If so...then who will be the main character?
BarneyBarney says: The bone went down a treat, thanks! I don't think Pamela Cox has plans to write any more Malory Towers sequels. We have a Malory Towers book by Lisa Newton in the website's Secret Passage (Felicity in the Third Form at Malory Towers), available to Society members only, but as is obvious from the title that also focusses on Felicity and her friends.
Posted by Poppy on July 1, 2011
Hi Barney! I entered a writing competition a couple of months ago. Well, it was for Red House Books. My story that I entered is being published in their Red House Young Writers' Yearbook 2011! I get a free copy as my prize and I have been invited down to Surrey to go to a writing workshop! Anybody can buy the book on the Red House website! I am inspired to write by Enid Blyton! Can't wait to get a copy of the book! Thanks! From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: What marvellous news, Poppy! Well done - that really is an achievement. Three hearty "wuffs" of congratulation to you!
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on July 1, 2011
Hey Barney! A Very Giant Sized Bone for you! What inspired Enid to write Malory Towers?
BarneyBarney says: Many thanks for the giant bone, EnidBlytonfan. I shall enjoy relaxing with that out in the sun! By the time Enid Blyton was writing the Malory Towers books, boarding-school stories had been popular with children for several decades. After the success of The Naughtiest Girl in the School, Alan White of Methuen suggested that Enid Blyton should write, as Barbara Stoney puts it, "other girls' school stories with a more conventional background. This resulted in two series for Methuen, centred around St. Clare's and Malory Towers, which Enid maintained were made up of a mixture of all the schools she had known, 'a bit of one, a piece of another, a chip of a third!'"
Posted by Adin on June 30, 2011
Hey there Barney. Is Enid Blyton a tomboy or boyish, as she had stated that George in The Famous Five was based on herself?
BarneyBarney says: It seems that Enid Blyton could be a bit of a tomboy at times, though that didn't stop her enjoying being feminine (she wore dresses, liked wearing perfume and red nail varnish as an adult, and was good at sewing). Barbara Stoney tells us that, even when she was in her late teens and early twenties, Enid liked to act out fantasies, sometimes taking on a male role: "Enid continued to call her friend [Ida] 'Cap'n' and herself 'cabin-boy', or 'Richard', and on walks together she would often act out the part, whistling noisily, plunging her hands deeply into her pockets and putting on a boyish swagger to keep up the pretence."
Posted by Paul on June 29, 2011
I wish Enid had been more careful with her use of foreign and ethnic stereotypes e.g. the "rolling eyed" black villain in one story, black characters seeming to have accents reminiscent of the racist American sitcom Amos 'n' Andy and the way Zerelda Brass seems to be treated like some sort of exotic pet by the English girls in Malory Towers. Enid grew up in the Edwardian era but that only explains her insensitivity, it does not excuse it.
BarneyBarney says: It's true that Enid Blyton often relied on stereotypes when portraying foreigners or ethnic minorities. The black man with "rolling eyes" is Jo-Jo from The Island of Adventure. Both Zerelda (American girl at Malory Towers) and Claudine (French girl at St. Clare's) are stereotypes in some respects. Nevertheless, we get to know Zerelda and Claudine as individuals and they have personal qualities which make them likeable - indeed, Claudine is one of the most popular girls in her form. The portrayals are not overwhelmingly negative by any means, but certain aspects make for uncomfortable reading. African Mafumu in The Secret Mountain and Middle Eastern Oola in The River of Adventure become great friends of the English children, though both hero-worship one of the white boys (Jack and Philip respectively). Gypsy/ragamuffin/fair folk like Jo in the Famous Five series tend not to be trusted at first but frequently prove themselves brave and loyal. So Enid Blyton may have made use of stereotypes but she was certainly not dismissive of other races as some critics imply.
Posted by Paul on June 28, 2011
Hi again Barney! Have a bone! Were characters such as Alicia and June from Malory Towers and Angela and Alison from St. Clare's based on real people from Enid's school days? Did Enid have a television in the 1950s, as with her money she could have afforded one?
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Paul. A nice, meaty bone is always welcome! I haven't heard that Alicia, June, Angela or Alison were modelled on anyone specific but I think it's likely that aspects of their personalities were influenced (consciously or unconsciously) by people Enid Blyton knew. Enid's daughter Imogen Smallwood tells us in A Childhood at Green Hedges that Enid and Kenneth bought a television in 1948: "In good time for the 1948 Olympic Games, a black and white television set in an enormous mahogany cabinet was placed in the study... My stepfather mainly watched sport and quite often I watched with him. My mother did not like television at all. I suspect it was too pedestrian for her quick mind. When, as she could, you can let stories form in your own mind already in visual and aural form, television is quite unnecessary."
Posted by Sue Webster on June 28, 2011
Hi dear old Barney, not been on for a while due to essay resits for uni! I've seen Poppy's message to you, wondering if you had heard from me. Well, I have been in touch and we're both happy. Do you know of any clubs for fans as well as the Society?
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you're fine, Sue, and I hope your essay resits went well. I'm afraid I don't know of any Blyton-related clubs other than the Society.
Posted by Paul on June 28, 2011
Hi Barney! I remember wanting to write to Enid as a little one and then being crushed to find out in one of my parents' books that she was dead. Her books made her seem so alive and current despite the editing even in the '70s versions I read back then.
BarneyBarney says: Yes, readers of Blyton books often get a strong impression of the vibrant individual behind the stories and feel as though they're being addressed personally, so it comes as a surprise to many to learn that Enid Blyton died as long ago as 1968.
Posted by Becky on June 27, 2011
Hello Barney, if I was to be asked questions on Enid Blyton what are the most important pieces of information that I need to know? Thank you very much Barney! :D
BarneyBarney says: Hello, Becky. You might find our Author of Adventure section helpful.
Posted by Anthony Scullion on June 27, 2011
I require information on a number of books in my possession by Enid Blyton. Five Get Into a Fix is a hardback copy with Miss Blyton's name and holiday address in Yorkshire written by herself. The Family at Red-Roofs, The Adventurous Four Again and The Red Story Book - these last three are all paperback and are all dated pre 1967. I would appreciate any information re the value of these books.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we can't give valuations, Anthony, though in general paperback Blytons don't fetch a great deal of money. If the hardback Five Get Into a Fix was indeed owned and written in by Enid Blyton that would certainly add interest, though even then many collectors would want such a book to be in good condition with a good dustwrapper. It would be interesting to know the Yorkshire address. We are aware from Barbara Stoney's Biography that Enid Blyton holidayed in various places in the UK, but we don't know all the places she visited.
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on June 27, 2011
Thanks Barney!
Posted by F. Asma Saheel on June 27, 2011
Dear Barney, How old is Enid Blyton now?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton died in 1968. She was born on 11th August 1897, so if she were alive now she'd be approaching her 114th birthday!
Posted by Pattiger on June 26, 2011
Is Enid Blyton's voice recorded on an LP - perhaps reading one of her stories? I believe I have an LP with Enid Blyton reading Noddy - is this a collectors' item?
BarneyBarney says: You are right that Enid Blyton was recorded reading some of the Noddy stories, but the records were produced in large numbers so they turn up fairly frequently.
Posted by Book Snake on June 26, 2011
Hi, Barney. I really love to write stories cause Enid Blyton has inspired me very much, so how could I submit my work to any publisher? Thank you very much Barney.
BarneyBarney says: Not easy I'm afraid, even for a Book Snake! Enid also had many rejections from publishers before she had something accepted!
Posted by Adam Muhammad on June 26, 2011
Thanks for answering my question, Barney. How many novels has Enid Blyton written? I really want to collect all her novels. Millions of thanks for you, Sir Barney.
BarneyBarney says: 'Sir Barney' sounds very grand - I could get used to that! Thanks for your message, Adam Muhammad. Enid Blyton wrote about 180 novels as well as numerous short stories, plays, poems and articles - far too many for a dog to count! Have a wander through the Cave of Books to find out more, at least it will keep you busy for a bit so that I can have a little nap!
Posted by Adam Muhammad bin Ahmad Azhar on June 25, 2011
Like this website cause I can get to know about Enid Blyton's books. I hope this site will continue to provide more and more about our beloved author, Enid Blyton. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I'm delighted to hear that you like the site, Adam (wagging tail hard!). We will indeed be adding more and more information about Enid Blyton and her books as this site is being updated almost daily.
Posted by Aroe Ajoeni Sulistyorieni on June 24, 2011
Hey guys, I am also making a website hope u like...it's coming soon...I'll tell you the website URL!
BarneyBarney says: You leave us in suspense as to what the URL is, does the website have anything different about Enid Blyton? We have a fair bit in this website!
Posted by Andrew Baitson on June 24, 2011
On Sunday we have an antique and collectables auction. Lot 478 a bible signed by Enid Blyton you will find more details and images on our web site www.gilbert-baitson.co.uk. if you require any further information please contact me.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid that this is just a printed message that was in all copies of this edition of the Bible.
Posted by Moira on June 22, 2011
Just found this site. Am 72 years old. Didn't realize Enid had passed away so long ago as I now live in the USA. She taught me the joy of reading, the excitement of adventure after the war years, and today, doing a crossword puzzle, her name came up as a clue. Thanks Enid for the joy you gave to a child.
BarneyBarney says: I hope you enjoy the website, Moira!
Posted by Poppy on June 22, 2011
Hi Barney, have you heard anything from Sue lately? The last time I heard from her was on the 12th. Just getting a little worried! Thanks. From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean Sue Webster, Poppy? Like many people, she is sometimes busy for weeks or months at a time but I'm sure she'll get in touch before too long.
Posted by JLC on June 22, 2011
I seem to remember Anglican church services in one of the school stories, possibly Malory Towers - was Enid religious herself? It's a shame Enid had dementia and died early - 71 isn't that old these days and she could have contributed so much more.
BarneyBarney says: In Enid Blyton - the Biography, Barbara Stoney prints extracts from letters written by Enid to her friend, Dorothy Richards. In those letters, Enid says she wants to serve God but finds it hard to see Him as a personal God she can talk to. She didn't attend church as an adult and her daughter Imogen Smallwood has said that Enid Blyton wasn't very religious. However, there are references to Christianity in some of Blyton's books and I think the emphasis that religion places on purposefulness and on accountability for one's actions would have appealed to her and she'd have considered it a good thing to pass on such ideals to children. It seems that Enid Blyton viewed religion as a force for good and was happy to promote general Christian values, even though she didn't subscribe to any particular church (she was brought up a Baptist, had her daughters Christened in the Anglican Church and admired her friend Dorothy's commitment to Catholicism).
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on June 22, 2011
Barney, I've read St.Clare's and the Naughtiest Girl series. I just loved them! Will there be a continuation series of the Naughtiest Girl, because it ended in the students' second form? SO?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's Naughtiest Girl books are all set in the first form, though Anne Digby took the pupils into the second form at some point during the course of her six continuation books. Those were written more than ten years ago and I don't think there are any plans for further titles.
Posted by Elizabeth on June 21, 2011
I have two Famous Five jigsaws...Do you know if anyone would like to buy them ? Thank you. Elizabeth.
BarneyBarney says: I doubt people will be able to decide whether they want to buy them unless you provide more information about which jigsaws they are, the condition and the price, Elizabeth. People will also need details of how to contact you. You could try listing the jigsaws on eBay or in the "For Sale" section of our discussion forums.
Posted by Anonymous on June 20, 2011
Hi Enid Blyton fans - just wanted to let you know I have an Enid Blyton Sunny Stories calendar for the year 1946, complete with its original Brer Rabbit envelope, listed on eBay at the moment. The only reference I have been able to find about it was on the Enid Blyton Society website - would like it to go to a collector!
BarneyBarney says: Good luck with the sale!
Posted by EB on June 18, 2011
I like Mr. Galliano's Circus. Have you read it yet? I have read it about twenty times now and my parents are beginning to worry about me! I also like The Secret Island and almost every other Enid Blyton book.
BarneyBarney says: Have you read all three Galliano's Circus books, EB? I have, though not as many as twenty times! They are heartwarming tales of an exciting, lively community, and Jimmy's dog Lucky really is a wonder and a marvel. I'm sure your parents aren't too worried about you reading a book repeatedly - after all, reading is a good way to spend your time and Enid Blyton's stories have a lot to teach us.
Posted by EnidBlytonfan on June 18, 2011
I am a great fan of Enid Blyton. I just love her Malory Towers books. Can you tell me will there be another school life series just like Malory Towers? My favourite character from the series is Felicity. Can you tell me who inspired Enid Blyton to write Malory Towers?
BarneyBarney says: New boarding-school stories/series are rare these days. I have heard of the Silver Spires books (Usborne, 2008) by Ann Bryant but I'm not sure what they're like. If you haven't read Enid Blyton's St. Clare's and Naughtiest Girl books, you could try those. There's also Elinor Brent Dyer's Chalet School series, Anne Digby's Trebizon series and various one-off school stories by authors like Angela Brazil. They might not still be in print but should be available second-hand. When Enid Blyton wrote her boarding-school books she was adding to a genre that was already well-established and popular, though certain characters were based on real-life acquaintances. A couple of the Mam'zelles were inspired by Enid's own French mistress at St. Christopher's, and Claudine in the St. Clare's books was based on a Belgian classmate of Enid's.
Posted by Macey Collins on June 14, 2011
I am your number 1 fan. I have got the Secret Seven, naughty Amelia Jane, Magic Faraway Tree and lots more of your books! I hope you get this message soon. My mum read your books when she was little, and now I do. You are my hero! When I grow up I want to go to Julliard or be a writer just like you and write children's books. I am glad to say I look up to you. Love from Macey Collins!
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton died in 1968, but the best of her lives on in her books.
Posted by Lesa on June 14, 2011
Haha. I woke up down today. You've cheered me up!
BarneyBarney says: "Woke up down" is one of those phrases that leave a fellow's head spinning!
Posted by Georgina Sherrington on June 14, 2011
What happened to Michele Gallagher of the 1970s Famous Five TV series? The Internet doesn't seem to be sure as to whether she is alive or dead.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid Michele Gallagher died some years ago, Georgina, but she'll certainly never be forgotten by all those who loved her in the part of George.
Posted by Lily Parke on June 12, 2011
How long did it take to write every book?
BarneyBarney says: I don't know about every book, but Enid Blyton is said to have been able to write a Famous Five book in five days.
Posted by P.V.S.K.Chaitanya on June 12, 2011
What is the letter from Enid Blyton and the badge and the eBay? Please tell me.
BarneyBarney says: See Julia's message (about six messages down) to find out what it's all about.
Posted by Susan Webster on June 11, 2011
Hi Julia, I'd love to buy the Famous Five Club letter from Enid Blyton and the badge from you. Sorry I can't go on eBay as not earning so can't afford it. How much would you sell it for?
BarneyBarney says: I think Julia has already listed the Club letter and badge on eBay, Sue.
Posted by Rupechri on June 8, 2011
Can anyone recall the name of a book by Enid Blyton in which a family cross the Atlantic on a luxury liner?
BarneyBarney says: You're probably thinking of The Queen Elizabeth Family, Rupechri.
Posted by Milind on June 6, 2011
Would like to know if Famous Five BOOKS by Claude Voileur are still in print or not,can they be available. Regards
BarneyBarney says: If it is the English translations of the 18 Claude Voilier books that you are meaning, the answer is that they are no longer in print. The last edition was published in the UK in 1993, so they have been out of print for many years, though you can still pick up secondhand copies on sites such as eBay. I believe they are still in print in German and probably also in French, but I don't think that they will ever be released in English again.
Posted by Darall on June 6, 2011
Hi, I read all the Malory Towers books. Are the St. Clare's books good?
BarneyBarney says: Why don't you try them and find out?! Most people who like the Malory Towers series also like the St. Clare's series.
Posted by Kath on June 4, 2011
I read all Enid Blyton and worshipped her as a kid. Now with two little girls I am re-reading. But I'm confused. I remembered Malory Towers girls eating anchovy toast on every page and they never ate any. We've nearly finished St. Clare's and haven't found any in its pages either. Where oh where is the anchovy toast? I remember all the characters and so many incidents, how could I have got so confused about a snack?? Please help me! Thank you.
BarneyBarney says: You'll be delighted to know that anchovy toast plays a major part in Fifth Formers of St. Clare's, Kath!
Posted by Julia on June 4, 2011
Hi Barney - Many thanks for the information you provided regarding my query of 25th May regarding my Famous Five Club Letter from Enid Blyton together with the Badge - I am now selling them on eBay and would love an Enid Blyton Society Member to purchase them.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Julia. I hope that any members who are interested will see your message and take a look at the letter and badge on eBay. Best of luck with the sale!
Posted by Georgina Sherrington on June 4, 2011
Hi Barney! I was reading an article on global warming and it mentioned that low lying places like London will most likely be under water in a few decades. Did Enid do any stories on the environment?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's stories were written before worries about global warming, but her characters show concern for the environment and wildlife. They don't drop litter or take birds' eggs, they appreciate the peace and beauty of the countryside and they demonstrate awareness of "waste not, want not".
Posted by Poppy on June 3, 2011
Hi Barney!- Yes I'm going on to Claudine at St. Clare's now, so I'll just wait until I find Kitty at St. Clare's somewhere! Thanks for your advice! From Poppy xx
Posted by Cath on May 31, 2011
An elderly friend talks fondly of reading an Enid Blyton book that had two possible outcomes, I think you could turn the book around to read either the sad or happy version. I would dearly love to find this book if any Society members are able to identify what the title could be! Sorry, I know it's not much to go on!! Thank you kindly.
BarneyBarney says: Intriguing. I don't know of an Enid Blyton book like that, but perhaps someone else does. The nearest thing that comes to mind is the tale 'The Enchanted Book' from The Yellow Story Book, which is about a book which shows different possible outcomes to a boy's life. John is "just about half-and-half. Half-good, and half-bad." One day he comes across a peculiar book in an antiques shop. When he opens it at one end, it shows him pictures of what his life will be like if he lets the worst side of his nature become dominant. Opening it at the other end leads him to a completely different set of pictures which show what his life will be like if he chooses to let his good qualities flourish.
Posted by Paul on May 31, 2011
Is it known what caused Enid's dementia? Is there any chance of Enid's original texts being made available or do we have to put up with the bowdlerisations?
BarneyBarney says: There are various causes of dementia and I don't think we know what caused Enid's. It's possible that Enid Blyton's original texts will be obtainable one of these days, Paul, though perhaps not in book form - I certainly don't know of any immediate plans to make them available. Maybe in the future there will be electronic/online versions, especially once the copyright expires at the end of 2038.
Posted by Three Cheers for EBS on May 29, 2011
Ooops Barney :-)...thumbs up to Tony & David!!! Oh, by the way, I'm so excited to read about the new discoveries compiled by David Chambers in Journal 44, I find myself reading all the small printed stories, lines and poems although they are not complete! Back to my problem is, you see Barney I'm currently going through The Teachers World 1922 Volume XXVI, Issue 885 - February 15th and there are 1,271 pages. I've already seen page 60 and so moving to page 61 would mean I've to click the arrow key 60 times before I reach my next new page 61. It would be good if there was a facility where we could specify the page we wished to go to, either forward or backward.
BarneyBarney says: 1,271 is the number of issues listed, TCfEBS. When you click on one you only see a sample of uncollected poems, stories or articles from that issue - not the whole magazine. So when you use the arrows at the top right, they take you to the next/previous magazine. Thanks very much for your comment about David Chambers' article. He'll be pleased to know that you found it of such interest.
Posted by Poppy on May 29, 2011
Hi Barney, thanks for the information you gave me. Is there any point in reading Kitty at St. Clare's then? I can't seem to find the book anywhere and I do not want to pay full price in a proper shop! Will I not miss any thing important? I am really enjoying the series! Bye for now!- From Poppy x
BarneyBarney says: Hi Poppy, Since Kitty at St. Clare's was written at a later date it isn't too closely tied to the other titles so it's perfectly possible to read the rest of the books without it. And if you get a copy later on you can always read it and enjoy it on its own.
Posted by Three Cheers for EBS on May 29, 2011
Hi Barney, I'm presently looking through the The Teachers World articles in the Cave and I'm having difficulty moving to the next article as I have to keep clicking until I come to the new one. Can anything be done to to make it easier to go to a certain page so that I can skip those I've read? Looking through all the volumes you have put in the Cave I can only imagine what great labour and love you have for your work and I cannot thank you enough!!!
BarneyBarney says: My wagging tail is but a blur after reading your appreciative comments, TCfEBS! All the hard work on those magazines has been done by Tony Summerfield and David Chambers - between them, they've unearthed some real gems. I'm not quite sure what you mean about getting from one page to another. If you go to "Cave of Books", then "Blyton Periodicals", then "Teachers World, The", you can see a list of all the issues and click on them one by one. Once you've clicked on a particular issue, you can use the arrows at the top right of the page to go forwards or backwards. If you need any further help, please don't hesitate to say so!
Posted by John Rees on May 29, 2011
I've spotted an advert in the July issue of BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine which I think will interest Famous Five Collectors. The Subscribers Issue was delivered on the 29th. In the 'Buy & Sell' section on Page 125 there is the following:- "Vintage Famous Five Shop Mannequins, upper torso of Dick and Julian characters on metal rods and stands, with moveable limbs and lively facial expressions. Good condition £200 ono". A phone number follows. I've never heard of anything like this before, and I've been collecting for years. I don't have the room, so thought would give someone else a chance. Would love to hear where they end up.
BarneyBarney says: Bones and biscuits, that does sound curious! A legless Julian and Dick? Perhaps they had too much ginger beer! ;-) Thanks for letting us know, John. Like you, I'd love to know where the mannequins end up!
Posted by Georgina Sherrington on May 29, 2011
Were Claudine or Zerelda based on real life people? Too often I hear that they were based on negative foreign stereotypes held by people of Enid's time.
BarneyBarney says: Both Claudine (French girl at St. Clare's) and Zerelda (American girl at Malory Towers) are stereotypes in some respects. Nevertheless, we get to know them as individuals and both have personal qualities which make them likeable - indeed, Claudine is one of the most popular girls in her form. In The Story of My Life, Enid Blyton tells us that the character of Claudine was inspired by "a Belgian girl who came for a year to my school. She was extremely naughty, very daring, not at all truthful, and hated games. She was, as our form-mistress said, 'as artful as a bag of monkeys', and yet everyone liked her. She would go to great extremes to 'pay back' a slight, or to return a kindness."
Posted by Margeret on May 28, 2011
I love the Find-Outers so much and Goon too in his behaviour with children. I want to know each and every thing about the Find-Outers, especially Fatty and Bets. If you know all about Fatty and Bets then tell me each and every thing.
BarneyBarney says: If you read all the books you'll know just about as much as anyone, Margeret! One thing you may not have heard is that Enid Blyton said she based Fatty "on a plump, ingenious, very amusing boy I once knew." Inspector Jenks was also modelled on a real Inspector called Stephen Jennings who, according to Enid Blyton, was "broad and burly, and kindly and shrewd and trustable."
Posted by Emma on May 27, 2011
Hello - I've just come across your wonderful website whilst looking for something to do with the children this half-term. I see the Enid Blyton Day has been happening in May for the past few years but see no details for this year's - is there/was there one? I was also wondering if the house in Well End is open generally to visitors, again thinking of a visit for my children. Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Hello, Emma. We took a break from the Enid Blyton Day this year but hope to have one next May. The gardens of Old Thatch in Well End are open at certain times and dates during the late spring and summer months - click here for more details. There is to be a gathering of Blyton fans there on 18th June. And Viv Endecott of The Ginger Pop Shop is holding a "Blyton at War" event at Corfe Castle on 2nd June.
Posted by Poppy on May 27, 2011
Hi Barney, at the moment I am reading the St. Clare's books. I am reading the books with the cover illustrations by David Roberts. Today I just noticed that on the inside of the front cover there is a page of the images of the books in the series. The only books that I haven't got are Kitty at St. Clare's and Sixth Form at St. Clare's. Well in The Twins at St. Clare's and The O'Sullivan Twins there is an image of Kitty at St. Clare's, however in the rest of the books there is no image of that book. I checked it out in the list of the titles in the series. Kitty at St. Clare's was not listed there either. Why do you think it's not listed? From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: Kitty at St. Clare's was published in 2008, several years later than the other St. Clare's books by Pamela Cox, so if some of your books are of an earlier date they wouldn't list that title. Have fun reading the series!
Posted by JB on May 26, 2011
Do any of Enid Blyton's children's stories feature woodland creatures called Zenzie and Daffy (a Daffodil) who have adventures flying on a Sycamore spinner,used as transport? I remember the story from the late 40s or early 50s but don't know the book title or author - only one line from the end of the story, which was, "'It's nice to be home,' said Zenzie". My mum always quoted it when we came in from shopping! Sorry I can't supply any more information than that, but would love to find the book.
BarneyBarney says: I hope that rings a bell with someone, JB, even if it's by another author.
Posted by Jacky on May 26, 2011
My very first record was a plastic 45" record of a Noddy story which was free when you sent off tokens from packets of Ricicles. It had the story of Noddy going shopping and his adventures shopping and meeting his friends en route. He did some misdemeanour and got into trouble with Mr. Plod. However it's the couple of songs he sang - 'Goodmorning Mrs. Fluffy Cat' and the one with his shopping list which were my favourites. I'd love to have the words to all the songs if anyone has them. Don't think a record would have survived. My Dad bought a stereo system - so there was no way I was allowed to play my Noddy record again. I know I kept it for ages but as with all things - it just disappeared eventually. Mention some 'slices of ham' though and we still burst into the line - 'some slices of ham, a jar of jam, a great big packet of Ricicles and we're sure to have lots of fun'. Happy days.
Posted by Beryl on May 26, 2011
Hello! I would like to know how old Gillian Baverstock and Imogen Smallwood are? I'm writing from Johannesburg, South Africa. Thank you. (Love the website!)
BarneyBarney says: Sadly, Gillian Baverstock died almost four years ago. She was in her seventies. Imogen Smallwood is in her seventies and regularly attends Enid Blyton Days, as did Gillian. I'm glad you're enjoying the website!
Posted by Lesley on May 26, 2011
Hi, After reading some of Enid's books I was wondering: What's the difference between a gramophone and the record player from the 1970s that my parents have? What's the difference between a Head Girl of a Year level - "form" in Blytonese - and Head Girl of the school? Did Ginger Beer taste different in the 1940s - I had my local shop get some in and it didn't taste that good?! Is there a place that sells lollies of the Blyton days so I could try some?
BarneyBarney says: Hi Lesley, I think that a gramophone had a horn and the earliest ones had to be wound up. The Head Girl would represent the whole school on certain occasions. I'm afraid I don't know about the Ginger Beer and lollies - juicy bones and dog biscuits are more my kind of thing!
Posted by Kathy on May 25, 2011
I love the Find-Outers so much and I also like Mr. Goon. He is a special character in the novels.
BarneyBarney says: Buster certainly seems to find his ankles special! ;-)
Posted by Julia on May 25, 2011
I joined the "Famous Five Club" during the 1950s and still have the original letter and club badge sent by Enid Blyton. The address at the top of the letter is 20 Warwick Square, London EC4 and Enid explains why she wanted to form a Club and encourages members to "Join up with other F.F. members and have some fun!". I would now like to sell this letter and badge - who should I contact?
BarneyBarney says: Interesting that you were a member of the Famous Five Club, Julia. You could try selling the letter and badge to a specialist bookseller, or on eBay, or in the "For Sale" section of our discussion forums.
Posted by Emma on May 24, 2011
Further to what Jennifer said (May 11th) I think that Alicia was giving the first form head girl permission to punish June. I think the head girl was afraid of upsetting the mighty fifth former, with such a reputation and who had been a huge troublemaker herself.
Posted by Gillian and Imogen on May 24, 2011
Are there any plans for a story featuring Darrell at university? The question comes from my younger sister who after reading Last Term at Malory Towers said, "Is the next book Darrell Rivers goes to University?" I notice that nobody was allowed to move up to the second form at St. Clare's until they were ready academically, and girls were always being kept back, hence Elsie and Anna staying down when the twins et al moved up. I could imagine that working at my school quite nicely for those dolts who really can't be bothered, but then I fear we'd have 16 year olds in Year 7...Quite the incentive if you're supposed to be in Year 9 and you're still languishing in Year 7.
BarneyBarney says: I believe the German continuation books took Darrell through marriage and motherhood and had her coming back to Malory Towers as a Matron or similar, but I don't know whether there's any English fanfiction along those lines.
Posted by Laurence Seaton on May 23, 2011
I have a copy of 'Treasury' signed 'love from Enid Blyton' which I am auctioning on behalf of the Salvation Army. It is not a perfect copy, but I doubt if all have this inside! I am trying to get the best deal I can for the charity ... the auction is on 4th June, I have no idea of the value.
BarneyBarney says: We're unable to value items, but best of luck in the auction.
Posted by Poppy on May 22, 2011
Hi Barney! Thanks for the information you gave me about the stories that are displayed on the website. Can I still send one in and see what you think about it or would that not be appropriate? Thanks again! From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: Hi Poppy, Thanks for enquiring but unless it's a full-length continuation novel of the type we normally serialise, I'm afraid we wouldn't be able to use it.
Posted by Poppy on May 22, 2011
Hi Barney! Do you know the novels that are shown on the webpage of the society? Well I was wondering who writes them. I am interested in writing and I love writing stories. Do you allow members of the society to write stories and display them on the website? Thanks! Bye for now! From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: Hi Poppy! Do you mean The Robbers' Grange Mystery and the other novels? They were written by Trevor Bolton, Robert Houghton and Lisa Newton. All three authors took great care to stick to the usual style and length of an Enid Blyton book and to be true to the characters she created. Other than full-length continuation novels like that, which have to be of a high standard to be accepted, I'm afraid we don't have fanfiction on the website.
Posted by Sowmyashree on May 22, 2011
Hi, I love Enid Blyton's novels as well as short stories. There seems to be an error in the article on Malory Towers in Wikipedia. It is mentioned that the anonymous letters sent to Moira are actually sent by Alicia and not June. I am sure it was June who sent the letters, right?
BarneyBarney says: Certainly sounds like an error, Sowmyashree!
Posted by Nikita on May 21, 2011
I've enjoyed reading all the mystery collections of Enid Blyton. I've read them ALL :] Can you suggest to me some interesting mystery stories like these...?
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean you've read all the various mystery and adventure books, Nikita? If so, you could try the family and school books if you haven't already. Other mystery/adventure series you might like include the Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene, the Hardy Boys series by Frank Dixon, the Three Investigators mysteries by Alfred Hitchcock, the Lone Pine books by Malcolm Saville and (to get more up-to-date!) the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Agatha Christie's detective books are also extremely popular with teenagers and adults. By the way, Carolyn Keene, Frank Dixon and Alfred Hitchcock are all psuedonyms - titles in those series were actually written by a range of different authors.
Posted by Lucy Pevensie on May 20, 2011
Why didn't Enid cover every form in the St. Clare's books?
BarneyBarney says: It's anyone's guess, Lucy, but perhaps Enid Blyton realised she had got herself into a tangle by having Pat and Isabel O' Sullivan start St. Clare's at the age of fourteen yet spend six years at the school (or seven, if they had two years in the Sixth Form as is usual). The Malory Towers series was rather more carefully structured, though even there some girls spend more than three terms in certain forms. Enid Blyton wrote some cracking stories but, perhaps because she wrote at such a speed, it seems that she didn't always stop to pay attention to details like that.
Posted by Gopinath on May 20, 2011
Hi Barney, When I was a small kid my father used to read stories from the book Tales of Long Ago and I really used to enjoy those. Now, I want to buy that book and have been searching in vain for the past ten days. Can you suggest where I can buy this book? Thanks, Gopinath, Bangalore, India.
BarneyBarney says: Tales of Long Ago is a super collection of stories, Gopinath, containing Greek myths and tales of the Arabian Nights, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to be in print at the moment. Do you have Indian equivalents of eBay, Abebooks and Amazon? If so, you should be able to find second-hand copies for sale on websites like that. If not, some UK sellers would probably be willing to ship abroad. Good luck with finding a copy of the book!
Posted by Helen on May 19, 2011
Hi, 40-ish years ago my brothers and sister and I loved to read a book of short stories but I can't remember the title. It had a yellow cover and had 'Junket Through the Window' and another story about a child who was supposed to wash all the flower pots but only did a few so didn't get his payment (which was hidden in the last one). The stories all had morals. I would love to find it again.
BarneyBarney says: I believe you're looking for Tales at Bedtime, Helen, published by Collins. The story about the boy and the flower pots is 'Tom the Scout-Cub'.
Posted by Dawn Edkins on May 19, 2011
Hello - I am trying to find a book that I treasured as a little girl and I really want to share it now with my little girl - it was about three pixies called Hop, Skip and Jump but I can't remember the title - can you help?
BarneyBarney says: Sure can, Dawn! Hop, Skip and Jump are three brownies and the title is The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies. It was Blyton's first full-length book and is a wonderful fantasy story.
Posted by Fatty on May 16, 2011
I love the Find-Outers novels and Find-Outers so much...there is no limit to liking them, especially Fatty and Bets and the mysteries. Can you tell me about the new covers of the Find-Outers books published by Egmont? The five real children totally look like the Find-Outers. I want to see them.
BarneyBarney says: I can't tell you anything about the children who posed for the Egmont covers, but you may be interested in reading this thread and this thread on the forums.
Posted by Kath on May 16, 2011
Hi Barney Dog, please could you help me find some stories I remember from a long time ago including one of two sisters, living with their mother who needed to go out to visit someone who was sick so left them to share the chores. One sister was lazy and left the other to do the baking (bread, apple pie, etc) and clean and look after the house, but then took the credit when mother returned, blaming her sister for laziness. Also I believe in the same book was a girl who told lies and the ring on her finger would tighten with every untruth. There are so many I remember but not their titles and the books were lost. Please, are you able to help? I look forward with excitement to your reply.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Kath, I think the book you remember is Fireside Tales, published by Collins. The story about the two sisters (Rosalind and Rosemary) is 'The Little Candy House', and the story about the ring that grows tight and glows red is 'The Little Girl Who Told Stories'. You should be able to find a second-hand copy on eBay or Abebooks. By the way, there are two collections of Enid Blyton short stories called Fireside Tales. The other was published by Purnell Sunshine Library and contains completely different stories - still a great read, but not the same book as the Collins one.
Posted by Susan Webster on May 15, 2011
Hi Barney, Could you tell me if the Enid Blyton newsletter is still available as a friend just told me about it? I do have a feeling it may have ceased but want to make sure. Cheers.
BarneyBarney says: There was once a junior newsletter, Sue, but I'm afraid it finished some years ago.
Posted by JLC on May 15, 2011
Thank you for the explanation. My childhood copies were the 1970s reprints so I was somewhat shocked a little while ago to hear young Blyton fans talking about Bonnie and Freddie in Malory Towers as though those characters were part of the original series and not those non-Blyton continuation books. All I could do was sigh and feel very old.
BarneyBarney says: I know the feeling, JLC!
Posted by JLC on May 15, 2011
Hi Barney! Why are spankings - such as with a hairbrush in Malory Towers and St. Clare's and by Dame Slap in the Faraway Tree - edited out from new editions? Children are intelligent enough to know that the spanking is just pretend and just because we don't do corporal punishment anymore doesn't mean it should be removed from books set at a time that it was still used.
BarneyBarney says: All kinds of changes have been made to Enid Blyton books to give them a more contemporary feel, that being just one of them. However, some things can't be modernised without affecting the plot in a major way, so those things tend to be left alone. The result is a rather surreal mish-mash of periods. As for smacking/spanking, that hasn't disappeared from modern society anyway. Parents are still allowed to smack their children, even if corporal punishment is no longer used in schools (in England, at least).
Posted by Swestwick on May 14, 2011
Hi there, can anyone help me with the name of a book I loved as a child where some children ran away with another boy to an island and built a house out of willow branches to live in? They moved into a cave in the winter and were only found when the boy was caught at the shops buying Christmas presents for the other children. I would love to know so I can read it again. Thank you in anticipation.
BarneyBarney says: The book you're after is The Secret Island. A lovely story, and I hope you enjoy rediscovering it.
Posted by Anonymous on May 13, 2011
Hi! I remember reading this book about three kids (I think) who found a hole in a tree which they stayed in and had their adventures. I can't remember the title. It's definitely not the Faraway Tree or The Tower in Ho-Ho Wood. I've been looking for it for years. Would appreciate it very much if you could help. Thanks!
BarneyBarney says: You might be thinking of Hollow Tree House.
Posted by Jennifer on May 11, 2011
When did schools stop using the terms "first form", "second form", etc? How does Alicia have "authority" to tell the head of the first form to punish June - Alicia isn't a member of staff? How did "fagging" work? It seems to be a bit different in Malory Towers and St. Clare's to what Roald Dahl says in his book Boy.
BarneyBarney says: What a lot of questions for a dog to answer! It was from September 1990, when the National Curriculum was introduced, that "first form" to "fifth form" were renumbered Year 7 to Year 11. In many schools the older pupils are prefects and are given some authority over the younger ones. "Fagging" worked differently in different schools but was originally introduced to teach pupils about the concept of "service".
Posted by Natalie Manifold on May 10, 2011
Could anyone tell me if Enid Blyton ever visited Chesil Beach near Burton Bradstock - or just Chesil Beach in general!
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know, Natalie, but perhaps someone will.
Posted by Joanna on May 9, 2011
Hi, I am searching for the audio cassette tape I used to listen to as a child, Five Go to Smugglers Top. It must be more than twenty years old now! Can anyone help?
BarneyBarney says: You are probably recalling the Rainbow version from 1983, though there was also a Tempo version in 1994. You can listen to a selection of Blyton-related audio cassettes by clicking on the links on page 3 (11th post down) of this thread.
Posted by Green Meadow on May 5, 2011
Ooh...I love the Boxed Games & Craft!!! I can just imagine the height of Enid's popularity with all this merchandise. The Noddy embroidery set is so sweet and I love the Post Office and Sweet Shop! I'm just so thrilled looking at all the jigsaws, stencils, die cast models etc. wishing they were mine. Looking forward to seeing more! A Big Thank You :-)
BarneyBarney says: They are indeed attractive items - some of them would have kept children occupied for hours.
Posted by Poppy on May 5, 2011
Hi Barney, thanks for your advice - going to try the website you recomended now. Thank you again! From Poppy x
Posted by Susan P OConnor on May 4, 2011
Wow! I can't believe I found you. For years I've been trying to find at least the original three books that I found in my public library when I was in elementary school. I loved those books, reading them multiple times. I found them originally because I read all the books in the fiction section starting at one end and never quite making it to the other end. (We moved before I could get there and the next library was set up differently .) Your books started my interest in mystery adventures long before I found Agatha. I am glad you are still writing and, even though I am in my 60s, I intend to catch up with the original characters and those that follow. Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: Clever though my paws are, I don't use them for writing books! Enid Blyton died in 1968 but the best of her lives on in her books and it's a testament to her writing that most of her novels and many short stories are still in print and continue to bring tremendous enjoyment to children - and a fair number of adults! I hope you enjoy rediscovering the books of your childhood, Susan, and trying ones you haven't read before.
Posted by Simon on May 4, 2011
Hi Barney, Further to my previous question, in the Award Publication of The Ragamuffin Mystery,Chapter 2, page 18 there is a phone number for Mrs. Lynton (Roger and Diana's mother) to call, 01392 68251, about her sick sister. UK dialling codes were prefixed with 01 in April 1995, so I'm right in saying text HAS been updated to modern day times. How does this differ from the original text?
BarneyBarney says: Well-spotted, Simon. Bones and biscuits, it seems that all sorts of little details have been tampered with! The original text gave the telephone number as "Hillsley 68251".
Posted by Robert on May 3, 2011
I was writing some content to share with people in my field of work and I had to refer to Enid Blyton. I didn't like many books when I was young, simply because of the copy - Enid's writing was so direct and to the point I used to actually look around me reading her books thinking that I'm being selfish not telling people how excited I am reading her book. That's really crazy to think, my daughter loves her books as well and I was not the one to tell her about her books, she simply picked it up from the study. I want to say thank you to this woman, her books took me to places that I never knew existed. I actually liked one book so much that I read another book by her and was a bit browned off that I thought it wasn't as good as the other one, lol, so I read it again and again and again.
BarneyBarney says: It's good to hear that Enid Blyton's books have brought you and your daughter so much pleasure, Robert!
Posted by Poppy on May 3, 2011
Hi Barney! Just remembered that in Seven Stories I saw a poster advertising a Famous Five Competition. Do you know about it and please could you tell me the address for the website? Thank you! From Poppy x P.S. Wuff wuff!
BarneyBarney says: Wuff wuff and a wag of the tail, Poppy. I hadn't heard about the Famous Five Competition, but here is a link to the Seven Stories Website. I hope that helps!
Posted by Keith Robinson on May 2, 2011
In defense of Stephen and his book, you have to admit that Miss Moneypenny is clearly the creation of an avid Enid Blyton reader. And there are other famous Bond character names that stink of Blyton, such as Agent Strawberry Fields, Mary Goodnight, and Pussy Galore (this last one being inspired after Fleming read The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat).
BarneyBarney says: Pussies? Gah! I'm off to enjoy a nice, meaty bone.
Posted by Tkurbjuhn on May 2, 2011
The wíld speculations show that many things concerning the "inner world" of Mrs. Blyton are unknown. Contemporary witnesses seem to have died except her daughter. As she has already written a book about her mother, she is perhaps inclined to tell some more facts. Surely it will be a difficult diplomatic act to motivate her, I can imagine she is not too glad to be reduced to the role of being "the daughter of Enid Blyton". But Barney seems at least to know her a bit, so it would be worth a try.
BarneyBarney says: I think we need to respect the privacy of Enid Blyton's family. Imogen Smallwood has already shared a lot with us and continues to be supportive of the Society, and we really appreciate that.
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on May 2, 2011
Yes, there are some linkages between Enid Blyton and Ian Fleming, albeit in some remote scenarios, after all, Robert Druce, author of This Day Our Daily Fictions: An Enquiry into the Multi-Million Bestseller Status of Enid Blyton and Ian Fleming, wrote a full book on the two writers; an aspect that suggested how both writers had much in common. We are also reminded in this book that Five Go to Billycock Hill was published in hardback in 1957, the year which also saw the publication of From Russia, With Love. Thus, we cannot rule out an incipient competition between the two writers as this sentence suggests. Therefore it is quite possible that Ian Fleming, indeed may have been inspired by some of Enid Blyton's writings.
BarneyBarney says: Though extremely unlikely!
Posted by Red Tower on May 1, 2011
Hi Barney, I'd had a pretty grim day, watching the Bradford Bulls get mauled by the Warrington Wolves 14-58.... So my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Stephen, for providing me with a good laugh, with his Blyton/Fleming theory.
Posted by Poppy on May 1, 2011
Hi Barney, last week I visited Seven Stories. It was really good! There were lots of Enid Blyton things - I saw Mr. Tumpy's Caravan in Enid's typewritten version! Wuff! Wuff! From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: Wuff wuff, Poppy! You are lucky to have been to Seven Stories.
Posted by Nigel Rowe on April 28, 2011
Oh, I don't know, Tony. SS - could that mean Secret Service? If so, there's a connection between our Seven and James Bond! Thank goodness Stephen hasn't yet made the connection between the Secret Seven and the Schutzstaffel - the Nazis' SS. Imagine Adolph Hitler being influenced by Enid Blyton - or even the other way round! Stephen, you are incorrigible!
Posted by Nina on April 28, 2011
Of course, those of us who somehow are still interested in buying the book cannot manage to get hold of it... I thought some of it may be useful for my dissertation but it would appear that by the time I get hold of a copy or Stephen bothers to read the PM I sent him, I'll have finished and he will have lost another customer from all who have become slightly fed up with his unfounded theories...
BarneyBarney says: Let's hope Stephen is reading this and will check his PMs! Best of luck with your dissertation, Nina.
Posted by Tony Summerfield on April 28, 2011
You do come up with some incredibly strange theories, Stephen, many of them are just plain laughable. Can you seriously expect anyone to believe that Ian Fleming was sitting there reading a Secret Seven book and suddenly said to himself, "Now there's a good idea!". I cannot imagine that anybody reading one of your bizarre theories (and there are plenty of them) would be encouraged to buy your much advertised book.
Posted by Nigel Rowe on April 28, 2011
Aren't we lucky that Stephen Isabirye never smoked as a youngster? (He told us on the forums that as an asthmatic, smoking could have proved fatal). Where would we be without his fantastic fantasies? The world would be a duller place. :-)
BarneyBarney says: I'm still puzzled by Chaz's remark about Enid Blyton plagiarising Noddy from James Bond creator Ian Fleming! Perhaps I ought to chew it over - though on second thoughts, I might simply chew on a nice, juicy bone instead!
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on April 27, 2011
Chaz, on the contrary, in my opinion, it is the reverse. It was Ian Fleming that plagiarized Enid Blyton. As I argue in my book, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage, Enid Blyton first published The Secret Seven in 1949. Then three years later in 1952, when Ian Fleming began his James Bond series, he gave his agent titles such as "secret agent" and "007." I do not think "secret" and "7" were coincidental in Ian Fleming's James Bond. In my opinion, those two words had Blytonian origins in them. In any case, Enid Blyton commenced publishing both the Secret Seven and the Noddy series in 1949, while Ian Fleming commenced his James Bond series three years later, in 1952. Therefore, the question of Enid Blyton having plagiarized anything from Ian Fleming does not in any way arise, though it appears that the two writers (together with Agatha Christie in the mix) became cut-throat literary rivals in the 1950s.
BarneyBarney says: Cut-throat literary rivals, eh?! Goodness me - I really can't see the James Bond books being aimed at the same readership as Noddy or the Secret Seven! I imagine that both Enid Blyton and Ian Fleming would have pooh-poohed any suggestions of plagiarism.
Posted by Ragav on April 27, 2011
Hello! I read about the 'Famous Five' books being updated and I think it's ghastly that anyone even thought of it, let alone publishing them. What horrid, nasty people! Does any library in England have the original editions of Enid's books? Also is there any plan to publish an edition for adults with the original text and illustrations?
BarneyBarney says: You're not alone in disliking the edited texts, Ragav, though publishers feel they have to make certain changes to keep the stories appealing to new generations of children. The Famous Five books began to be updated in the 1960s, believe it or not! The British Library in London probably has original editions of most of Enid Blyton's books, though not the very early titles. I don't know of any plans to reprint the original texts. I expect publishers would only consider doing that if they felt it would be financially viable.
Posted by Chaz on April 27, 2011
Did Enid Blyton plagiarise Noddy from James Bond creator Ian Fleming?
BarneyBarney says: Sorry, Chaz, but I don't know what you mean. Perhaps someone else will!
Posted by Anonymous on April 26, 2011
Hi, I was thinking of opening a cafe called The Magic Faraway Tree. Would anyone know if there would be any copyright issues with this? Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: It would be a good idea to check with Chorion, just in case. I look forward to sampling your Pop Biscuits and Google Buns! ;-)
Posted by Madeeha Noor on April 25, 2011
I would like to contact the company/person responsible for copyright of Ms Blyton. I'm interested in translating her work into my local language.
BarneyBarney says: You would need to contact Chorion, Madeeha.
Posted by Green Meadow on April 22, 2011
I've had a pleasurable time reading the poem 'An Easter Song' and the story 'Legend of The Lilies', an Easter story. Now I know what is an arum lily and the 'lord and ladies' lily. Thanks for all these uncollected poems and stories, they are such joy to read and I truly enjoy looking at the vintage illustrations. Happy Easter!
BarneyBarney says: Happy Easter to you too, Green Meadow! I'm delighted that the uncollected poems and stories in the Cave are bringing you so much pleasure.
Posted by Lucy Pevensie on April 22, 2011
Enid wrote a lot of books about life on a farm so I was wondering if she ever lived on a farm?
BarneyBarney says: In 1916, when she was in her late teens, Enid went to stay with the Hunt family on their farm at Seckford Hall near Woodbridge, Suffolk. Seckford Hall was an old Tudor building with a "haunted" bedroom, secret passage and decaying banqueting hall, and Barbara Stoney tells us in Enid Blyton - the Biography that Enid "was overjoyed at the prospect of a holiday in such a setting - especially as it gave her an opportunity to feed and tend the numerous animals on this large, mixed farm". It was while staying there and helping out at the Woodbridge Congregational Sunday School that Blyton realised she wanted to train as a teacher. She did her teacher-training in Ipswich, spending her holidays either back at Seckford Hall with the Hunts or with her friends the Attenboroughs. Much later on, in 1956, Enid and her second husband Kenneth bought a farm - Manor Farm at Stourton Caundle, Dorset. It was managed by staff and Enid and Kenneth never lived there, though they did visit it on their regular trips to Dorset.
Posted by David on April 22, 2011
What word did Enid use for happy and cheerful?
BarneyBarney says: Rather a strange question! Enid Blyton wrote so prolifically that she used numerous variations, of course, including happy, cheerful, cheery, jolly, joyful, overjoyed, gay, merry, in high spirits, contented, pleased, thrilled, gleeful and delighted. No doubt there are others which could be added to the list!
Posted by Viv of Ginger Pop on April 21, 2011
This weekend my conservation group is playing host to our "twin" group from France, and it has only just occured to me that Saturday is St. George's Day. I would be sad to let such an opportunity pass to inflict a little of our culture upon our guests! Does anyone know if Enid wrote the story of St. George anywhere? The tale would compliment the tasteful Union Flag tablecloth/paper plates/plastic mugs, and patriotic colouring sheets I have awaiting them. Viv
Posted by Susan Webster on April 20, 2011
Hi Sally, many thanks for your help. It's much appreciated. Cheers.
Posted by Jerry on April 20, 2011
When I was of primary school age I had a book which I think was by Enid Blyton which unfortunately got lost. It contained one semi-fictional story for each month about a young animal or bird but based on sound natural history facts. The creatures were given names but not anthropomorphised and did not speak. It influenced my whole life with a love of nature. I can remember that a young heron in one of the stories was called Frank. It may not be hers as I have not found it on Amazon or Abe books but I am not sure of the title. I thought it was Round the Year which turns out to be a more general book about nature activities for children, and it is not Round the Year Stories. Can anyone supply the title?
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone recognises the book, Jerry.
Posted by Sally on April 19, 2011
Sue - I would suggest that the complexities of identity are partly such because of the differences in ethnicities, sexes and cultures, and authors often reproduce that very well. We are all what we are because of our genes, our experiences and our backgrounds and that can be a complex mix! Understanding the true essence of someone, in spite of their background and social behaviour (usually learned) is often complex! In Enid Blyton's books, she differentiated strongly between characters of different backgrounds and the impact of that on their behaviour, values, manner of communicating, etc. Other writers such as Thomas Hardy (e.g. Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the D'Urbervilles) included many characters of different backgrounds and how that impacted on their ultimate fate. Jane Austen also - the list is endless.....
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Sally.
Posted by Susan Webster on April 19, 2011
Hi, can anyone help with my university essay, the question is; can an author ever convincingly reproduce the complexity of identity, especially if the protagonists are from different ethnicities, sexes or cultures? Any advice or help appreciated!
BarneyBarney says: Gracious - thinking about that question makes me feel as though I've had a long game of chase-my-tail in the hot sun! Do you get to refer to whichever writers you want? D.H. Lawrence might be a good one to include because of his in-depth portrayals of women in books like Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow and Women in Love.
Posted by Francis on April 18, 2011
Barney, I am not clever like you. How do you vote on the polls held in the various forums, e.g. 'Which Enid Blyton series is your favourite?' You'll need to explain it graphically because I get confused easily. Regards, Francis.
BarneyBarney says: At the top of the thread you'll see the list of choices, Francis. To the right of each choice is a circle, and you click on a circle to select an option. Sometimes you're allowed select more than one - have a look just above the choices and you'll see a note saying how many options you can pick. When you've clicked on your chosen circle(s), you press the "Submit Vote" box at the bottom. Hope that helps - I'm sure you'll get the hang of it in no time!
Posted by Nina on April 18, 2011
Hi Barney, just to let you know I have managed to get hold of a copy of the press release sent out by Hodder when the Famous Five books were updated. It doesn't really contain anything which hasn't been reported or discussed here previously, but if anyone here is interested in having a look then let me know (I'm on the forums as Nina as well) and I can forward it on :)
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Nina. I'm glad you managed to get hold of a copy.
Posted by Green Meadow on April 17, 2011
Please Barney, do you think you could archive the 'Monthly Enid Blyton' or keep these postings for at least a year? They are such interesting snippets, it would be nice if we could still go back and read them anytime. Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid that page is set up to change automatically at the beginning of the month, Green Meadow, though you could print it off each month if you like. The same snippets will come round again next year.
Posted by Lucy on April 16, 2011
Hi Barney, did you know that even though the copyright has expired on the early Tarzan books, the estate of the author has kept control by trademarking the various elements - trademarks are perpetual so even though Tarzan is in the public domain, no one can use him unless they have permission from the estate. What a nasty little legal trick! I can just imagine Chorion trying something like that.
BarneyBarney says: Unfortunately, it's possible for something to be legal but not moral.
Posted by Ullagapoo on April 16, 2011
Is this the official Enid Blyton website?
BarneyBarney says: I'm not sure what you mean by "official" but the Society has the backing of Enid Blyton's daughter Imogen Smallwood (and was also supported by elder daughter Gillian Baverstock and biographer Barbara Stoney when they were alive) and the website is certainly the most fully comprehensive Blyton site on the world wide web, with information on all aspects of Enid's life and work.
Posted by Ingrid on April 15, 2011
I am looking to purchase some prints/posters of scenes from The Magic Faraway Tree (or similar). Does anyone know where I could buy them? Thanks so much ;-)
BarneyBarney says: Sadly I don't think any have ever been produced, Ingrid.
Posted by Ananya on April 15, 2011
I want to know where to read Enid Blyton books online. Are they there on this site? Is the Journal online or do you post it? How can I become a member without having the Journal?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton books are not available online, Ananya, (or not legally, anyway) as they are still under copyright until the end of 2038. Letting people read them online without paying would affect sales and could even lead to the books going out of print. The Enid Blyton Society Journal is a printed magazine and is not available online either, I'm afraid. Joining the Society involves subscribing to the Journal, though fans may join the website discussion forums free of charge.
Posted by Mairead on April 15, 2011
Heya, sorry to bother you AGAIN! I am hooked on this website! Could you tell me any interesting facts about Enid? Thanks and sorry again!
BarneyBarney says: If you've already explored our "Author of Adventure" and "Cave of Books" sections, you could try getting hold of Barbara Stoney's book - Enid Blyton - the Biography. It contains a wealth of material about Blyton's life.
Posted by Nina on April 13, 2011
Hi Barney, do you or does anyone else know where I could find a copy of the press release Chorion/Hodder sent out when they announced the updating of the Famous Five books? I have been trawling the internet, have tried emailing the publishers and several newspapers, and am having no luck! If anyone can help it would be so appreciated!
BarneyBarney says: Good luck with finding it, Nina. I can only suggest that you try contacting Chorion, if you haven't already done so.
Posted by Anonymous on April 13, 2011
How can I find an original Malory Towers book?
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean one with the original text, i.e. no updates? Try eBay or Abebooks and look for a copy dated before about 1971 (some later copies might be okay too, but I can't guarantee it).
Posted by Mairead on April 13, 2011
Barney, Sorry to bother you again! What does cremated mean? Whereabouts is Golders Green? How many books did Enid write? I really would love to become an author. Thanks, Mairead, 11 years.
BarneyBarney says: Golly, I feel as though I'm a contestant on Mastermind! When a person is cremated it means their body is burnt to ashes after their death, rather than being buried. Golders Green is in North-West London. It's almost impossible to say exactly how many books Enid Blyton wrote, I'm afraid. As well as writing novels, short stories, plays, poems, nature books and educational books, she wrote magazines, provided the text for picture books for younger children and contributed articles and stories to encyclopaedias, annuals, etc. Some short stories appeared in more than one collection and new compilations of previous work continued to be published after her death. We know that she wrote over 180 novels though, and about 4000 - 5000 short stories, which is a remarkable achievement. To find out more about Enid Blyton's amazing output, have a wander through our Cave of Books. I hope you achieve your dream of becoming an author!
Posted by Three Cheers for EBS on April 13, 2011
Hello Barney! Have you had your walk and did you enjoy the scenes? I bet you would love those in Enid Blyton's world! I've been checking out the Teachers Worlds and what a delightful surprise to see so many stories and poems which I've never had the chance to know. I didn't know Enid Blyton wrote poems extensively. It is good to know another aspect of her writing creativity! I also find the Book Reviews in the Cave informative such as the case of The Adventurous Four where the mother was knitting hard because she had to make some blankets for use in the war and the children may have been evacuated. I'd always thought the mother was knitting hard simply because she just loved knitting! Perhaps it's time the publishers should make more obvious the time and history these stories were written instead of the usual small prints of the publication of the books. It would certainly help readers to understand and enjoy the old-feel times of the stories. So, here's Three Cheers to EBS!!!
BarneyBarney says: And three vigorous wags of the tail to you, TCfEBS! I thoroughly enjoyed my walk, thanks - there were lots of exciting paths to explore and smells to sniff. You're right that Teachers World and other periodicals contain some real gems and it's a privilege to have access to so many of them in the Cave.
Posted by Devika on April 13, 2011
Barney Sir, in Five Run Away Together did Mrs. Stick slap George? Any idea why Enid Blyton Ma'am wrote that? I love her and her books. I hope I read all her books before I die. Bye, Devika, 9 years.
BarneyBarney says: You have put a spring in my step, Devika, calling me Sir! I don't remember Mrs. Stick slapping George, though I do recall George slapping Edgar. As you're only nine, you may be able to get to read all Enid Blyton's books - have fun doing so!
Posted by Mairead on April 13, 2011
Oops, sorry Barney! Didnt mean to post that three times! Thanks for the answers, actually I didn't know that Enid had died so it was a big shock for me!! That's okay, I just love writing to famous people. Could you please tell me where Enid is buried and where she died? Also, how did she die and what age was she? Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Sorry you were shocked to learn of Enid Blyton's death, Mairead. There's a timeless quality to her stories which leads many people to think she is still writing today. She may have died years ago, but the best of her lives on in her books. Enid Blyton was cremated, not buried, at Golders Green in London. She died in her sleep at a nursing home in Hampstead, at the age of 71. More details about her life can be found in our Author of Adventure section.
Posted by Paul on April 12, 2011
Hi Barney, what do you think of a story where George from the Famous Five gets sent to Malory Towers? I think she'd be so hostile that even Miss Grayling would refuse to keep her. I also think she'd swiftly get on Bill Robinson's bad side for whining about wanting to be a boy and for not sufficiently respecting Clarissa.
BarneyBarney says: I don't tend to read a lot of the boarding-school fanfic but it is an intriguing concept, Paul! I imagine that George would smuggle Timmy in somehow.
Posted by Poppy on April 12, 2011
Hi Barney, at the moment I am reading the book Five on a Hike Together - it is the best Famous Five book I have read. Do you like that one? Which Famous Five book is your favourite? Bye!
BarneyBarney says: Hi, Poppy. I agree that Five on a Hike Together is one of the best Famous Five books. "Two Trees...Gloomy Water...Saucy Jane...Maggie Knows." Reading those words makes me shiver with excitement from head to tail. There was a discussion of that book on the forums not long ago, but don't read it until you've finished the book as the plot and ending are discussed in detail. As far as the other titles are concerned, my favourite ones are the ones in which Timmy gets to chase rabbits!
Posted by Mairead on April 12, 2011
Heya Barney, How's things? Could you please tell me when Enid died? And could I please get in touch with her daughters? Thanks Barney!
BarneyBarney says: Things are fine thank you, Mairead, but sometimes a dog gets busy so your message can't be answered straight away - that doesn't mean you have to send it three times! ;-) Enid Blyton died on November 28th, 1968. You can find out more details about her life by clicking on our "Author of Adventure" button. Enid's elder daughter, Gillian Baverstock, died nearly four years ago. Her younger daughter Imogen Smallwood has attended many Enid Blyton Days (as did Gillian too in the past) but we respect her privacy and cannot give out personal details to fans, as I'm sure you'll understand.
Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 2011
Hi Barney, If I wanted to buy a house in Blyton Close where Green Hedges once stood, what numbered house is closest to where the Green Hedges house was actually situated?
BarneyBarney says: There is some speculation on page 2 of this thread on the forums that number 10 is the nearest.
Posted by Joaquim Augusto Reis on April 7, 2011
Hello my dear friend Tony: today I reach 55, and the best gift I can have is this lovely website about Enid Blyton and the marvellous old books I have in my collection. Give my best regards to Barney. Best wishes, Joaquim Augusto Reis.
BarneyBarney says: Best regards to you too, Joaquim, and Many Happy Returns! I'm pleased that you're enjoying the website. Next to dogs, books are a man's best friend!
Posted by Mairead on April 4, 2011
Thanks Barney and thanks Enid Blyton for the great books!!
Posted by Malory Towers on April 4, 2011
Hi Barney. Is there any way to find out what's been changed in the Malory Towers books? I was just reading the 2008 version of Last Term at Malory Towers and the references to "college" instead of "university" stick out as a possible change.
BarneyBarney says: The best way to find out would be to go painstakingly through a vintage copy and a modern copy, comparing the two paragraph by paragraph.
Posted by Gaz on April 3, 2011
I have a first edition of Noddy and the Bunkey, 1959 hardback. Offers to garyphoenix300@hotmail.com
BarneyBarney says: We have a For Sale section on the forums if you're interested, Gaz. More people are likely to read posts there, as Message Board posts soon disappear off the Home Page.
Posted by Ms. Pseudonym on April 2, 2011
GOSH, I LOVE THIS WEBSITE! The Cave of Books section is amazing!! So many books to browse through! And I love the reviews and illustrations!! I would like to know who owns the copyright to Ms. Blyton's works and is there any way I could get in touch with her daughters? How much does it cost to register on the forums and join the society? Thanks a ton! XO =)
BarneyBarney says: It's great to see your enthusiasm, Ms. Pseudonym! Registering on the forums is free, but there is a subscription charge for joining the Society to cover the cost of the three meaty Journals which members receive each year. To see how to become a member and how much it costs, click on the "Join the Society" link near the top of this page. Enid Blyton's elder daughter, Gillian Baverstock, died nearly four years ago. Her younger daughter Imogen Smallwood has attended many Enid Blyton Days (as did Gillian too in the past) but we respect her privacy and cannot give out personal details to fans, as I'm sure you'll understand. Oh, and Chorion own the copyright to Enid Blyton's works.
Posted by Mairead on April 1, 2011
Dear Miss Enid Blyton, You are one of the best authors ever! I want to follow your example and be an author. My favourite books in the whole wide world are the Magic Faraway Tree series. I have the three-in-one storybook and love them all. I am really sad that you have died because you can't write any more But hopefully when I'm an author I will dedicate one of my books to you. Thanks, Enid Blyton. I love you!!
BarneyBarney says: I hope you achieve your ambition, Mairead!
Posted by Devika on April 1, 2011
Dear Miss Enid Blyton, I love all your books. My parents say I read your books while eating, playing, etc. I hope I get to read all your books which are super. I have even become a fast reader. Thank you a lot! By Devika, nine years. Bye.
BarneyBarney says: As I said to Yashaswi, Enid Blyton died in 1968 but the best of her lives on in her books.
Posted by Yashaswi Agrawal on April 1, 2011
Dear Miss Enid Blyton, I wanted to tell you that you are my favourite author and I have read a lot of books written by you. I even read five titles from your Malory Towers series and I loved those. I am looking forward to reading the last book of your Malory Towers series and I even want to read the Naughtiest Girl series. With lots of love to my favourite author from a nine year old girl called Yashaswi.
BarneyBarney says: It's good to know that the books are bringing you so much pleasure, Yashaswi. Sadly, Enid Blyton died in 1968 but the best of her lives on in her stories. I'm sure she'd be delighted to know that children all over the world are still reading and enjoying them.
Posted by Annette Kinsella on March 31, 2011
Hi - I'm hoping someone can help me trace an Enid Blyton story. It features a boy who fakes a cold in order to get a delicious-tasting blackcurrant drink which his aunt makes for flu sufferers. His cousins go out for a walk and while they are out he discovers a purple drink in the playroom. He drinks it and it tastes disgusting. But when his cousins return he discovers it wasn't the cure at all, but their painting water. Hence the cry: "He drank our dirty painting water!" I think the aunt may have been called Eileen. Any help to trace this would be very appreciated! Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I've definitely read that story, Annette, but unfortunately I can't recall where! I hope someone else with a better memory will be able to help you!
Posted by Emily on March 30, 2011
Hi Barney! I found all three of the Faraway Tree books that I wanted on Abebooks. Thank you so much for the suggestion!
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you found them so quickly, Emily!
Posted by Michelle on March 30, 2011
Hi Barney! Can Enid really be blamed for the racially and genderly insensitivity in her stories? Anne for example is a reflection of accepted gender behaviour of the 1940s and is intended as a foil for George. A good counter example to the allegations of sexism is Darrell - who goes to university to get an education and doesn't look like she will need a man to complete her life.
BarneyBarney says: An author's work is bound to reflect the mores of the period to a certain extent but, as you point out, Michelle, Enid Blyton's portrayals of races and genders are not always as stereotyped as critics imply.
Posted by Keeley on March 30, 2011
Hi, I'm trying to find the name of an Enid Blyton book I used to read when I was a child. It was about a very small school with only 4-5 children in it. The teacher would take them on nature walks and generally teach them about wildlife. Would appreciate it if you could help. Thanks, Keeley.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Keeley, You may be thinking of Enid Blyton's Book of the Year, which contains monthly accounts of 'What they did at Miss Brown's School'. There are four pupils at Miss Brown's school - Mary, John, Peter and Susan - and they do things like identify animal footprints in the snow, plant flowers and vegetables in the school garden, keep silkworms and make a bird-table. The book also has poems, stories, short plays and nature notes.
Posted by Emily on March 29, 2011
Hello! Do you know where I could buy The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree and The Folk of the Faraway Tree - 1985 editions? These were the most treasured books of my childhood and I'm hoping to recreate similar memories with my young children. I would appreciate any information you may have on how to get a hold of them - new or used - thank you! I was also wondering which Enid Blyton books would most capture the imagination of small boys (4-5 years old). Does she have any adventure-type books specifically for small children? Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: If you mean the deluxe Faraway Tree books with coloured illustrations by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone/Georgina Hargreaves, they sometimes turn up on eBay. Alternatively, you could try Abebooks or the booksellers we list under "Lashings of Links". Good luck with your search. Regarding adventure-type books for small boys, there's a Purnell book called Happy Adventure Tales (only available second-hand) which is full of short stories about children finding treasure, catching crooks, saving people from accidents, etc. The Secret Seven books may well appeal too - they're fairly short and the characters solve local mysteries - though I'd say they're aimed mainly at children aged about 6-9. Other books which might appeal to young boys include the collections of mixed short stories, the Galliano's Circus series and The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies (a full-length fantasy story about the adventures of three brownies called Hop, Skip and Jump). Have fun introducing your children to Enid Blyton, Emily!
Posted by Henry on March 28, 2011
Dear all, We get married in July, and we wanted to create 100 stamps with the picture of Oui Oui with the post office in France, we wanted to use the message "Yes I do" which can be translated in French by "Oui Oui". Otherwise, the French post office ask us to have the authorization from the creator to use the picture, which is normal. Would you authorize us to use the picture of Oui Oui ? I send you the stamp we wanted to create. Many thanks for your reply. Best regards, Stéphanie Henry.
BarneyBarney says: An interesting request, Stéphanie! Unfortunately, we're not the copyright holders - you'd need to contact Chorion to get a Oui Oui or a Non Non!
Posted by Mr. Goon on March 27, 2011
Hi Barney. After reading the St Clare's books, when did the practice of having younger formers "fag" for older formers largely stop in British schools? I wonder what the adults of 70-80 years ago would think of how modern society regards them as vicious and abusive for the thrashings and spankings they gave out to pupils?
BarneyBarney says: Fagging was originally introduced to teach pupils about the notion of service, but bullies could and did take advantage of the system to make the lives of younger pupils a misery. Many boarding-schools stopped the practice of fagging sometime in the mid twentieth century, though I have heard reports of schools continuing the practice - or at least some aspects of it - into the 1990s.
Posted by Simon on March 26, 2011
Hi Barney, I've just started reading the last book of the Secret Seven series, and I see in the first chapter that it's mentioned they live in Peterswood, the same village as the Five Find-Outers? Would they have been around at the same time? Also, in an earlier story (Secret Seven Win Through) the Famous Five books are mentioned as belonging to one of the members. Strange how Enid Blyton combined details and characters from different stories...
BarneyBarney says: Hi, Simon. The mention of Peterswood in the final Secret Seven book is thought to be a slip-up as Enid Blyton was suffering from dementia by the time she wrote it. However, some fans have joked that perhaps the Find-Outers took most of the holiday-time cases in Peterswood, while the Secret Seven dealt mainly with the term-time happenings! Regarding the Secret Seven reading the Famous Five adventures, I suppose Enid Blyton saw it as an opportunity to promote her own books! Or perhaps it simply amused her to mention other series occasionally, knowing that readers would recognise and enjoy the references. The girls of St. Clare's go to Galliano's Circus in one of the books, while twins David and Delia in House-at-the-Corner enrol at Whyteleafe School (more famously attended by the Naughtiest Girl).
Posted by Helen on March 26, 2011
Hi, Do you have the details of this year's Enid Blyton Day and purchasing tickets? Kind Regards, Helen.
BarneyBarney says: We're taking a break from the Enid Blyton Day this year, Helen, as we've said in the editorial in the Journal, though we intend to hold one in 2012. You may like to know of a few other Enid Blyton events that are being held. There is an "Enid Blyton at War" day at Corfe Castle in Dorset on Thursday 2nd June, 11am - 4pm. Enid Blyton's Birthday is also celebrated at Corfe Castle on 11th August, which is a Thursday this year. Both days are organised by Viv Endecott of the Ginger Pop Shop and are aimed mainly at families with children. On Saturday 18th June Blyton fans are meeting in Bourne End, Bucks, to have a pub lunch and visit the gardens of Old Thatch, where Enid Blyton used to live. This is not a Society event - it is a fairly informal gathering and further details can be found here. Those who wish to attend are welcome to add their names to the list in the forums thread. Seven Stories in Newcastle also have a number of Blyton-related events coming up.
Posted by Paul on March 26, 2011
About twenty years ago, I read a book where the kid heroes were imprisoned by the villains in a series of caves overlooking a valley or the sea and they moved the kids from cave to cave by drugging them with sleeping draught and moving them while they were asleep. Is this a Blyton?
Posted by Poppy on March 24, 2011
Hi Barney! I have got an old Sunny Stories Annual at home - are the magazines still around on eBay or somewhere like that, do you think? Thank you! From Poppy x
BarneyBarney says: I'm not sure what the book is that you've got, Poppy, but Sunny Stories magazines do sometimes turn up on eBay, as do copies of Enid Blyton's Magazine. The very early Sunny Stories for Little Folks are rare and tend to be expensive - later ones vary in price. Sometime in 1953 Enid Blyton stopped writing for Sunny Stories, though the magazine continued with other writers. See the Cave of Books for further details.
Posted by Paul on March 23, 2011
Hi Barney. Have you ever expressed an opinion on the updating of Enid's works? If you were in charge of the copyright, would you return the spanking to Malory Towers or bring back Dame Slap?
BarneyBarney says: I feel it's a pity to update older books, as they're a slice of history. And often the updating isn't done consistently, spoiling the integrity of the story. However, older books which aren't updated are often allowed to go out of print. At least Blyton books are still available in some form.
Posted by Angela Favorleigh on March 23, 2011
Hi! Why didn't Enid cover the third or sixth forms of St. Clare's?
BarneyBarney says: No one knows for certain, but Enid Blyton went on to structure the Malory Towers series rather more carefully. That has one book per academic year and Darrell Rivers starts the school at the age of twelve (not fourteen, like Pat and Isabel O' Sullivan).
Posted by Susan Webster on March 23, 2011
Hi. Just read the bit about tomboys and I guess I've always been a tomboy like George. I never had girls to play with when I was small, only boys. I hate dresses, skirts etc and prefer to be in trousers, T-shirts and jerseys. My hair is not too short though and I wear a couple of slides. As for make-up etc, pooh to that!
Posted by Sue D. Nym on March 23, 2011
If I were as rich as the Royal Family, I'd film Malory Towers. All six books in order and set in the right period.
BarneyBarney says: Better get treasure-hunting then, Sue D. Nym! It would be fabulous to see faithful adaptations of the Malory Towers books for TV or cinema. I like your "Sue D. Nym", by the way!
Posted by Sally on March 22, 2011
Enjoying the new Journal - so many interesting articles! Love Buster's perspective, Julie, and also Terry's further instalment of Bill's Diaries. Looking forward to the next half. Sorry that David Cook's excellent analysis of the Find-Outers stories has now reached its conclusion. Another series to review David? Still yet to read Anita's coverage of the Naughtiest Girl series. Thank you to all of you!
BarneyBarney says: I'm like a dog with two tails after reading your kind comments, Sally. I too enjoyed reading the piece by Buster - and the letter from Bobs!
Posted by Darall on March 22, 2011
I need help getting an avatar. Do you know how to get one?
BarneyBarney says: You could have asked that question on the forums, Darall. If you look at the 8th post in this thread (by Fiona), it tells you how to create an avatar.
Posted by Sally Hope on March 22, 2011
Hi Barney. My minimal exposure to the Famous Five left me quite sympathetic to George - I wish she'd got to fulfil her potential. On the other hand, after Malory Towers' Bill Robinson, George seeemed very bitter and dysfunctional. I'd love to see a Malory crossover in which either Bill dresses her down verbally or Darrell whacks her, or both. Preferably both, because I'd like to see her brought down a peg or two by a tomboy who's happy to be a girl (despite her name preference, I don't think Bill's got any illusions as to her preferred gender) and then whacked by a "girly" girl to prove the point that you don't need to be a (tom)boy to stick up for yourself physically.
BarneyBarney says: I think Timmy would have something to say about that!
Posted by Poppy on March 20, 2011
Hi Barney, today I got the new Enid Blyton Society Journal! I am really enjoying it. I have been reading the story called 'The Packman in Sicily' - it was really good. Was it one of her earlier stories? From Poppy x
BarneyBarney says: It's nice to know that you're enjoying the Journal, Poppy. I'm afraid 'The Packman in Sicily' isn't dated and we don't know much about it as it was never published.
Posted by Dee on March 20, 2011
Hi, I have a book with the cover of Enid Blyton's The Three Golliwogs (Dean and Son) but inside the book's contents actually belong to Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (abridged edition also by Dean and Son). I can see no evidence of tampering or repair with the book. It is in excellent condition. Has anyone ever come across this before? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Errors like that happen occasionally, Dee. Unfortunately, unlike faulty stamps, faulty books are not normally sought-after or valuable.
Posted by Margaret on March 19, 2011
Please could you help me. I had an edition of Mr. Galliano's Circus that belonged to my Mum with green boards. I cannot find it anywhere but want to replace it, but what edition was it that had green boards?
BarneyBarney says: The colour of the boards is completely irrelevant as far as the text and illustrations are concerned, as internally all Newnes hardback editions were identical and nothing was changed or abridged. So it doesn't matter if it has red, blue or green boards, you will still be getting the same book.
Posted by Bill and Clarissa forever on March 19, 2011
Hi Barney! Upon a re-read, I can see why Malory Towers and St. Clare's have such a lesbian following. A couple of things stand out about Last Term at Malory Towers. One is, of course, the wink-wink-nudge-nudge of Bill and Clarissa's Brokeback Riding Stable. And that governess of Gwen's! Gwen's nearly twenty and at school for ten months of the year. I wanted that governess job! She must have either had the dirt on the Lacys or done something that's speculated on various sapphist sites.
BarneyBarney says: I wonder what Enid Blyton would make of all that's read into her books!
Posted by Joaquim Augusto Reis on March 18, 2011
Hello, my friend Tony. I am a Portuguese fan of the Enid Blyton world. I have quite a reasonable number of old books. Journal 44 is, as always, very good. When are we going to have a new Enid Blyton Day? I hope very soon. Best wishes.
BarneyBarney says: Hello, Joaquim! I'm delighted that you're enjoying the latest Journal and I know my master will be delighted too. We're taking a break from the Enid Blyton Day this year, as we've said in the editorial in the Journal, though we intend to hold one in 2012. You may like to know of a few other Enid Blyton events that are being held - I appreciate that it's a long trip from Portugal, though. There is an "Enid Blyton at War" day at Corfe Castle in Dorset on Thursday 2nd June, 11am - 4pm. Enid Blyton's Birthday is also celebrated at Corfe Castle on 11th August, which is a Thursday this year. Both days are organised by Viv Endecott of the Ginger Pop Shop and are aimed mainly at families with children. On Saturday 18th June Blyton fans are meeting in Bourne End, Bucks, to have a pub lunch and visit the gardens of Old Thatch, where Enid Blyton used to live. This is not a Society event - it is a fairly informal gathering and further details can be found here. Those who wish to attend are welcome to add their names to the list in the forums thread. Seven Stories in Newcastle also have a number of Blyton-related events coming up.
Posted by Rachel on March 18, 2011
I loved Malory Towers! It was so funny and interesting!
Posted by Teg on March 18, 2011
For Tanis - I have a copy of A Calendar of Food & Wine by Nell Heaton and Andre Simon. Inside inscription Alice Blyton (Enid's Aunt I think), with inscription "With love from Enid 1961". It has recipes for fruit cake, damson jam, lemonade, etc.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, David. Interesting that your book seems to have belonged to the Blyton family.
Posted by Coooeee on March 18, 2011
HEY R THERE ANY DVDS,FILMS OR MOVIES OF THE FIVE FIND OUTERS??????? PLZ TEL ME AND ALSO TEL ME THAT IS BETS FATTY'S HEROINE AND TRUE LOVE??
BarneyBarney says: Ouch! Is there any need to shout?! I'm afraid there has never been a film or TV series of the Find-Outers books, Coooeee - or not in English, anyway. I believe there was a long-running Find-Outers TV series in Japan in the 1960s/70s, though I don't know whether there has been a video or DVD release of that. As for Bets being Fatty's true love, the two of them certainly like and admire one another but whether there might be any romance in the air (as they get older), they're not saying!
Posted by Michelle on March 18, 2011
Hi Barney! I had such a huge crush on Gary Russell from the 1978 Famous Five series when I was watching the videos in the 1980s. He even starred in my dreams when I was about twelve!
BarneyBarney says: And I thought people watched the show for the thrilling adventures! ;-)
Posted by Coooeee on March 17, 2011
I love the Five Find-Outers very much. I want to know each and everything about them. Can you please help me?
BarneyBarney says: You could start by being a Find-Outer yourself and keeping your eyes peeled. You'd soon notice that there's a Five Find-Outers button right above the Message Board!
Posted by Poppy on March 17, 2011
Hi Barney, thanks for understanding! See - I have written back on the very first day! Wuff Wuff! From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: Wuff wuff, Poppy!
Posted by Kim Keefer on March 17, 2011
Have been looking for the Faraway Tree collection illustrated by Georgina Hargreaves. Does anyone know where I can find them?
BarneyBarney says: The second and third book were illustrated by Georgina Hargreaves but the first was illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone. You could try eBay, Abebooks or one of the sellers listed under "Lashings of Links". Good luck with your search!
Posted by Tanis on March 16, 2011
Does anyone know of a Famous Five recipe book please?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't know of one, Tanis, but you could always collect recipes from the internet for things like fruit cake and plum jam, and compile your own.
Posted by Poppy on March 16, 2011
Hi Barney, just read some of the messages now. I'm sorry I haven't been in touch the last few weeks. I have just got a new dog so been busy training him! I bet you would be great friends with him! In future I will spend a bit more time on the website. I really love the Secret Seven badge which Susan Webster kindly gave me. Bye for now! Wuff Wuff! From Poppy xx
BarneyBarney says: Wuff wuff to you and your new dog, Poppy! It's great that you're spending so much time with him, training him. He'll be a faithful friend to you. And I'm glad to hear that you've received the badge from Sue Webster - I knew you'd like it!
Posted by Julie@owlsdene on March 16, 2011
Sorry, I had to have a grin. It never ceases to amuse me dearest Stephen that even in a reply to someone you always manage to plug your book!
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on March 15, 2011
In reply to Mick's (and Barney as well) message of March 14, 2011, Mick's point would have had some merit i.e. of suing the Internet company, Google, for copyright infringement, if the word had originally been a Blyton wordage, although I do not entirely believe that the Google search engine founders co-incidentally shortnened "googol" to "google," after all in that linkage you provided, indications are that in 1996, one of Google's founders had come across the word "Google" through an Internet search. Who knows whether the Internet founders of Google may have come across an Internet summary of Enid Blyton's book, Circus Days Again, in which the word "Google" may have been included. We may never know and neither can we prove that that may have been the case, since much time has elapsed since 1996 and the word "Google" has proliferated by leaps and bounds on the Internet since then. Though the web was still primitive in 1996, one could almost search for anything on the World Wide Web at that time, though. Nonetheless, what I found statistically coincidental in Enid Blyton's using the word, "Google" in Circus Days Again, was its usage in relationship to a circus acrobat. Nowadays, in the Internet we have acrobat readers such as Adobe. I point out a little bit of this coincidence in my book, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage.
BarneyBarney says: Some acrobatic leaps and linkages there!
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on March 15, 2011
Sue and Barney, where I am at, the inter-library loan scheme is still free. Thanks God, it is free, otherwise, if it was not, I wouldn't have got enough material to write my book, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage.
BarneyBarney says: Golly gosh, that would have been a dogastrophe, we wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing plugs for your book on every website under the sun.
Posted by Susan Webster on March 15, 2011
Hi Barney, is it possible to get a copy of A Childhood at Green Hedges by Imogen Smallwood in my local library as I'd like to read it? Cheers, Sue.
BarneyBarney says: You'd need to enquire at your library, Sue. If they haven't got it in stock, they might well be able to order it for you from another library through inter-library loans. There is a small charge for that service and you would get to borrow the book for a certain number of weeks.
Posted by Susan Webster on March 15, 2011
Hi Barney, good dog. The Secret Seven badge is on its way to Poppy at last! Cheers, Sue.
BarneyBarney says: That's good news. Thanks, Sue! I'm sure Poppy will be delighted with the badge.
Posted by Alice on March 15, 2011
Hi Barney! An internet parenting forum was recently leg pulled by someone who borrowed from the plots of Malory Towers and St. Clare's, claiming the events had happened to their own daughters. It went for quite a few pages before someone said it sounded familiar.
BarneyBarney says: That sounds amusing, Alice! Do you know which parenting forum it was?
Posted by Clare on March 15, 2011
Desperately trying to find an original Eileen Soper print of The Elf and the Poppy. Does anyone have one for sale? Thanks. Clare
BarneyBarney says: That would be Nature Plate number 31 if I remember correctly, Clare. Individual prints sometimes come up on eBay, or you could try one of the sellers we list under "Lashings of Links" as they sell all kinds of vintage items related to Enid Blyton - not just books.
Posted by Poppy on March 14, 2011
Thanks Barney for letting Sue know about the Secret Seven badge! From Poppy.
BarneyBarney says: Glad to be of help, Poppy.
Posted by Nina on March 14, 2011
Does anyone know what the top three bestselling Famous Five books are? I've tried to contact the publishers but they haven't got back to me. Alternatively, if anyone can suggest two or three Famous Five books that are markedly different in structure/style or have the most updates that would also be very welcome. I am looking into Famous Five rewrites with emphasis on offensive language for my dissertation, but don't have the word count to look at the whole series so any guidance would be appreciated!
BarneyBarney says: You may be interested in this thread on the forums, Nina. The Famous Five books were most recently updated by Hodder in 2010. While Dick and Fanny remain, Nobby in Five Go Off in a Caravan has now become Ned.
Posted by Mick on March 14, 2011
Hi, probably not a well known fact, but Enid invented the word "Google"! Look at page 36 of The Very Big Secret, where it's said by Belinda the changeling baby. I wonder if Chorion could sue for royalties......
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton used the word even earlier than that, as there's a clown called Google in Circus Days Again which was published in 1942. And in some of the Faraway Tree books, the characters eat Google Buns. However, the people who named the search engine reportedly took their inspiration from the word googol.
Posted by Anonymous on March 14, 2011
Hi, I have an anonymous book called Our Book of Trains, could it be one of Enid's early unnamed ones published by Birn Brothers Ltd, London? Thanks for your help.
BarneyBarney says: Birn Brothers published numerous books by various authors over several decades, so I'm afraid it's unlikely to be by Enid Blyton.
Posted by Stefán on March 13, 2011
Hi, I have an old Mr. Plod floor puzzle and now I'm looking for the other three puzzles; Noddy, Big-Ears and Tessie Bear. Is there anyone out there that can help me?
BarneyBarney says: In case anyone is wondering what these puzzles look like, they date from 1980 and can be seen in the Cave. They may turn up on eBay if you keep an eye out, Stefán, or you could try the booksellers we list under "Lashings of Links" - some of them stock a lot of Blyton ephemera.
Posted by Arshavi on March 13, 2011
Hey Barney... A very happy wuff to you! I want to know which character of Enid Blyton is regarded as the most priceless or is regarded as her greatest creation? Which is your favourite? My guess is Timmy!
BarneyBarney says: A hearty wuff to you too, Arshavi! It's difficult to say which character is Enid's greatest creation - there are so many that loom large in people's minds. George of the Famous Five is frequently mentioned by fans, as are Fatty of the Find-Outers and Darrell and Alicia from Malory Towers. A certain Little Nodding Man gets a lot of attention too. As far as dogs are concerned, I particularly enjoy reading about Timmy, Loony, Buster, Shadow and Lucky. Which one appeals to me most depends what mood I'm in! Kiki the intelligent parrot also deserves a special mention.
Posted by Gemma Blackie on March 13, 2011
I love Enid Blyton's books, my favourite books that she wrote are probably the Faraway Tree series. xx
Posted by Shirley S. on March 12, 2011
I've always loved Enid Blyton books, and still think they are as interesting today as when I was small. My mother has quite a nice selection of Enid's books, but not the nature book. Do you know where I might get her one?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton wrote a number of nature books, Shirley, some of the main ones being listed here (first three titles in the list). Round the Year with Enid Blyton and Enid Blyton's Animal Lover's Book are also popular. You could try eBay or Abebooks, or one of the sellers listed under our "Lashings of Links" button. Good luck with your search!
Posted by Francis on March 11, 2011
I asked about who drew the Famous Five covers on the early 1980s paperback editions. I have since been told (by a very reliable source) that "Jean Sidobre (aka Georges Lévis) illustrated those covers. He originally drew them for the Dutch editions but the illustrations were then used for English and German (and maybe other) editions as well, as far as I know." Hope this spreads a bit of light. Francis
BarneyBarney says: Just to update this information, the original source has now done some further investigation and no longer thinks that the covers of those editions are by Jean Sidobre (aka Georges Lévis).
Posted by Imogen P. on March 10, 2011
Are there any books or articles on Gillian and Imogen and their relationship with their mother? Did Enid believe in an afterlife? Is Amelia Jane really considered Enid's greatest creation by fans?
BarneyBarney says: Gyles Brandreth interviewed Gillian Baverstock and Imogen Smallwood for his article 'Was Enid Blyton the Mother from Hell?' It was published in the Telegraph some years ago but I can't seem to find a direct link now. However, it has been archived on a Dutch Blyton site. Imogen Smallwood also writes about the difficult relationship she had with her mother in her book, A Childhood at Green Hedges. Enid Blyton didn't adhere to the teachings of any particular church but she appears to have believed in an afterlife, as Imogen reports in A Childhood at Green Hedges that Enid's last words before she died were, "I am going to my father! At least I think I am." And no, Amelia Jane is a lot of fun but she's not generally considered to be Blyton's greatest creation!
Posted by Mondo on March 9, 2011
I am searching for a copy of Enid's short story 'The Crocodile who had Terrible Toothache'. I loved it as a child and would love to read it to mine. Do you have any ideas which book it may be found in? Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid that doesn't ring any bells, Mondo.
Posted by Abra on March 7, 2011
Thank you Barney, for your excellent advice. I can't wait to introduce my son to the Famous Five! I'll also check out the other books you recommended, as I am not familiar with them. Thanks again - I am so glad I found this site!
BarneyBarney says: My tail is wagging nineteen to the dozen after reading your kind words of thanks, Abra. I wish you and your son many glorious adventures together!
Posted by Abra on March 7, 2011
Hello, please can you tell me if the Famous Five series would be suitable to read to a six year old. Thanks.
BarneyBarney says: Most six year olds would probably respond well to a Famous Five book but I'd only read two or three aloud if I were you, so the child still has plenty more to discover for him/herself as he/she reads more books alone. Books that would be particularly good for that age group include the Faraway Tree series, the short story collections (including stories about characters like Mr. Pink-Whistle and Mr. Meddle), The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies, the Galliano's Circus books and the Secret Seven series.
Posted by Stephen Isabirye on March 6, 2011
Sanju, I recall that when I became re-awakened again to Enid Blyton books in the late 1990s, I remember the address of the website Blyton.com, which is owned by Chorion, being inserted in the preliminary pages of the editions of the late 1990s as well as the millennium editions of 2000 and 2001 of series such as The Famous Five. It is books such as my The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage that have the address of the Enid Blyton Society website printed on the book's rear cover.
BarneyBarney says: Gosh, have you written a book about Enid Blyton, Stephen! I wonder if anyone has bought a copy. You must be very knowledgeable, as I am told that you are the only person to have written a book about her that hasn't ever seen a copy of the Society Journal. I would have thought that an enthusiast such as yourself would be interested to join the Society and see what other people have to say, but what does a poor old dog know!
Posted by Aleta on March 6, 2011
Hello from Aust. I would like to know who to contact for copyright permission on the Art in Enid Blyton's books. Are you able to help please?
BarneyBarney says: I think that in most cases you'd need to contact the publishers, Aleta, though Chorion own the text copyright and might be of some help to you too.
Posted by Sanju on March 4, 2011
Hi Barney, is there still the Enid Blyton Society which is mentioned in the back of the Famous Five books?
BarneyBarney says: I'm a bit confused by your question, Sanju. This is the Enid Blyton Society website but I don't think we've ever been mentioned at the back of the Famous Five books. If your books are fairly old you might be talking about the advert for the Famous Five Club, which sadly no longer exists. And some Blyton books carry an advert for the Enid Blyton Trust for Children, which is run by Imogen Smallwood and her daughter Sophie. That still exists and raises money for children's activities and projects.
Posted by Genette on March 3, 2011
Hi Barney! What was Enid's favourite food and favourite dessert? I'd like to visit Green Hedges - is it open to the public?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid we don't know what Enid's favourite food was, Genette, though apparently ginger-beer appears in her books so frequently because her daughter Gillian loved it. As for Green Hedges, it was demolished in 1973 to make way for a housing estate. Old Thatch in Bourne End still exists, where Enid lived from 1929 to 1938, and the gardens are open to the public several days a week during the summer. There's to be a gathering of Blyton fans there on Saturday 18th June if you're interested. Further details can be found here. Those who wish to attend are welcome to add their names to the list in the forums thread.
Posted by Susan Webster on March 2, 2011
Hi Barney, new name, new email address as my old one failed to work. I've not heard from Poppy or her parents about the Secret Seven badge so I guess she doesn't want it any more. Never mind, if anyone else wants it, it's free. Just get in touch. Sue
BarneyBarney says: If anyone would like to take up Sue's kind offer, please include your email address as part of your message so Sue can contact you. Alternatively, you could send her a private message through the forums - she's registered as "Susan Webster". Thanks, Sue!
Posted by Emily Price on March 1, 2011
I love you, Enid Blyton. I love to read your books. I am reading The Enchanted Wood at the moment. I am collecting your books and I have got seven of them. From Emily Price, one of your biggest fans.
BarneyBarney says: Sadly, Enid Blyton died in 1968. However, the best of her lives on in her books and I'm sure she'd be delighted to know that her stories and characters continue to bring so much joy to children around the world.
Posted by Nigel Rowe on March 1, 2011
I completely agree with Barney's comments regarding plastic surgery. As he says, it is so much better to emulate Enid's characters' good traits and strengths of character, rather than facial comparisons. I also had to chuckle at "Tony looking sweet!" Barney might not be on Facebook, but you can follow the Society on Twitter! (See left)
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Nigel. I meant to mention Twitter, but it slipped my mind. We dogs are not too good at tweeting and twittering!
Posted by Nicole on March 1, 2011
Barney, I was reading about those people that have plastic surgery to look more like their favourite celebrities. What would you think of someone that had surgery to look more like a favourite Blyton character? Would Tony Summerfield mind me saying I think he looks very sweet in the Enid Blyton Day photos?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton doesn't often give us more than a brief outline of what a character looks like, so there could be numerous perfectly valid interpretations of most of them. I imagine Enid would be shocked at the thought of anyone undergoing surgery to resemble one of her creations, though she would no doubt approve of readers wanting to be brave, or run errands, or grow flowers, or study birds because that's what their favourite characters do. In her books, girls and boys are encouraged to respect themselves but to avoid becoming obsessed with their image. The general message is that people should make the most of what they have got rather than striving for what they haven't, and that it's personality that really counts. I don't know what he'd think about the word "sweet", but certainly my Master is a handsome enough chappie - even if he isn't a dog!
Posted by Geoffrey Molyneux on February 28, 2011
Is it possible to purchase copies of the original dustcovers?
BarneyBarney says: Sorry, Geoffrey. There may be websites or individuals out there selling reproduction dustcovers, but we can't promote them. I can understand your yearning for colourful covers for all your vintage books and I know it's frustrating that you can't simply go out and buy them from the shops, but at the same time it's terrible to see people raking in money by scanning old wrappers, making numerous print-outs and selling them at a large profit.
Posted by Neha J. Varghese on February 28, 2011
Hello Barney! I had my first final exam! Barney, are you on Facebook? Can you just tell me which is the most adventurous story of all the Famous Five and Secret Seven? Barney can you also provide some more information on Enid? I know it's lot of homework. See you next time. Till then, bye! Wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff!
BarneyBarney says: Wuff wuff, Neha! I hope your exam went well. Your "first final" exam? I know what you mean, but it sounds a bit of an oxymoron! As I said to someone else recently, whenever I hear Facebook mentioned I generally bury my face in a book! Five Fall into Adventure and Go Ahead Secret Seven are packed with adventurous happenings but it's impossible to say whether those titles - or any others - are the "most adventurous". It's a matter of opinion really. If you click on our "Author of Adventure" button you'll find lots of information about Enid Blyton.
Posted by Sue Webster on February 26, 2011
Hi Barney, just left a message for Poppy about her contact details for me to send the Secret Seven badge but I can't log in to the forum so won't get the private message with her address to send it. I don't know why I can't log in - just tried a few minutes ago. What can I do to get the badge to Poppy?
BarneyBarney says: Sorry you're having problems logging in, Sue. A number of people have been having trouble lately, and Keith is looking into it. If you keep trying you'll probably find you can log in in the end. And then you could consider ticking the "keep me logged in" option, which should prevent you experiencing any further problems. I'll pass your email address on to Poppy and leave it up to her or her parents to contact you by email if they wish.
Posted by Sue Webster on February 26, 2011
Hi Poppy, great news! I've got a Secret Seven badge for you! If you or your mum could send me a private message in the members list on the forum with your address I can then post it to you... I think you'll love it. Sue
Posted by Francis on February 25, 2011
Dear Barney, Bought three Famous Five paperbacks the other day (Knight Books - printed in the early 1980s). They show super illustrations on the cover but no indication of who drew them (the ones inside are by Betty Maxey). Do you know who was responsible? - The Five seem to be based on the late 1970s television series. Many thanks, Francis.
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid a lot of cover illustrations over the years have been uncredited, Francis. Maybe someone who knows will come across this website and provide us with the information one of these days - perhaps even the illustrator him/herself!
Posted by Poppy on February 25, 2011
Hello Barney! Thank you for your information about the Secret Seven badge. It's a shame they didn't make one isn't it? Oh well, I'll have a go at making one soon. Bye for now!
Posted by Sue Webster on February 24, 2011
Hi, I'm doing a short presentation at university on March 24th and would like to get hold of an A2 poster to do with Enid. Anyone know where I could get one? Cheers, Sue.
BarneyBarney says: If all else fails, perhaps you could create your own collage-style "poster" consisting of relevant quotations and illustrations from the books, Sue?
Posted by Shanna on February 23, 2011
Hi Barney. When I was small I had two books that I adored, Mr. Pink-Whistle and Up The Faraway Tree. I have been trying to find these books for a long time now, however, both books had all the stories/adventures in one. I can recall the Mr. Pink-Whistle cover being blue and it was so thick. If you could point me in the right direction to find these books I would be so grateful. To Christine who posted a question on January 23rd about the little boy and the door knocker I think this is a Mr. Pink-Whistle story.
BarneyBarney says: You'll find Mr. Pink-Whistle books and Faraway Tree books in the Cave. However, not all omnibus editions are listed.
Posted by Upfortrouble on February 23, 2011
To Sindy: You are thinking of the "Naughtiest Girl" series of books. Elizabeth was a spoiled only child sent away to Whyteleafe Boarding School. She constantly got in trouble as she didn't want to be there and was trying to be sent home. She eventually became best friends with Joan, and while ending up enjoying school, still managed to get in all kinds of trouble. (I still have the hard cover edition I got from a store Santa one year, three books - The Naughtiest Girl in the School, The Naughtiest Girl Again, The Naughtiest Girl is a Monitor). Hope that helps.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Upfortrouble. Someone else also suggested that Sindy might be thinking of the Naughtiest Girl books, even though the details given don't match any particular book from that series.
Posted by Barbara Steward on February 23, 2011
When is the Enid Blyton Day this year please?
BarneyBarney says: We're taking a break this year so I'm afraid there will be no Enid Blyton Day in 2011, Barbara, though we intend to hold one in 2012. You may like to know of a few other Enid Blyton events that are being held. There is an "Enid Blyton at War" day at Corfe Castle in Dorset on Thursday 2nd June, 11am - 4pm. Enid Blyton's Birthday is also celebrated at Corfe Castle on 11th August, which is a Thursday this year. Both days are organised by Viv Endecott of the Ginger Pop Shop. On Saturday 18th June Blyton fans are meeting in Bourne End, Bucks, to have a pub lunch and visit the gardens of Old Thatch, where Enid Blyton used to live. This is not a Society event - it is a fairly informal gathering and further details can be found here. Those who wish to attend are welcome to add their names to the list in the forums thread. Seven Stories in Newcastle also have a number of Blyton-related events coming up.
Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2011
Sindy, I think the incident you remember is from The Naughtiest Girl is a Monitor.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks. The details Sindy gives don't sound exactly like The Naughtiest Girl is a Monitor or any of the other Naughtiest Girl books, but it's worth mentioning.
Posted by Patrick Dowling on February 23, 2011
I think I might have an early copy of Mr Tumpy and His Caravan, it has a red cover and the story is in black and white pictures. The book may not be in the best of condition and it was an xmas present back in 1968.
BarneyBarney says: That sounds like the 1960s reprint of the 1949 cartoon-strip book.
Posted by Sindy on February 23, 2011
I remember a story my father used to read me about a girl called Susan, I think, who was a naughty, jealous girl. Her schoolfriend, named Kathleen I think, was given a lovely sewing box and chocolates for her birthday and put them into her desk at school. The naughty girl took them out and stamped on them. She was found out and punished. Was this an Enid Blyton story and if so what is the name of the book? Please can someone put me out of my misery?!
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone recognises this story, Sindy.
Posted by Edward Moss on February 22, 2011
Please tell me I'm not going mad and there was a published Mr Tumpy and His Caravan book other than the one that's been discovered today. I grew up with a copy at my Granny's in the 1980s and I can vividly remember the caravan getting a thorn in its foot and also going down a worm hole. Am I right? Edd
BarneyBarney says: As I've said to Sheila and Jenny (below), the book you remember is the 1949 cartoon one or the later reprint of it, Edd, which can be seen in the Cave of Books. You're right that, in that book, the caravan does get a thorn in its foot and go down a worm hole. The newly discovered novel about Mr. Tumpy and his caravan was written much earlier and is a completely different story.
Posted by Zena Lazarus on February 22, 2011
During the war I remember begging the newsagent to sell me a copy of Sunny Stories, does anyone else remember that weekly treat?
BarneyBarney says: People may be interested to know that Sunny Stories covers and lists of contents can be seen in the Cave of Books.
Posted by Maureen on February 22, 2011
Hi there, Many years ago I received a nearly complete set, 75 of them, of Enid Blyton teaching posters and the nature notes to go with them. I wondered where would be the best place to sell these as they are so lovely and I do not have the room to display them. Maureen
BarneyBarney says: Hi, Maureen. If you mean the Eileen Soper nature posters there are only 60 of them, I believe. They are beautiful but they don't appeal to all collectors because of their size. You could try listing them on eBay. Good luck!
Posted by Sheila Chaffin-Power on February 22, 2011
Hello, I have just heard the 10 o' clock BBC News and was interested to hear Ian Youngs' item about the unpublished story of Mr. Tumpy's Caravan. Although I do not have the book now, when I was about 5 or 6 years old I was given the book by my late aunt and can still remember some of the story. I am now almost 63 years old. I would welcome any comment from Ian or yourselves. Thank you. Sheila Chaffin-Power.
BarneyBarney says: The book you remember is probably the 1949 cartoon one, Sheila, which can be seen in the Cave of Books. The newly discovered novel about Mr. Tumpy and his caravan was written much earlier and is a completely different story.
Posted by Jenny on February 22, 2011
Although I am eligible for a bus pass [!] I was delighted to hear the news of a new Enid Blyton book, and planned to buy one as I have good memories of all of her books, as do my own children. Then the tile was revealed and amazingly I still have the cartoon version, published in 1949. A wonderful story, and the original cartoons are simply marvellous.
BarneyBarney says: The newly discovered book about Mr. Tumpy and his caravan is a novel and the story is completely different from the cartoon book, which was written much later.
Posted by Sue Webster on February 22, 2011
Hi, may I pass on a message to Anita Bensoussane as I'm having problems logging in to the forum? Anita, could you possibly send me a copy of your website biography of Enid Blyton as I'd like to do this for my university presentation? No printer so I can't print it out. If you could do it or do a shortened version I'd be grateful. I don't know how you could send it as I can't leave my postal address. Maybe it's in my profile. Thanks very much. Poppy, I may be able to get a Secret Seven badge done for you but would need your postal address to send it to you.
BarneyBarney says: Hi, Sue. I've passed on your message to Anita, who will email you. I'm afraid a few people have had problems logging in to the forums over the last few days - we're looking into it. Next time you manage to log in (you probably will succeed if you keep trying) you could consider ticking the option that allows you to stay logged in permanently, which ought to solve the problem.
Posted by Prabahika Goswami on February 22, 2011
Hi Barney, The fact that I love the most about Enid Blyton's books is that they contain animals in them, especially dogs. For example, Timmy in the Famous Five, Buster in the Mystery Series and Scamper in the Secret Seven. Now I see that the Society's got you. I want to know if Enid Blyton had any pets at her home?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton longed for a pet as a child, but her parents wouldn't let her have any. She once found a kitten and kept it secretly for a fortnight, calling it Chippy, but her mother discovered it and gave it away. When she was grown up, Enid had lots of pets including dogs, cats, fantail pigeons, tortoises and hedgehogs. She bred fox-terriers and Siamese cats. Some of her most famous dogs and cats were fox-terriers called Bobs, Sandy and Topsy, black spaniels called Lassie and Laddie, and a Siamese cat named Bimbo.
Posted by Poppy on February 20, 2011
Hi Barney! For Christmas I received a Famous Five badge! I just started wondering today if there was a Secret Seven badge? I thought you might know. Do you think you could possibly help me? Many thanks from Poppy.
BarneyBarney says: Hi, Poppy. Lucky you, getting a Famous Five badge! No official Secret Seven badges were ever issued, but you could try making your own. The badges worn by the Secret Seven had green letters stitched on a red background, as described in Secret of the Old Mill: "The girls set to work that very evening, as soon as they got home, to make the little badges. Janet begged three small buttons from her mother, and a bit of cloth. She covered each button in red, and then threaded a needle with bright green silk. She neatly sewed S.S. on each button in green. They really looked beautiful when they were finished."
Posted by Paul B. on February 19, 2011
I wonder if Enid ever regretted what she did to people like her mother and Hugh? Barbara Stoney speculates that she might have started to do so by the late '50s, but by then she was also starting to slip into dementia so it may not have been a genuine reappraisal. I guess that's part of what's fascinating about Enid - on the one hand she was kind and loving to her child fans and devoted to her writing but on the other she was vicious and cruel to Hugh and her own mother and callously indifferent to her daughter Imogen.
Posted by Lucy on February 18, 2011
Hey, I need your advice. People say that Enid Blyton was cold hearted. I protest to this but is it true? How many awards has she won?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton appears to have built a shell around herself, perhaps because of the trauma she suffered when her beloved father left the family to live with another woman. Enid was almost thirteen at the time, and retreated into her writing as a form of escape. Her mother forbade her and her brothers to tell anyone that their father had walked out. This seems to have left Enid with a tendency to shut out things that disturbed her. Later on, she even shut out some of the people who failed to live up to her ideals - notably her mother and Hugh Pollock (her first husband, who never got to see daughters Gillian and Imogen again after he and Enid divorced). Nevertheless, Enid Blyton did have a warm side to her personality. Look how warm and vibrant some of her best-loved characters are, and how eagerly she responds to nature in her books. She also wrote friendly, chatty letters to her child fans and was an enthusiastic teacher. Certain situations brought out the best in her, and that's the part of her that lives on in her stories. The only literary award Enid Blyton ever received was in America, for Mystery Island (The Island of Adventure retitled). It was awarded a prize by the Boys' Club of America for being one of the six most popular books of 1947.
Posted by Lucinda Bean-Toffingham on February 18, 2011
Sardine ice-cream? I'd forgotten that book! I wonder if Enid ever included the junior smokers kit I got at Christmas when I was small with the dessicated coconut tobacco, liquorice pipes, chocolate cigars and sweet cigarettes? If so, that would be an interesting "continuation" story - how many Blyton characters got lung cancer from taking up smoking!
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton made it clear in the Find-Outers books that she didn't approve of people smoking until they were at least twenty-one. However, sweet cigarettes feature in one or two short stories. 'The Chocolate Cigarette' begins: "Once upon a time Bobby had a cigarette-case full of chocolate cigarettes given to him for his birthday. He was very pleased with them indeed and he thought they looked exactly like real ones! 'I shall pretend I'm a grown-up person like Daddy, and I shall walk proudly through the wood by myself, smoking one of my cigarettes and puffing out pretend smoke!' said Bobby. 'I shall enjoy myself.'" His chocolate cigarettes obviously do look real, as he nearly gets punished by the brownie folk for smoking!
Posted by Lucy on February 18, 2011
Hi, you are funny. By the way, how many Enid Blyton books have you read?!
BarneyBarney says: More than I can count!
Posted by Lucinda Bean-Toffingham on February 18, 2011
Barney, who's your most hated Blyton character? I think it'll have to be Prudence. But 'our dear martyr St Catherine' was annoying in In the Fifth at Malory Towers with the way she apologised for everything and everyone. And I really did dislike 'Who's A Dictator? Don't ask Moira - ask Me'. I love Enid's book foods - I'd kill for a toffee ice cream right now - but you end up licking all the toffee off the lolly stick and the last taste in your mouth is the taste of the stick. I'm sure that's why I can't go near a lolly on a stick any more!
BarneyBarney says: I'd like to nip the ankles of Mr. Fellin in The Put-em-Rights, who beats and starves his dog, Midge. Just imagine the after-taste of the sardine ice cream eaten by Curious Connie in The Folk of the Faraway Tree!
Posted by Govin on February 18, 2011
What should I do if I want to translate Enid Blyton books into the Tamil language?
BarneyBarney says: You'd need to ask permission from Chorion, Govin, as they're the copyright holders. I think you'd also need to find out whether any of the books have ever been translated into Tamil before.
Posted by Anonymous on February 17, 2011
Has anyone for sale a Famous Five badge (early one, not 70s)? My sister was an avid member of the Famous Five Club in the 50s/60s and she still remembers her lost badge. It is her big birthday in April and I would love to surprise her, fingers crossed!
BarneyBarney says: I hope somebody has one they want to sell. If not, you could try the booksellers we list under "Lashings of Links" as some of them stock all kinds of vintage Blyton ephemera, including badges.
Posted by Lucy on February 17, 2011
I really like asking questions to you but in real life what is your name?
BarneyBarney says: I just double-checked by looking on my water bowl and it clearly says "Barney" in big, bold letters on the side. What is your real name, I wonder? ;-) If you're not sure, you could always try checking your water bowl, or perhaps you have a label sewn inside your coat or jacket?!
Posted by Aisha on February 17, 2011
Hi Barney, I just want to ask when did Enid Blyton win a writing competition?
BarneyBarney says: In 1911, the year she turned fourteen, Enid Blyton entered a children's poetry competition run by Arthur Mee. She was thrilled to receive a letter from the writer, telling her that he intended to print her verses in his magazine and that he would like to see more of her work. It's likely that she entered other writing competitions as well, but we don't know whether she won any prizes.
Posted by Georgina Hargreaves on February 16, 2011
So sad there is no Enid Blyton Day in 2011. I was going to make the effort to come this year...2012 is such a long way away. :-(
BarneyBarney says: Sorry there isn't an Enid Blyton Day this year, Georgina. I know fans would love to see you at a future Day - it's always interesting to meet people who have been involved with Blyton books in any way.
Posted by torahdee@live.com on February 16, 2011
Hello, Barney. My name is Torah and I would like to know if there will be an Enid Blyton Day held for 2011. I have literally hundreds of Enid Blyton books that I am willing to part with and many of them are very old and rare books including first editions in excellent condition. If anyone is interested in my collection I would love to hear from you and I would also like to attend the event if it is running this year.
BarneyBarney says: Hello, Torah. I'm afraid we're taking a break this year so there will be no Enid Blyton Day in 2011, though we intend to hold one in 2012. You may like to know of a few other Enid Blyton events that are being held. There is an "Enid Blyton at War" day at Corfe Castle in Dorset on Thursday 2nd June, 11am - 4pm. Enid Blyton's Birthday is also celebrated at Corfe Castle on 11th August, which is a Thursday this year. Both days are organised by Viv Endecott of the Ginger Pop Shop. On Saturday 18th June Blyton fans are meeting in Bourne End, Bucks, to have a pub lunch and visit the gardens of Old Thatch, where Enid Blyton used to live. This is not a Society event - it is a fairly informal gathering and further details can be found here. Those who wish to attend are welcome to add their names to the list in the forums thread. Seven Stories in Newcastle also have a number of Blyton-related events coming up.
Posted by Imogen on February 16, 2011
Which is the most famous book of Enid Blyton's?
BarneyBarney says: It's impossible to single out just one book, though I think the Famous Five and Noddy are perhaps her best-known characters. The Faraway Tree series is often mentioned when people are polled about their favourite children's books.
Posted by Lucy on February 16, 2011
I love Enid Blyton books and would like to know your favourite. What is it?
BarneyBarney says: Shadow the Sheep-Dog is a favourite of mine, Lucy. Shadow is one of Enid Blyton's wisest, bravest and most intelligent characters, as I'm sure many fans will agree.
Posted by Suprajha Gopalan on February 16, 2011
Hello. I am from India. I read a lots and lots of Enid Blyton books. Well, I want to know if you were in any story of Enid Blyton?
BarneyBarney says: I'm not an Enid Blyton character, Suprajha, though she did write about a circus boy named Barney.
Posted by Rohan on February 16, 2011
Hello. I am from India. Here too I read the books and I quite like them. If only there were any books that had action like the Hardy Boys.
BarneyBarney says: Hello, Rohan. There's a lot of action in some of the books, for example the Adventure series. Enid Blyton's stories are sometimes slow to start but it could be argued that that's a positive thing, as it allows readers to get to know the characters and enter their world before plunging into adventure with them. And once the adventure begins, there's plenty of excitement!
Posted by Eve on February 15, 2011
We named our daughter Amelia Jane and I would love to buy a blockmount poster of one of the book covers from the series for her bedroom. I can't seem to find anywhere that has them. Do you know if posters are available from the cover artwork?
BarneyBarney says: I've never seen any, Eve, but if you try Yellow Pages or Google you may be able to find somewhere that could turn the cover art into a poster for you. I'm not sure whether there might be copyright issues, though.
Posted by Paa on February 15, 2011
Why does Enid Blyton write about schools?
BarneyBarney says: Well, why not?! With friendships, falling outs, rivalries, secrets, problems, games, feasts and tricks, not to mention newcomers most terms, there is aways plenty of drama in a school. And Enid Blyton is adept at weaving character-building incidents into her stories. She was a teacher for a few years before she gave up teaching to write full-time.
Posted by Georgina Hargreaves on February 14, 2011
Yes, I am Georgina Hargreaves the illustrator....did not know that the webpage by Luky Bravo in Pakistan was illegal! Have lots of fans in India....grownups read Enid Blyton there and they can not understand how I can read anything else!
BarneyBarney says: It's lovely to meet you, Georgina! Your artwork for the deluxe Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair books is super, and I believe you've also illustrated some of Blyton's short stories. It's great to hear that Blyton books are popular with adults in India. We have a lot of adults on our forums (from various other countries besides the UK) who still read Enid Blyton.
Posted by Melanie on February 14, 2011
Barney, do you have a last name or are you just Barney? I was thinking of calling you Barney T. Dog. Why did Enid and Imogen not get along?
BarneyBarney says: I go by the name of Barney but you can call me Barney T. Dog (Barney the Dog?) if you like, Melanie. We dogs don't tend to have surnames, though I notice that Toddy who played Timmy in the 1970s Famous Five television series is always credited as Toddy Woodgate. If you get the chance to read Imogen Smallwood's autobiography, A Childhood at Green Hedges, you'll understand more about the relationship between Enid and Imogen. Imogen felt that life at Green Hedges was lonely, being looked after by a succession of ever-changing nannies before being sent away to boarding-school at the age of eight. She yearned for a mother who would spend more time in her company, especially as she saw very little of her father even before he and Enid divorced, but Enid spent long hours at her typewriter and didn't want to be disturbed. To be fair to Enid Blyton, it was the custom at that period for middle-class parents to see very little of their children - nannies and boarding-school would have been the norm. And Enid's writing talent couldn't be ignored, and it required time and dedication. I'm sure she believed she was doing the best thing for her daughters, as well as bringing pleasure to many other children around the world through her stories. A Childhood at Green Hedges isn't entirely unsympathetic - it shows Imogen trying to come to some understanding of the person who called herself her mother, but who didn't feel like a mother.
Posted by Sue Webster on February 12, 2011
Hi, dear old Barney, I agree - I love the adventures of Timmy, Loony, Buster, Scamper and Lucky. Loony is so funny sliding along the landing, pinching mats and brushes and shoes and hiding them, Buster worrying Mr. Goon's ankles, Lucky the circus dog... Where does Shadow come in the books as I don't think I know of this nice dog?
BarneyBarney says: Hi, Sue. Shadow is the star of his own book, Shadow the Sheep-Dog.
Posted by Septimus on February 12, 2011
Hello! I have been trying to remember the title of a story that I read when I was little and was wondering if you could help please. The story is about a fairy who makes petticoats for little girls. One little girl becomes very naughty and they realise that the fairy has sewn a naughty spell into the hem of the petticoat. The fairy is then banished from town and sews the frills underneath mushrooms!
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone will recognise this story, Septimus.
Posted by Neha J. Varghese on February 11, 2011
A very good morning to you, Barney. Can you just tell me about any more adventurous stories written by Enid? Can you provide me with some information about Malory Towers and the Hardy Boys? How about The Enchanted Wood? I think I have given a lot of homework to you? but I know you will answer all the questions. You are my best buddy. Bye! Take care! Wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff!
BarneyBarney says: Wuff wuff, Neha! Goodness me, if I answer all those questions I'll be typing as many words in one day as Enid Blyton did! Luckily, many of the answers are here on the website! The most "adventurous" stories are probably the ones in the 'Adventure' series. The 'Secret' and 'Barney Mystery' books are also very exciting. If you look above "Secret Messages" and click on the "Popular Series" buttons, you can find out more about those series as well as the 'Malory Towers' and 'Faraway Tree/Enchanted Wood' books. Other good adventure stories include The Adventurous Four, The Adventurous Four Again, The Boy Next Door and The Treasure Hunters. Try searching for those titles in the Cave of Books. You won't find anything about the Hardy Boys books because they weren't written by Enid Blyton, but if you do a search on Google you should be able to find information on those elsewhere.
Posted by Curry on February 11, 2011
Which book did Enid Blyton write last? Which book did she like most (in her writing)?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's final novel was The Hidey Hole (1964), though after that she also retold two longish Bible stories - The Boy Who Came Back and The Man Who Stopped to Help (both 1965). Except for a few Noddy picture-books with minimal text, those were the last books Enid wrote. We don't know which of her books she liked best, though one of her favourite characters was George of the Famous Five.
Posted by Sue Webster on February 11, 2011
What a lovely relief it is to get into one of my many Enid Blyton books after reading - only part of - a book I had to read for an English module at university! The book was called Freshers by Joanna Davies, about students starting university and getting into sex, drink, drugs, etc. and foul language which I found offensive so I stopped reading it. Another book we have to read, Beauty by Raphael Selbourne, is not much better and is racist as well as containing foul language. Give me Enid any day! Good, decent books.
BarneyBarney says: It is annoying to have to read books just because they're part of a curriculum, rather than because you want to read them. However, studying English at university means getting to grips with all kinds of literature, even if it's not to one's personal taste. I can't say I've read either of the books you mention, Sue. I'm happy sticking with the adventures of Timmy, Loony, Buster, Shadow, Scamper, Lucky and the rest.
Posted by Georgina Hargreaves on February 11, 2011
Have you read...Enid Blyton's Novels? A young man in Pakistan has started this webpage. His name is Luky Bravo. Enid Blyton's Novels is on Facebook...I don't think the Society has joined yet?
BarneyBarney says: I normally bury my face in a book when people mention Facebook, Georgina, but I set my paws to work doing a spot of Googling and found Luky's webpage. Unfortunately, on clicking on "Introduction" I read the words "epon this group u will find enid blyton novels in e-book form" [sic]. Since Enid Blyton's novels are still under copyright and selling well in bookshops, you'll understand that we can't promote websites which make them available illegally. By the way, I can't help being curious - are you Georgina Hargreaves the illustrator, by any chance, or are you simply a fan of her artwork? Welcome, anyway!
Posted by Philip on February 11, 2011
Hi, Enid Blyton. How did you (Enid Blyton) meet your first husband?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton died in 1968, so I'm afraid she isn't around to answer questions! One of Enid's publishers was George Newnes. Hugh Pollock joined Newnes in 1923, as editor of the book department, so he probably met Enid when she came in to discuss her stories. They married in 1924.
Posted by Richard on February 11, 2011
Hi Barney! I have a copy of The O'Sullivan Twins that I got from a charity shop. It has missing edges at the bottom of pages. I'm puzzled as to why the cover is not in the Cave of Books. It's a solid bluish grey - no cover illustration - with the title and author printed on the front. I live in Australia - could this just be a uniquely Australian cover? The edition dates from the 1970s.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Richard! It might be an Australian edition, or perhaps it's a copy which has lost its dustwrapper.
Posted by Poppy on February 10, 2011
Hi Barney! At the moment I am looking for a book called Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm. Have you heard of it and do you have any idea where I could get it from? I have already looked in charity shops and searched for it on this website. Please could you help?
BarneyBarney says: Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm is an excellent family story, very dramatic, as is the sequel Six Cousins Again. I just searched for them online, Poppy, and they don't appear to be in print at the moment. However, I found plenty of second-hand copies on Amazon (starting at 1p, though you have to pay postage and packaging), or you could try eBay. Some editions contain both Six Cousins books in one volume. We don't sell Blyton books on this website, I'm afraid.
Posted by Neha J. Varghese on February 10, 2011
Hello, Barney! Well, I am back from school. It's a nice feeling talking to you. You know, I got Puzzle for the Secret Seven and completely enjoyed it. It was really shocking when the Seven found out about Benny. Enid changes the story very twistily. Can you tell me about the Five Find-Outers? Are they more adventurous than the Famous Five? Also Barney, my exams are going to start on February 28th and the worst is I have got a cold. This coughing and sneezing is tough to handle. Barney, do you get colds? Bye! No, I must speak in your language! Wuff, wuff, wuff, wuff!
BarneyBarney says: Wuff, wuff, Neha! I've shortened some of your sentences as we try to keep the Message Board focussed on Enid Blyton and avoid general chit-chat. The Find-Outers books are a great read but the characters solve mysteries in and around their own village, so they're more like the Secret Seven than the Famous Five. The Find-Outers books are longer than the Secret Sevens, though, and aimed at slightly older readers. I hope your cold is better soon. The Secret Seven recommend blackcurrant tea for colds. I get a bit of a sniffle occasionally but I soon feel better after forty winks by the fire.
Posted by Pam on February 9, 2011
Thanks for your help with the ISBN numbers. Will let you know if I was successful in the search.
BarneyBarney says: Best of luck with finding the books, Pam.
Posted by Connie and Ruth Batten on February 9, 2011
Hi Barney, Why did Enid have children so relatively late in life? How many twins were featured in her stories?
BarneyBarney says: Enid and her husband Hugh Pollock had trouble conceiving a child, and Enid had hormone injections in an attempt to become pregnant. She finally gave birth to Gillian in 1931 when she was almost thirty-four years old, then had a miscarriage before giving birth to Imogen in 1935. Later on, at the age of forty-eight, Enid lost the baby that she was expecting with her second husband, Kenneth Darrell Waters. Many twins feature in Enid Blyton's stories - some of them are mentioned in this thread on the forums.
Posted by Neha J. Varghese on February 9, 2011
Hello Barney! A very good afternoon! Thank you for helping me to find that book. Well Barney, I think you are taking the side of my mother and Newton, Archimedes, Dalton, etc, all these sorts of scientists, not mine. Never mind. It's a pretty joke. By the way Barney, I will tell you a secret. You know, I thought till last February that Enid Blyton was alive, and once I grew up I would go and visit her and talk to her. Unfortunately, when I was reading The Adventurous Four I saw some writing from the Enid Blyton Trust which stated that she was dead and they wanted some donations. What a shock it was. Well I am hoping to meet her as soon as I am dead, in heaven you know. Also Barney, you must not be scared to scold my mother. My final examinations will be over by March 15th and I am soon going to be with the Famous Five again. Bye.
BarneyBarney says: A hearty "Wuff, wuff" to your mother and all the scientists, Neha, and a jolly wag of the tail for you. ;-). A lot of people are surprised to hear that Enid Blyton died in 1968. Her writing has a timeless quality which keeps it "fresh" and relevant to new generations of children. Good luck in your exams and have fun with the Famous Five!
Posted by Chris D. on February 8, 2011
I remember a story from my childhood about a teddy bear who was pretending to smoke chocolate cigarettes. Does anyone remember what reader series this was from?
BarneyBarney says: I'm afraid I don't recall that story, Chris, but I hope someone will recognise it.
Posted by Habibi on February 8, 2011
Okay, thanks.
Posted by Pam on February 8, 2011
I would like to collect the deluxe editions illustrated by Georgina Hargreaves published by Deans 1981 of The Enchanted Wood and Adventures of the Wishing Chair. Can you help with the ISBN numbers for me? They're A4 size. Many thanks.
BarneyBarney says: It is very easy to look up this sort of information on Amazon, Pam! The Enchanted Wood was actually illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone and not Georgina Hargreaves; the ISBN is 0603001629. Adventures of the Wishing Chair was illustrated by Georgina Hargreaves and the ISBN is 0603003087.
Posted by Tracy Brown on February 7, 2011
Hi, I vaguely remember a story I used to tell my sisters about a boy who had his bike stolen, but he had put a little charm in the bell which made him able to identify his bike. This wasn't the main story so it is making it really hard to find the book, could you please help? Thanks, Tracy.
BarneyBarney says: I think the story you remember is Little Lucky Man, Tracy. Jack "borrows" the charm from his sister, Margery. As you can see from the link, the story has appeared in several collections including Happy Adventure Tales.
Posted by Habibi on February 6, 2011
Hi, what was Enid Blyton's first book ever?
BarneyBarney says: If you look in the Cave of Books you'll see that it was Child Whispers, a volume of poetry published in 1922.
Posted by Anonymous on February 6, 2011
I have the Pictorial Knowledge books by R.H. Poole, Enid Blyton is an assisting editor, Humphreys and Marshall also. Think they date from 1930. They have a brown leather type cover with a gold emblem on. Does anyone know anything about them and, although not perfect condition, are they worth anything?
BarneyBarney says: As you can see from this link, Enid Blyton was not only editor but contributed some stories and poems to a couple of volumes. The books are nice to have but are not worth a great deal as they are not particularly sought-after by collectors.
Posted by Nina on February 6, 2011
Help, trying to find a book very old, can remember a few verses: "Once there lived a merry elf, his name was Twinkledee,/He loved to tease old Grufty Gnome who shouted, "Let me be." Twinkledee gets banished from fairyland for being naughty and they want him back. The book finishes, "...I'll be so good," says he,/"Oh no, not that," says everyone, "just be our Twinkledee!" It's driving me mad. Does anyone know what it is?
BarneyBarney says: Is it by Enid Blyton, Nina? Whether it is or not, perhaps someone might recognise it!
Posted by Green Meadow on February 5, 2011
What an uplifting opening from the February Monthly Enid Blyton. I truly appreciate the encouraging excerpts from Enid Blyton's Magazine and The Children at Green Meadows. I love the way Enid Blyton relates to nature in her nature books, poems and tales. Truly Enid is a versatile writer and that is why she is my favourite author. I do enjoy Noddy too! Another great piece of work, I would say! Thanks, Barney :-)
BarneyBarney says: "Uplifting" is exactly the right word to describe some of those excerpts, Green Meadow. Enid Blyton had a real knack of making each individual reader feel he/she was being addressed personally.
Posted by Sylvie on February 2, 2011
Could someone please tell me if the Deans Reward Five Find-Outers Mystery series are the original unabridged stories?
BarneyBarney says: I doubt the stories will have been abridged (i.e. shortened), Sylvie, but there may well have been some editing/updating of the text in places. I don't know for certain though.
Posted by Neha J. Varghese from India on February 2, 2011
Hi Barney! It's a very good evening to you by my watch. Now first tell me where do you live - America, England, Africa, etc? By the way, can you just help me out in guessing the name of the story in which there is a guy called Oola and their father Bill who works in a detective sort of agency? Those children find treasures and all that. I hope you are getting me. Please respond to me at the earliest and help me get that book. Barney, one more wish I just want is can you pray for me? My final examinations are starting from February 28th. Bye Barney! Have a good sleep, sweet dreams!
BarneyBarney says: I certainly wish you all the best in your exams, Neha. In answer to your first question, I live in England. The story featuring Oola, in which Bill and the children (and Kiki the parrot!) find treasures in the Middle East, is The River of Adventure. And after answering all these messages, I always sleep like a log!
Posted by Zahraa on January 31, 2011
You've been a real help, Barney! I tried doing some research on Enid Blyton's first book, even if it's a longish Bible story or a picture book, I want to see how she has developed her work and also I would gain high marks on my project! Also, can you inform me as soon as the webmaster makes the search tab? Thank you!
BarneyBarney says: You sound as though you're enjoying your project, Zahraa. Good luck with it! Enid Blyton's first book was a slim volume of poetry published in 1922, called Child Whispers. The cover illustration was by Phyllis Chase, who had been one of Enid's schoolfriends. I'll do my best to remember to inform you when the search tab appears, though it could take some time!
Posted by Dinks on January 31, 2011
Heyaa, My great grandma used to read my mum a book with the story 'Connie's Curious Candle' and we've been searching for it for years, then I suddenly had the idea to check here. Is there any chance I can get a copy of a book with that story in? Thank you ox
BarneyBarney says: Heyaa, Dinks. 'Connie's Curious Candle' is a lovely, atmospheric story. As you can see from the Cave of Books, it has appeared in several short story collections. You should be able to find second-hand copies on eBay. If not, we have some booksellers listed under "Lashings of Links" who specialise in children's fiction, especially Enid Blyton books. Good luck with your search. By the way, I'm a dog, not an ox! ;-)
Posted by Kayla Eastcock on January 31, 2011
I think the previous poster meant Five Go Down to the Sea, not Five Under Water. It's good to hear that Ramona Marquez (Imogen Pollock in 2009's Enid) is going from strength to strength, her latest role being Princess Margaret in The King's Speech. Maybe she will be a guest at a future Enid Blyton Day!
BarneyBarney says: Yes, Ramona Marquez is one to keep an eye on! Funny coincidence that Helena Bonham Carter and Ramona got to play mother and daughter for a second time!
Posted by Neha J. Varghese on January 30, 2011
Recently I read Five Under Water and Five Have a Wonderful Time. Man, what a book! Well! Barney, can you just tell me how I can get the Famous Five books without my mother knowing? Actually she is worried about my studies since I spend more time reading Famous Fives and Secret Sevens. I just don't care about that dumb science. You know it's very hard to learn all those equations of motion by that silly Newton and chemical reactions and all that cell structure and kingdom of plant and animal. Really Barney, you must thank God that you are an animal, a good dog, leading a good life. You must be thankful that you are not a student where you have to just gobble up things, write your exams, keep away from all adventure stories and in the end regurgitate all that study matter. I wish that I had been a dog like you helping children like me!!! Bye, Barney. Please leave a scolding comment for my mother like you once did.
BarneyBarney says: Did I really scold your mother? Goodness me - I hope she gave my paw a sharp tap! Five Under Water? That's a new one on me! Anyway, I'm sure your family have your best interests at heart. Study first, and read as a treat afterwards! While doing your science revision you can always pretend you're Julian Holland from the Naughtiest Girl books, who is very enthusiastic about chemicals and laboratories - or even Uncle Quentin if you prefer!
Posted by Hassan on January 29, 2011
Hello Barney, I am a new member, you know. I read Enid's books. The Magic Needle is my favourite book and I am a fan of Enid.
BarneyBarney says: Hello, Hassan. The short story books contain some marvellous tales.
Posted by Green Meadow on January 28, 2011
I like the 'Monthly Enid Blyton' in 'Author of Adventure'. A great start to a fresh year with a nice topic on resolutions. An interesting point to ponder, "kindness", wonder how many of us would have thought of that as a resolution! I printed the 'Frosty Morning' poem and illustration and made it into a bookmark. Looking forward to seeing the February one. Good work, Barney!
BarneyBarney says: I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying the monthly excerpts, Green Meadow. They were chosen to show Enid Blyton's versatility as a writer - there's a lot more to her than the Famous Five and Noddy!
Posted by Zahraa on January 26, 2011
Thanks for replying about the search tab! I went to the library and found The Hidey Hole. It's very exciting and I'm in the middle of it! I'm just curious, how do you get down to answering all of these questions in only one day? An amazing skill! Can I order any books on this website?
BarneyBarney says: I'm a speedy dog, Zahraa, and my brain and paws are always busy! I'm glad you found a copy of The Hidey Hole. I'm afraid we don't sell Enid Blyton books, but you can order them from sites like eBay, Abebooks, Amazon, Navrang, Waterstone's, etc.
Posted by Alice on January 24, 2011
Hi! Is there a guide to all the people, places and things in Enid Blyton stories? When were the Malory Towers books set - my friend says 1950s but I think they were set in the 1940s?
BarneyBarney says: The Malory Towers books were published between 1946 and 1951 and the stories were intended to be contemporary, so they are mostly 1940s going into 1950 and perhaps 1951. Regarding a guide to "all the people, places and things in Enid Blyton stories", compiling such a guide would be a massive task! There is a book by Eva Rice called Who's Who in Enid Blyton, but it only covers characters in some of the main series and one-off novels.
Posted by Christine on January 23, 2011
I'm trying to find a book my mother read to me as a child. I think it was one of the reader series (had a light blue cover) and a series of stories, one of which was about a naughty little boy who kept knocking on doors and running away until a big door knocker in the shape of a hand grabbed him and wouldn't let him go. Can you help?
BarneyBarney says: Perhaps someone will recognise the story from your description, Christine. In the meantime, you could try looking at the readers in the Cave of Books.
Posted by Zahraa on January 23, 2011
Thanks Barney, that would really help. I haven't really heard of The Hidey Hole though. Do you have a link on this website that could tell me a little bit about it like the Secret Seven link?
BarneyBarney says: If you click on the "Cave of Books" button on the left you can search for any Blyton book, including The Hidey Hole. Our webmaster says it will be possible to have a "search" tab for the Message Board, but it won't be a quick job so it will have to wait for a while as he's snowed under with work at present.
Posted by Lance Manley on January 22, 2011
I am after information on two Enid Blyton stories. One concerns a Mr Pink-Whistle story about a girl who bought a blue balloon. A bully burst it and Mr Pink-Whistle then stole the boy's prize marbles and made them into balloons to give to the girl. The second is a short story for very young readers about a nursery of toys where a King doll joins them and tries to treat the other toys as his subjects. When they stop talking to him and start hiding he tries to jump out on them and ends up in a bucket of water. While the other toys laugh at him, a nurse doll takes pity on him and puts him to bed (as he now has a cold due to getting wet) and the King then becomes humble. Any information appreciated.
BarneyBarney says: The Mr. Pink-Whistle story is 'Mr. Pink-Whistle and the Balloon' and can be found in the book Mr. Pink-Whistle Interferes. A wonderful collection of tales. I'm not familiar with the story about the King doll, though a sniff round the Cave shows that there's a short story called The Grand King-Doll, later retitled 'The Grand Doll'. That might be the tale you remember, Lance, though I don't know for sure.
Posted by Zahraa on January 22, 2011
Hi from London, Barney! I'm Enid Blyton's biggest fan and I would really like to ask you what was Enid's last book before her death? I'd like to know for my GCSE project on her! I was also wondering if maybe you could do a search tab to look for posts written by certain people so it would be easier for me to look over my previous posts. Thank you, please reply.
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton's final novel was The Hidey Hole (1964), though after that she also retold two longish Bible stories - The Boy Who Came Back and The Man Who Stopped to Help (both 1965). Except for a few Noddy picture-books with minimal text, those were the last books Enid Blyton wrote. About having a "search" tab, that would be useful for me too, Zahraa! I don't know whether it's possible to have one for the Message Board but I'll ask our webmaster about it.
Posted by Katharine on January 22, 2011
This website should carry a health warning!! I got so engrossed in reading the forums etc. yesterday I forgot I'd left something under the grill and filled the kitchen with smoke!!
BarneyBarney says: Tut tut - I'm sure Cookie wouldn't approve at all! ;-)
Posted by Jeff Day on January 21, 2011
I read somewhere that Enid used to visit Swinderby in Lincolnshire to visit a relative by the name of George Blyton who was, or had been, the village Post Office owner. I would be grateful if someone can confirm this story.
BarneyBarney says: An interesting story, Jeff. Do you recall where you read it? Barbara Stoney's Biography tells us that Enid Blyton's great-grandfather was a George Blyton and that he lived in Swinderby. He was a cordwainer, making fine boots and shoes. Other members of the Blyton family are known to have worked in the clothing and cutlery industries. Names tended to be reused in the family, so it's possible that there have been other George Blytons (perhaps cousins of Enid, for example?) living in Swinderby.
Posted by Angela Favorleigh on January 18, 2011
Were the O'Sullivan twins Irish or English? Did St.Clare's and Malory Towers ever face off at a lacrosse match?
BarneyBarney says: The O' Sullivan twins are said to speak with an "Irish lilt", so they and/or their parents must have some connection with Ireland. I don't think Enid Blyton ever elaborates on that, though the name "O' Sullivan" certainly sounds Irish. Regretfully, we never see the St. Clare's and Malory Towers girls meet on the sports field.
Posted by Golden Oldie on January 17, 2011
Hi Barney, I've just stumbled across this site which, if I were thinking logically, I would have searched for. I'm studying Children's Literature at the moment, and don't like some of the implications that arise around Enid Blyton's work. A random conversation with my mother has set me off on a nostalgic search for books that influenced my love of nature, however despite searching I've never been able to find... Book of the Year? I remember it as being larger than other books, as I struggled to carry it in my bag; coloured plates, sketches, descriptions of flowers, trees and animals, activities to do with the seasons, folklore, little stories like for instance 'How the Blackbird got its yellow beak'. Am I correct in thinking this was written, or I guess it could have been compiled, by Enid Blyton?
BarneyBarney says: Blyton did write a book called Enid Blyton's Book of the Year, which had stories and other items relating to each month. However, from your mention of coloured plates, descriptions and activities, I think it's more likely that you're thinking of Enid Blyton's Nature Lover's Book. The final story in it, 'The Lovely Beak', relates how the blackbird got its yellow beak. It was first published by Evans Brothers Limited in 1944, but Evans brought out a facsimile edition in 2008. Edit: Just in case Enid Blyton's Book of the Year is the book you remember after all (the reprint had a coloured plate at the front), here's a link to that as well. It too contains a story about blackbirds getting their yellow beaks, called 'The Blackbirds' Secret'.
Posted by Melisande on January 17, 2011
Hi again! Just a St Clare's question as my mother threw out my Blyton books when I was a teen. What eventually happened to Margery Fenworthy?
BarneyBarney says: Do you mean at the end of The O' Sullivan Twins? Without giving too much away, Margery showed what she was made of by performing a heroic act and things were put right between her and her family. I don't think we hear much about her after that, because in Summer Term at St. Clare's we learn that she and Lucy Oriell have moved up to the second form ahead of the others.
Posted by Melisande on January 16, 2011
Hi Barney! A review of the St Clare's and Malory Towers books said that the entire French nation should have sued Enid Blyton for libel and said that her French characters were negative stereotypes - the reviewer named Claudine and the Mam'zelles specifically.
BarneyBarney says: Was the reviewer being serious, or tongue-in-cheek? There are sweeping statements in the books about (for example) Claudine lacking "the English sense of honour" but she and most of the Mam'zelles (the vinegary Mam'zelle Rougier is an exception) nevertheless have many attractive qualities and are well-liked. Indeed, Claudine is one of the most popular girls in her form!
Posted by Sue Webster on January 14, 2011
Hi, just read a message about how June copes with Alicia's death - what book is this in and how did Alicia die? Joanne, just seen you have some Secret Seven cassettes for sale. Are they still up for sale as I'd like them if not too expensive?
BarneyBarney says: Alicia's death comes in a Malory Towers fanfic story somewhere on the web, Sue. I've never seen it myself, but you could try doing a Google search. I'll pass your email address on to Joanne so she can contact you about the cassettes.
Posted by Hannah on January 13, 2011
Do the schools that Enid or her daughters went to still exist?
BarneyBarney says: Enid Blyton attended St. Christopher's School in Beckenham, Kent, from 1907 (when she was 10 years old) to 1915. At the time it was a private girls' school for day-girls and boarders. St. Christopher's still exists but it moved to a different building as long ago as 1926, amalgamating with another school that was already there (The Hall School). I don't think the original building has survived. St. Christopher's is now a private preparatory school for girls and boys aged 3-11. Enid Blyton's daughters Gillian and Imogen attended Godstowe (a preparatory school) in Buckinghamshire, then Benenden in Kent. Both are private girls' schools and are still in existence. Godstowe takes day-girls and boarders, whereas Benenden takes only boarders.
Posted by JES on January 13, 2011
Hi everyone, I am in my first year of a BA(Hons) in Childhood and Education Studies and in my creativity lecture I have decided to do a scrapbook on Enid Blyton. I am doing a short presentation on 26th January about why I have chosen Enid for my assignment. This site is amazing and has given me such a wonderful insight into her life. Thank you so much.
BarneyBarney says: I'm delighted you've found the site helpful, JES. I've got a wag in my tail after reading your message. Best of luck with your presentation!
Posted by Zaidi on January 12, 2011
I am sorry I didn't message for days - actually, I was busy on the forums. My school vacation finished on Sunday. I am writing a summary of Enid Blyton books which I have read. I am writing about Five Go to Smuggler's Top and others.
BarneyBarney says: Good to see that you're enjoying yourself on the forums, Zaidi! Have fun writing your summaries.
Posted by Helen Williams on January 12, 2011
I remember learning the poem 'A Naughty Gnome' before I came out to Australia. I was ten years old. I have forgotten some of it and I am trying to find a copy of the poem to tell my grandchildren. Can you help me, please? Regards, Helen.
BarneyBarney says: The poem begins: "A little gnome in Fairyland/Once found a pot of glue,/And he of course began to think/What mischief he could do!" There are seven verses altogether, Helen, so I'll get typing with my paws and send you the full text in an email.
Posted by PBA on January 12, 2011
The female pairing stories are very well done and moving in many cases. Malory Towers seems the most active fandom and there are a lot of non-pairing stories - what's called "general fic" - too, including some arguably much better takes on June and Felicity's Malory Towers adventures than we got officially, and a very touching story where June has to cope with Alicia's death.
BarneyBarney says: For Society members, we're currently serialising a Malory Towers continuation book written by Lisa Newton - Felicity in the Third Form at Malory Towers.
Posted by Alison Staggs on January 11, 2011
Hi, I have been given a lovely old book called Frolic and Fun no. 172, it has been kindly donated via the Salvation Army so we would like to sell it for the best price possible - who would you best recommend for this? Kind regards, Alison C. Staggs, shop manager, Salvation Army.
BarneyBarney says: I don't think it's an Enid Blyton book, Alison. You could try consulting a dealer who specialises in children's books - there are some listed under our "Lashings of Links" button. Alternatively, you could check on the Abebooks website to see the price of that title (or similar) and list your book on eBay with a fair starting price. Good luck with it!
Posted by PBA on January 11, 2011
Enid would probably be surprised at the large lesbian fandom of her school stories, especially Bill/Clarissa, Darrell/Sally, Angela/Alison and Mirabel/Gladys. I would however advise your readers to avoid the George/Timmy and Chinky/Chair stories that are floating around. It's good to know that you are gay-friendly as there are some old-fashioned homophobes in some corners of Blyton fandom.
BarneyBarney says: George/Timmy and Chinky/Chair?! The mind boggles! I think most people who have grown up with Enid Blyton books have learnt that what really counts is a person's character. For instance, is an individual friendly, helpful, good-hearted, generous, fair, loyal, hard-working, interested in things, fun to be with, etc? Those are the kinds of things that matter - not his/her sexuality, skin colour, social class, etc.
Posted by PBA on January 10, 2011
Thanks Barney for your wonderful work! Have two bones! I had to take a step back when I first started reading about all the fond gazes the Malory girls gave each other, until I stopped myself and realised that was NORMAL back then. I heard of an interesting experiment but can't remember the reference: two modern-day teenage schoolgirls (I think they were about 16) who were very, very clearly heterosexual, decided to spend all their time acting like the girls in some of these 1920s to 1950s girls'-school stories; walking around arm-in-arm, holding hands, strong verbal expressions of friendship and the like (the sort of things that were regarded as normal in an environment which was much less gay-friendly than today!). They were being called lesbians within the week, as well as getting nasty homophobic comments. You can conclude many things from this. Either the girls at Malory Towers (not to mention swathes of characters from the Angela Brazil canon) were all lesbians, OR...Heterosexual girls acted like that back then (especially with developing romantic feelings and no access to boys/discouragement from feeling that way about boys before marriage/constant companionship of close female friends) and it all means nothing, in which case you can interpret even Bill and Clarissa as straight if you like.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks very much for the bones - what a treat! I wonder what Enid Blyton would make of some of the Malory Towers/St. Clare's fanfiction that is available on the internet?!
Posted by Katie on January 9, 2011
Barney, I notice they've changed the Island of Adventure series. In The Castle of Adventure, Tassie the gypsy girl is now referred to as a "wild" girl, and the word "queer" (in its original sense) has been replaced by words of similar meaning, e.g. "strange", "odd", "weird", etc - as though people would think that "what a queer room" had homosexual connotations?!!
BarneyBarney says: As Kiki would say, "What a pity!"
Posted by J Tiplady on January 8, 2011
I have been given for my daughters a pack of 2 cassette tapes from the 1980s - Enid Blyton's The Secret Seven. They are in a box in very good condition. The cassettes don't look played. Please let me know if anyone would be interested in purchasing these from me. Regards, Joanne Tiplady.
BarneyBarney says: You could try posting about the tapes in the "For Sale" section of our forums, Joanne.
Posted by Courtney on January 8, 2011
Do Peter and Mollie and Chinky ever visit the Faraway Tree in the wishing chair? Why does Jo the gypsy girl look like George (Famous Five books)? Is it just coincidence or is there more to it?
BarneyBarney says: In The Wishing-Chair Again, Chinky the pixie tells Mollie and Peter that he once met Moon-Face, Silky and the Saucepan Man when he climbed the Faraway Tree to visit the Land of Goodies. Mollie remarks that she has read the books about the Faraway Tree, and that she'd love to climb it. Of course, she could simply ask the Wishing-Chair to take her to the Enchanted Wood! As for Jo the gypsy girl looking like George, I suppose it adds to the drama as George would feel infuriated (at first) that people keep comparing the two of them. Besides, isn't the fact that they look similar important in one or two of the plots?
Posted by Ana on January 7, 2011
Dear Barney, Hallo! A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! What are your New Year's resolutions? My sister says you are very cute. What do you admire about Santa the most? My sister says, "That dude works only one day a year"!
BarneyBarney says: A Happy New Year to you and your family, Ana! I admire Santa's ability to devour millions of mince-pies in one night! I've already started putting my New Year's resolutions into practice by taking my master on longer walks (good for him as well as me!) and sniffing as many exciting smells as possible. Hmm, I'm not sure that "cute" is quite the right word to describe me but I certainly like to think I'm a reasonably handsome fellow!
Posted by Zaidi on January 6, 2011
How are you? I am fine. I just want to get some Enid books to read but I have none. Could you recommend me some books which are easily available in the market? I feel like making a movie of Enid's life. Every time I think of her I feel like making a movie of her whole life as a tribute to her. Everyone tells me I am crazy about her but I think she deserves it. What do you say? It's not bad if she's the only writer I like the most.
BarneyBarney says: If you have any libraries or second-hand bookshops in your area you could look to see if they have any Blytons, Zaidi. If not, you could try buying from internet sellers but sometimes the postage costs are expensive. The Famous Five books are probably the most readily available, I think. I don't know whether you've seen it, but in 2009 the BBC made a TV drama (Enid) about Blyton's life. Enid Blyton was played by Helena Bonham Carter.
Posted by Katie on January 5, 2011
Barney, It's just been announced that new editions of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will have the word "nigger" removed. As I understand it the word "nigger" had a somewhat different meaning in the England of Enid's time - that there was even a paint in England called Nigger Brown. Golliwogs may have been based on minstrel caricatures of black features - now considered racist - but most people of Enid's time - those who weren't black, of course - wouldn't have understood that. Although, Enid's insistence that they were just toys would have been an increasing problem had she lived as ethnic minorities found their voice.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks, Katie. I think it's a pity to make a change like that. The novel as it stands gives a glimpse of history, and to rewrite it is to distort the reader's perception of the period in which the story is set. Is Jim still a slave, I wonder?! Removing the word "Nigger" from books like Blyton's Galliano's Circus series, where it's used for the name of a dog, is a different case and doesn't bother me. What the dog is called makes absolutely no difference, so removing a term which is now offensive doesn't affect the integrity of the story. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, however, the fact that that word was used to describe black people in those days is a significant part of the narrative. As for golliwogs, they appear to have made a comeback in the UK over the last decade or so. Although they're not generally stocked by big-name high-street stores, they are quite commonly seen in gift shops and smaller toyshops and on market stalls.
Posted by Zaidi on January 5, 2011
I sent you a message yesterday but it never came in the recent messages and it's not there. It's not good.
BarneyBarney says: We don't approve all messages as we like to keep the Message Board as Blyton-related as possible, avoiding general chit-chat.
Posted by Su on January 5, 2011
In response to Barbara Dickerson, I have a copy of the first (also second and third) Holiday Book for sale with dustwrapper, if someone would very kindly put us in touch! They are all lovely books, modern story books have no comparison.
BarneyBarney says: Thanks very much, Su! I've just sent your email address to Barbara.
Posted by Katharine on January 5, 2011
Barbara, if you have no luck with any of the suggestions from Barney regarding the Holiday Book it might be worth visiting any second hand book shops you may have locally. I hadn't even heard of this series of books until about 7 or 8 years ago when I spotted one in a shop while on holiday. I think I've also seen it since in a local shop as well. Good luck, it is a lovely book.
BarneyBarney says: How apt that you discovered the Holiday Books while on holiday, Katharine!
Posted by Barbara Dickerson on January 4, 2011
I was born in 1946 and my mother used to read to my twin sister and me from the Holiday Book. I saved the book and read to my kids from it and somehow lost it. The stories in that book were the favorite of me and my sister and my kids and we have been desperately looking for a copy of this book or many of the stories in it since now my kids want to read their children the same stories. I was elated when at last I found your site and saw that the first edition of the Holiday Book has the stories we all grew up with. 'The Cockalorum Bird', 'The Goblin Looking-Glass', etc. How can we get a copy of this book or a copy of at least eight of the stories we loved so much and have missed? Thanks so much. Barb
BarneyBarney says: The Holiday Books sometimes turn up on eBay, Barbara, or you could try the booksellers listed under "Lashings of Links" as they all keep a large stock of Blyton titles. It's lovely that the stories are being passed on from generation to generation.
Posted by Katie on January 4, 2011
I have the dramatised Malory Towers (but not the St Clare's) audio books, and I'm rather fond of them for long car journeys. I think the later ones are better, and In the Fifth at Malory Towers really shines despite the odd casting of Clarissa as the Prince - the confrontation between Moira and Bridget is wonderful. I can see, though, that you're either going to love or hate their Alicia....
BarneyBarney says: Thanks for the information, Katie!
Posted by Fly on January 3, 2011
Hi, my 7 year old son loves to read. I would like to get Blyton's books for him. But he is afraid of the mystery stories. Can you suggest some titles that would suit his age?
BarneyBarney says: It depends on your son's interests and personality but he might possibly enjoy the short story collections (including the tales about characters like Mr. Pink-Whistle and Mr. Meddle), the Wishing Chair and Faraway Tree books, the Willow Farm and Galliano's Circus series, the Naughtiest Girl books and The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies. Of the mystery/adventure books, the Secret Seven series is aimed at a slightly younger readership than the rest - the books are considerably shorter and the children rarely find themselves in prolonged situations of tension or danger. Hope that helps!
Posted by Sofia on January 3, 2011
For the Malory Towers series I think in book two, Second Form at Malory Towers, "Mam'zelle Oy" is really funny not knowing what an "oy" is. And I wish there were more books in the series because Malory Towers books rock!
BarneyBarney says: There are some fantastic comic moments in Blyton. Pamela Cox has written six sequels to the Malory Towers series, about Felicity's years at the school. The titles and covers can be seen in the Cave of Books under "Continuation Books".
Posted by Michelle on January 3, 2011
Finally - I always spoke about my favorite author as I was growing up but no one had ever heard about her. Thank you for making my childhood that more enjoyable. Ms. Blyton's books made me the teacher I am today and still an avid reader which I try to impart to both my children and students.
BarneyBarney says: Three hearty barks for Enid Blyton!
Posted by Adele on January 3, 2011
Thanks for your answers and patience. It's very difficult to go on the English Internet. So... Yes, thank you! Your site is a wonderful place. And do you know a real chat for children 12-14 years (maybe more)? Will you help me? I couldn't find it by search.
BarneyBarney says: Thank you for your kind comments, Adele. I'm afraid I don't know anything about chatting online - I only bark! - but if you're planning to join in with anything like that it's a good idea to check with your parents first.
Posted by Adele on January 3, 2011
Thank you very much! Of course I'm under 18 - I'm far from this age!!! So, as I understood, I can't find the texts of the books... That's a pity. And what about audio-books (voice reading)?
BarneyBarney says: You might be able to find some of the audio-books online if you look, or you could try buying cassettes/CDs second-hand. Some publishers might even still be producing Enid Blyton audio-books, though I don't recall seeing any in the shops recently. You could check on Amazon. The books are often shortened in the audio versions and are sometimes dramatised (i.e. actors do the voices for different characters) so the stories won't always be exactly the same as in the original texts. Good fun to listen to, though.
Posted by Adele on January 3, 2011
I'd love to buy Enid Blyton books, but here in Russia we can't find any. If I can buy the books by post from one of the English book-markets...But I don't know how to do it - this is my problem. Can you help me? Or can I read her books on-line?
BarneyBarney says: You could look for the books you want on websites like eBay, Amazon or similar and check whether the sellers are willing to post abroad, Adele. I think many of them are. But if you're under 18 you'll need the help of an adult who has a credit/debit card or a Paypal account. You might possibly find the complete text of a few books online if you search the internet but, as I said, they'll have been uploaded illegally and could be removed at any time. If everyone read Enid Blyton books free of charge, publishers wouldn't sell enough copies and would end up letting them go out of print.
Posted by Adele on January 3, 2011
Hallo! I'm from Russia. I want to know - where can I find Enid Blyton's books? I want to find and download her short stories and other books. Help me please...
BarneyBarney says: I'm sorry if Enid Blyton books are difficult to find in Russia, Adele, but it's illegal to download them as they're under copyright until the end of 2038. Perhaps you could try asking your local bookshop to order them for you, or buy them (new or second-hand) from an online bookseller.
Posted by Katie on January 2, 2011
Hi Barney! Which story had a girl disguise as a boy using a boys' swimming costume? I seem to remember that in modern editions the illustrations of the scene show the character in a modern girls' swimsuit which is distinctly female-looking, ruining the scene.
BarneyBarney says: Hi Katie! You're probably thinking of Five Have Plenty of Fun, with Berta/Leslie. Updating the stories and illustrations does indeed make nonsense of some incidents.
Posted by Hephzibah on January 2, 2011
I'm searching for the title of the book with Kiki and Lucy-Ann or so! Barney, can you help me? Please! Barney, can you guys or should I say, dogs, make your monthly quizzes easier? They are so hard! Especially if you haven't read all the series of Enid's books! I still love Enid's books! And Barney, can you be a bit straightforward in your answers? Hats off to you, my friend! Barney, how old are you?
BarneyBarney says: It wouldn't do for a fellow to reveal his age! As for the monthly quizzes (which are not compiled by a dog!), they'll get easier as you read more of the books! There are eight books featuring Kiki, Lucy-Ann and co. - they're known as The Adventure Series and are very exciting. Hope my answer is straightforward enough for you, Hephzibah!
Posted by Alison on January 2, 2011
I wonder if you could help, I am searching for a short story about a little bear called Cubby (not sure of the spelling) and the story was about him forgetting to say thank you to the stream who gave him water so it stopped tinkling over the stones until he remembered to say thank you. This was a favourite of my brother's when he was little and he has it as a fond memory of our mom reading to us each night and I cannot find it anywhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
BarneyBarney says: I hope someone knows this story and will post here, Alison.
Posted by Jan on January 2, 2011
I remember reading what I thought was an Enid Blyton book sometime in the 50s where a group of children found an ill-treated pony tethered in a field near their house and proceeded to take care of it. I also seem to remember a character (a boy) called Guy who had grey eyes. Do you know of such a book? I have looked though the books listed on your website and it doesn't seem to be any of those. I realise it's a long shot. Thanks and best wishes, Jan. P.S. The website has brought back many lovely memories - The Family at Red Roofs, etc.
BarneyBarney says: I'm pleased that the website has brought back some pleasant memories for you, Jan. I'm afraid I don't recognise the book, which might not be by Enid Blyton, but perhaps someone else will.
Posted by Zaidi on January 2, 2011
How are you? I am fine. I did not understand what you said about the forum. I have taken the quiz. It was very nice but difficult as I haven't so many books so far, you see I do not have enough money and the other thing is that not many books are available in the shops as I live in Pakistan, but something good is that books are cheaper than in the U.K., USA and other such countries, but still I can't always buy the books but share with someone.
BarneyBarney says: I'm glad you tried the quiz, Zaidi, and I hope you manage to get hold of some more books. As you like talking about Enid Blyton and her books, I thought you might enjoy some of the discussions and games on the forums.
Posted by Graham on January 1, 2011
Just seen the excellent Enid drama on BBC4, lots of food for thought I think. Very, very accurate and a true insight into the complex world of this woman, and an explanation as to why she is now vilified, and the BBC will have nothing to do with her.
BarneyBarney says: The Enid drama was shown on the BBC, who have also screened Noddy. And some years ago, a couple of Enid Blyton's Adventure books were serialised on BBC1's Jackanory. Enid did struggle to get her work acknowledged by the BBC, but that was because they considered her writing banal (having probably looked only at a small sample).