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Discussion in 'Book club' started by LossieLaxton, Jan 19, 2014.
I loved the Faraway Tree...and Mr Galliano's Circus!
Loved all the Enid Blyton
books as a child. Noddy, Mr Pinkwhistle, Pip, Mr Meddle, Binkle and Flip, Amelia-Jane, Secret Seven, Famous Five, Adventurous Four, Faraway Tree..et al., what wonderful memories and magical interesting characters and adventures. I remember all the bold coloured book covers that enticed you into the stories and the sheer joy of first learning one could get lost in a book. Whatever our modern viewpoints on her writing she was probably responsible for creating more lifelong readers than any other author.
If that is the concern it would be better just to have a warning that 'opinions expressed were common at the time the story was set', ditto the slapping etc. Then all children would see how things have changed (or not).
At infant school I had to line up by the teacher's desk every day and read two pages of Janet and John. The teacher neither knew nor cared that I was reading whole Famous Five books by myself at home.
I relate to this so much. At primary school you had to work your way through the reading scheme numbered book by numbered book regardless of how proficient a reader you were. I was reading Janet and John type rubbish at school and taking home about 15 books per week from the library to read at home. I was so bored with the books at school and raced through them to become a 'free reader' which was when you had the pick of the bookcase because you had completed the scheme. I still remember the day this happened and how happy I was. I could finally read interesting stuff at school as well as at home.
My parents have just moved to Dorset , and I'm looking forward to visiting the areas where she based a lot of her books on ( Studland Bay , Swanage and Corfe Castle )
May have some ginger beer too !
Back in the 1980s, when "Blyton bashing" was particularly popular, my mother and another teacher friend of hers (who died last year, alas!) wrote a paper called "Bad literature your children MUST read".
Their thesis was, essentially, "Who cares whether or not it's good literature? Enid Blyton GETS CHILDREN READING. And until they love reading and want to do it, there's really no point in trying to introduce them to good literature. You've got to let them read what they WANT to read until reading is second nature, and THEN you can start introducing them to what YOU want them to read. And what children WANT to read, as often as not, is Enid Blyton ... "
(I read all the Secret Seven books myself ... and then moved on to Anthony Buckeridge and Arthur Ransome.)
Just read Five Go To Brexit Island. Does that count?
Enid Blyton was banned by my mother (Eng. lit teacher). I don't actually know why. She never objected to Chalet School. Must've been either Blyton's lifestyle or writing style. Mum was always quite heavily influenced by Guardian opinion - maybe there was a big piece at some influential moment.
So, of course, I rebelled and read them in secret. I had a full set of Mallory Towers in the void between my bottom drawer and the floor! I think my dad must have rebelled too, because I did also get 'the Folk of the Faraway Tree' as a mysterious addition to my Christmas stocking one year. I wonder what prompted that, and how much trouble he got into?
Yes, grew up reading Enid Blyton - especially the Secret Seven and Mallory Towers. Children love her books and always want to turn the page to find out what happens next.
The bowdlerisers trying to force 21st century morality and values on 1940s and 50s Enid Blyton, without the slightest regard for the different circumstances and culture, is just ridiculous.
It's just more attempts at coercing the general public - most of whom are always in the centre - to accept left wing orthodoxy. Our friends on the left should remember that attempts at coercion leads to resistance.
Yes, Enid Blyton got me reading for pleasure in the early 1950s and I looked forward back then to getting a new Blyton title as a birthday present and in my Christmas stocking every year. However, even as a very small child, I was puzzled by the economics of Blyton's Toy Town in her Noddy series. I could live with the fact that Noddy's detached house cost just one shilling to build but I simply couldn't understand the logic of charging half that amount, six old pence, for a single ride in his yellow taxi. I was led to conclude that either housing was dirt-cheap in Toy Town or that Noddy was profiteering by overcharging his passengers.
I know it's edited in reprints so as to not upset the working class children of bin men but Janet's caustic take-down of Sheila in The Twins at St Clares' was *much* more effective in the original (paraphrased here) "you go about your horses and cars... and then you talk like the daughter of the dustman!"
I loved The Famous Five, Malory Towers, St. Clares, Mr Galliano's Circus, Cherry Tree Farm and the Adventure series (Island of Adventure, Circus of Adventure etc)... still do really. I still have them all and every now and then go on a Blyton binge.
I enjoyed reading the modern Famous Fives but I'm not sure I'd reread them, though I have reread the Felicity Malory Towers books.
i always liked the wishing chair, but famous five were always tops!
Famous five and Mallory Towers. I don't know why a working class girl loved MT as there was no chance of me going to boarding school. A large part of the appeal of Blyton was that children had all the adventures with hardly an adult mentioned in the book unless they are providing food for an adventure.
I loved Secret Seven and Malory Towers, made me want to go to boarding school - would have loved a school with a pool filled by the sea!
I always wanted to join the F5 on their circus adventure. Hiring a horse drawn caravan...
The first book I ever read was Five go to Smugglers Top, wow! When we moved house when I was 9 I drew up plans of our 'new' (400 year old) house in case there were secret passages/hidden spaces. Sadly, there were none...
I was gutted when I moved on from Enid and books had no pictures . They also weren't half as exciting, I think I still miss smugglers rubbing their hands with invisible soap in glee. My blue child had a F5 party when he was 8 (I think), it was a crafty way of not having too many children and more girls. His sister was Timmy, which she also was for World Book Day and painting her face made me late for a job interview - some things are more important!