Enid Blyton was such a prolific writer that her work provided enough material for the hungriest reader. She has authored over 700 books, starting from 1922 when she was about 25 years old. She did not put down her pen till her death in 1968 and some of her work has even been published posthumously.

Although wildly popular, her works have had a large share of criticism as well. Some of her critics have called her books racist, gender insensitive and stereotyped.

Be that as it may, she is a household name in many parts of the world, particularly in countries that were once colonised by the British.

Her ideas of what made for a good and upstanding child in faraway England is what I and many others like me followed.

Growing appetite

The appetite for books that Blyton could produce was immense. Her short stories were a great starting point. They introduced us to pixies and fairies. We could then progress to the Secret Seven series, which served as chapter books that were short enough to complete in a week. For the ardent mystery fan, there were many other series that waited such as The Famous Five, The Secret series, The Adventure series and The Five Find-Outers.

Because Blyton wrote so many books, there were those who said she had a team of “ghost-writers” who would pen the novels under her name. But she always denied the charge and continued producing more.

The stories were comforting in nature, in an all’s well that end’s well fashion. Because of the fairly simple plots and the formulaic style of her books, she may not have been considered a literary success. However, she remains among the best-selling children’s authors even today. Her work has been translated into 90 languages and her books have sold over 600 million copies.

Perhaps it is that feeling of comfort-right from the large, wholesome meals that her characters ate to the carefree freedom that they enjoyed that leaves her readers asking for more.

Did you know?

There is an Enid Blyton Society that was founded in 1995. The aim of the Society is to provide a focal point for collectors and enthusiasts of Enid Blyton through its magazine The Enid Blyton Society Journal, issued three times a year, organise its annual Enid Blyton Day, an event which attracts in excess of a hundred members, and run its website (enidblytonsociety.co.uk)

Hachette UK has the world rights to the literary estate of Enid Blyton, excluding her best known series, Noddy. Blyton’s work is overseen by Hachette’s Hodder children’s imprint.

Blyton’s classic children’s book The Faraway Tree’ is being rewritten to include lessons about gender sensitivity. Writer Jacqueline Wilson will be writing a new version of the classic adventure story to update it for the 21st century.

An Enid Blyton fan has actually written a book with 42 recipes based on the books. Jolly Good Food’ is authored by Allegra McEvedy with illustrations by Mark Beech.

Picture Credit : Google 

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