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View Full Version : A window into Enid Blyton's (very untidy) private life



aruna
04-04-2010, 12:28 PM
BBC4's Enid was shown last weekend and it was quite an eye-opener. Of course, I'd heard the rumours that she was quite a nasty piece of work but didn't really want to believe it. The film put paid to any illusions I might have had. Apparently one of her daughters worked closely with the filmmakers and she really was horrible to her own daughters, but childlike and loving to other people's children -- she loved her fans, and if I'd met her as a child I'd no doubt have adored her!
she was played by Helena Bonham Carter, one of my favourite actresses, and here's an interview with her (Carter).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8280061.stm

shaldna
04-04-2010, 01:54 PM
I can't watch anything with Helena Bonham Carter in it. But Enid Blyton is a fascinating person. I knew she was a horrible mother, which suprised me,.

aadams73
04-04-2010, 05:04 PM
Wow, I'd like to see this. I'd heard the rumors about her personality, but I never let it color my love for her books. I read the Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair books until they were in tatters. Do not ask me how many hours I spent looking at my parents' dining room chairs looking for wings. :)

Marian Perera
04-04-2010, 06:10 PM
Wow, I'd like to see this. I'd heard the rumors about her personality, but I never let it color my love for her books.

Same here, except with me it was the Malory Towers, St Clare's and Naughtiest Girl books.

Toothpaste
04-04-2010, 06:39 PM
I caught that film while I was in the UK last week. It was really interesting, but I felt so bad for my friend with whom I was watching it. I'd heard the rumours about Enid Blyton, but she hadn't and had wanted to watch the movie because she adored her. My poor friend was truly heartbroken watching the movie, it was a little sad.

It was a pretty good movie actually, and the performances across the board quite solid. What got to me most was the tag at the end: Enid Blyton wrote 750 books.

I think I need to get back to my writing now . . .

aruna
04-04-2010, 07:34 PM
Same here, except with me it was the Malory Towers, St Clare's and Naughtiest Girl books.


for me it was ALL of them, starting with Noddy through Faraway tree and Famous Five to Mallory Towers.


I caught that film while I was in the UK last week. It was really interesting, but I felt so bad for my friend with whom I was watching it. I'd heard the rumours about Enid Blyton, but she hadn't and had wanted to watch the movie because she adored her. My poor friend was truly heartbroken watching the movie, it was a little sad.

It was a pretty good movie actually, and the performances across the board quite solid. What got to me most was the tag at the end: Enid Blyton wrote 750 books.

I think I need to get back to my writing now . . .

10000 words a day. :e2paperba

aruna
04-04-2010, 07:55 PM
It's interesting that she said that only the opinions of children count. I adored her books, but I know for a fact that if I'd read them as an adult, then or now, I'd find them atrocious. At my boarding school they were actually banned. I just didn't get it at the time. Now I do.

Cyia
04-04-2010, 08:13 PM
It's interesting that she said that only the opinions of children count. I adored her books, but I know for a fact that if I'd read them as an adult, then or now, I'd find them atrocious. At my boarding school they were actually banned. I just didn't get it at the time. Now I do.


It's weird, I'd never even heard of Enid Blyton until last year when an on-line friend mentioned that she'd read them as a child. The conversation started after an online article about how elementary aged kids growing up in India were more likely to write stories about white kids with Anglicanized names than they were to use stories about people who looked like themselves because it was all they were exposed to in school.

Her opinion was pretty much the same as aruna's. Hindsight totally changed her opinion of them.

Toothpaste
04-04-2010, 08:26 PM
I guess I have a fierce loyalty to the books I read as a kid. I was obsessed with her Adventure series. But see here's the thing, even reading them as a child in the 80s I recognised the sexism and racism, mostly down from the period in which they were written. They were still extremely compelling adventures and a huge influence on my own adventure books (get rid of the adults, put kids in truly life or death situations up against adult villains). I think it's interesting that schools would ban these books. I was smart enough as a kid (as most kids are) to realise that what I was reading had offensive elements to it, what's more it sparked several conversations with my parents (especially about the sexism which I was particularly drawn to). But I'm glad I wasn't deprived of those books, they were so important to me, and I still have them on my shelf today.

aruna
04-04-2010, 08:44 PM
The conversation started after an online article about how elementary aged kids growing up in India were more likely to write stories about white kids with Anglicanized names than they were to use stories about people who looked like themselves because it was all they were exposed to in school.
.
That was exactly. I didn't grow up in India but in Guyana, where there were few white people. But the stories I wrote at the time were all about white children in England.


I guess I have a fierce loyalty to the books I read as a kid. I was obsessed with her Adventure series.
Me too me too! Barney and co!Those were my favourites, as well as the Five Find-Outers and Dog!

They were still extremely compelling adventures and a huge influence on my own adventure books

That was it. They drew you in completely. I was in a different world when I read those books. They gave me my love for reading.


I was smart enough as a kid (as most kids are) to realise that what I was reading had offensive elements to it, what's more it sparked several conversations with my parents (especially about the sexism which I was particularly drawn to). But I'm glad I wasn't deprived of those books, they were so important to me, and I still have them on my shelf today]

Ditto. I will never forget the shock I got in one of trhe Famous Five books. Anne was awakened in the night by a oerfectly frightful Face at the Window. The next day she said to Julian "Oh, Julian, what if it were a BLACK man!"
The shock for me was great. What difference does i bloody make? I thought.

Stormhawk
04-05-2010, 02:19 AM
Holy, um, wow...I never knew any of this, and I was brought up on a steady diet of her books as a kid (I think they were some of the first novels I read by myself).

Consider my eyes opened. -_- (Plus, I'll watch nearly anything with Helena Bonham Carter in it).

Wordwrestler
04-05-2010, 07:17 AM
Yeah, I've never heard of this author or any of the titles mentioned. Perhaps her books didn't have much of a presence in the US?

scarletpeaches
04-05-2010, 07:22 AM
I saw this weeks ago - couple of months in fact. This must have been a repeat.

Anyway - I'm amazed there are people who hadn't heard of Enid Blyton before now.

I grew up reading her books. Absolutely devoured them, especially the Famous Five, Mallory Towers (hey; just realised - the FMC of my novella is called Mallory. Subliminal?) and St Clare's books.

My God, the sexism and racism is...overpowering, looking back. George wanting to be a boy, Anne wanting to go on adventures, Dick and Julian saying she had to stay at home because she was "Just a girl."

I always knew she was a terrible mother. That sort of dichotomy struck me as normal when I was a kid. My own mother was a complete bitch to me, an utter tyrant...but outside the home? Nice as pie. Even favoured other kids over her own daughter, so...meh. That side of things was perfectly normal as far as I was concerned. That's how mothers behave, right?

aruna
04-05-2010, 11:29 AM
That's how mothers behave, right?

Oh SP you make me want to cry. No, that's not how mothers behave. Those are not mothers at all. But you know that, don't you?

What I find fascinating is that this is not someone who didn't know what nasty behaviour is. Her books, especially the Mallory Towers and St Clare;s series', are full of beastly schoolgirls who get a comeuppance from the nice girls, who have to be taught a lesson. She knew very well what spiteful behaviour and lying was. She was always moralising; her books are full of author intrusion. Was she so narcissistic and blind that she could not see it in herself, or did she see it and could not help herself? What really went on in that mind of hers? A fascinating subject for a biography.

scarletpeaches
04-05-2010, 11:33 AM
Well yes, I know that NOW...but back then, the Blyton thing was my template for motherhood.

As the saying goes, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

I've witnessed my own mother swear up and down that black was white just for the sake of winning an argument. She accused other people of being selfish, thieves or hypocrites...judging them by her standards. A monumental case of the pot calling the kettle black.

So I well know how Blyton could have been the same way.

Perhaps I can bring my own experience into the matter by theorising - she liked the adoration of children, the fanmail, the "You're a lovely person." But with her own children, there was dependence on their part, responsibility on hers. And she didn't want that. She was a selfish woman, and wanted sex from men and praise from children. Her writing got her that. Her children, a natural consequence of the aforementioned sex, were a drain on her limited emotional resources and a distraction from time spent on the more important things in her life, like...narcissism.

Whoa. Deep.

scarletpeaches
04-05-2010, 11:36 AM
Plus, the tea party thing rang true for me, because I've experienced this very thing. My mother invited others of my age to things like the cinema, or the park...and she was seen as a friendly woman who didn't mind taking other mothers' kids out for the day.

And she left her own daughter at home, so...another parallel. Not to turn this into a "Look at me!" sob story, but I can understand why Blyton did what she did. That's not to excuse it, no way...but having experienced a similar upbringing as her children, I can well believe such things go on. They don't surprise me at all.

aruna
04-05-2010, 12:13 PM
You'd make a great biographer for her!

Cyia
04-05-2010, 02:26 PM
Actually that behavior is a hallmark of abusers. The outer appearance is camouflage designed to make sure no one ever takes a look at the homelife, and works doubly well for them because a sullen or reserved child of their own makes the child look like they're ungrateful for the "saint" they've got as a parent.

scarletpeaches
04-05-2010, 07:44 PM
I find it very strange that books written by an abuser brought so much comfort to an abused child.

That's either twisted, or poetic justice.

Phaeal
04-05-2010, 08:03 PM
At 10,000 words a day and 750 books, how did she even find time to have children?

shaldna
04-06-2010, 05:02 AM
It makes me wonder if people who treat their kids that way even realise that they are doing it

scarletpeaches
04-06-2010, 05:25 AM
Perhaps. Again, bringing my own experience into it, and I quote: "You're my daughter; I can do whatever the hell I like to you."

But to anyone else, such 'mothers' would play the saint. I've seen it happen time and again.

aruna
04-06-2010, 11:15 AM
But she wasn't only horrible to the kids. She was a beast to her first husband, as well. Didn't she realise that people TALK? That one way or the other her golden reputation as perfect mother would tarnish and the truth come out?

scarletpeaches
04-06-2010, 02:44 PM
I think she relied too much on his reputation as a gent - and she knew he loved his daughters, so used them as bait, or whatever the word is. She basically blackmailed him into putting up with whatever she saw fit to dish out, then took his children away anyway.

shaldna
04-06-2010, 02:58 PM
God this converation made me run to give my daughter a hug.

Phaeal
04-06-2010, 04:17 PM
My own phony-alert system is simple: If a person is too nice to be true, he isn't. It has a special Mommie Dearest subsystem, next to the Serial Killer detector.

Jamesaritchie
04-07-2010, 01:40 AM
Now I know why writers really use pseudonyms. But I never met the woman, don't know anything about her other than through gossip, which may or may not be true, but I I do like her books.

How she treated her children, her husband, or her neighbor's cat is something no one knows all the truth about, and. frankly, none of my damn business.

aruna
04-07-2010, 10:31 AM
How she treated her children, her husband, or her neighbor's cat is something no one knows all the truth about, and. frankly, none of my damn business.

I'm a writer, and knowing how people's minds work is my job. I don't gossip and I'm not interested in celebrities, but it is important to me to know what a much-loved author is really like. She's dead, and nothing we can say will hurt her. This is no better or no worse than knowing that Hemingway was an alcoholic.
If people aspire for fame (and she did) they better damn know that everything about them will come out, the bad as well as the good. It's also a good reason to behave oyurself if you're famous; noblesse oblige and all that. If you prefer privacy (which I, for instance, do) then you take a pseudonym, as you say.

Knowing about her character does not take away one little bit form the magic of her books.

aadams73
04-07-2010, 12:50 PM
Knowing about her character does not take away one little bit form the magic of her books.

I agree. The Faraway Tree books will still be my favorite childrens' books and if I'd had/have children, I would have read these stories to them without a second thought about Blyton's personal life...and lost myself in the magic all over again. :)

Stlight
04-08-2010, 05:00 AM
Which of the books were the four about two boys, two girls, adventures between terms at school. One boy, Paul, I think had a gift for animals. He also had a Kacatu (white parrot) that rode on his shoulder.

I only read four of the books. Have I discribed them all?

dolores haze
04-08-2010, 05:09 AM
I adored her books as a kid. I read them to tatters. I don't remember the racism or sexism. Mostly I remember the adventures and how adults only ever showed up to serve scrumptious meals.

aadams73
04-08-2010, 05:11 AM
Which of the books were the four about two boys, two girls, adventures between terms at school. One boy, Paul, I think had a gift for animals. He also had a Kacatu (white parrot) that rode on his shoulder.

I only read four of the books. Have I discribed them all?

The Adventure Series! The cockatoo was Kiki.

Toothpaste
04-08-2010, 06:58 AM
Which of the books were the four about two boys, two girls, adventures between terms at school. One boy, Paul, I think had a gift for animals. He also had a Kacatu (white parrot) that rode on his shoulder.

I only read four of the books. Have I discribed them all?

That was the series I read and loved. Philip, Dinah, Jack and Lucy-Ann. And of course Kiki the parrot. Every book Philip would get a new pet because he could somehow communicate with animals. How I wanted to be like him!

There are 8 books in the series.

My fav part was how Philip and Dinah's mum just decides to marry Mr. Cunningham at the end of one of the books. The kids suggest it and he turns to her and asks, "Well what do you think?" And she's all like, "Sure!"

Anyway . . . they were great adventures filled with serious peril. Though, like we've already discussed, they were still rather sexist and racist unfortunately. At any rate, they nonetheless really inspired my adventure stories.

Stlight
04-08-2010, 07:23 AM
Thanks.

As for the tea party, well, I'm guessing there wrer other things that were to be desired in EB's mothering, but that one is reasonable to me. If my mother had given a tea party for girls who won some contest she ran and didn't invite me I wouldn't have been surprised. At least I wouldn't unless I'd also won the contest.

It's possible there was something to be desired in my mother's mothering too.

Didn't divorces in the 1950s and 1960s have to be for specific causes like adultery?

aruna
04-08-2010, 10:54 AM
Didn't divorces in the 1950s and 1960s have to be for specific causes like adultery?

Yes. According to the film, she was the adulterous one but didn't want the scandal. So she asked her husband to let her divorce HIM for adultery in exchange for unlimited access to the girls. He agreed. Then she denied him access.

Toothpaste, I LOVED the adventure series but my memory of the details is not as good as yours. For me the biggest influence was George of the Famous Five, because I too wanyted to be a boy. I even had my name changed -- that is, a middle name addedd -- so that I could have a boy's name. I was called Jo. My mum went along with it.

BTW, the one series I didn't like so much was the Secret Seven.
And another I really liked was the Five Find-Outers and Dog.

mccardey
04-08-2010, 11:25 AM
Yes. According to the film, she was the adulterous one but didn't want the scandal. So she asked her husband to let her divorce HIM for adultery in exchange for unlimited access to the girls. He agreed. Then she denied him access.


I think that was the usual way to do things back then - for the man to orchestrate the evidence of adultery. Lots of biographies from the time have details like that... I think one thing that has to be remembered is that social norms (and parental norms) were totally different back at the time she was writing - which from memory starts in the 1930s? maybe even '20s? - and it's very difficult to make any judgements without taking into account the changed attitudes.

That said, I do remember even in the early 1960s thinking that "taking Lame Luke to the seaside" was a nice idea, but could have been better phrased. And I remember (who else remembers this?) her comment in one book - the one with a girl called Melisande in it - that a mother who said she didn't love her daughter was positively evil. I remember agreeing with her (I would have been seven or eight years old), but thinking it was a thoughtless thing to say, because if you did have a mother like that...

BTW I love collecting very old children's books - both for their dreadful inappropriateness and the richness of the vocabulary. Glorious stuff!!

aruna
04-08-2010, 12:31 PM
I think that was the usual way to do things back then - for the man to orchestrate the evidence of adultery. Lots of biographies from the time have details like that... I think one thing that has to be remembered is that social norms (and parental norms) were totally different back at the time she was writing - which from memory starts in the 1930s? maybe even '20s? - and it's very difficult to make any judgements without taking into account the changed attitudes.



Yes, I have no problem with them doing it that way; just with her not keeping her own side of the commitment and allowing him access to the girls. That was so cruel to the him and the kids.

Sophia
04-08-2010, 12:55 PM
It's odd and says something about me, but I completely loved Enid Blyton's books when growing up, and never once picked up on any thing racist in them. It completely passed me by. The Magic Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair and Adventure books were my favourites, too, as well as the St. Clare's and Mallory Towers books. Those made me long to go to a boarding school. I remember they made a film of The Island of Adventure, or perhaps it was The Sea of Adventure, and I thought it was brilliant. I still have the Annual with pictures from the film on it. :)

I wasn't surprised their Mum agreed to marry Bill Cunningham - I remember him being portrayed as a good-humoured, manly type; no faults at all. :D

EB wrote lots of short stories, too. Things like The Sugar Mouse, which dissolved in the rain. I adored everything she wrote, but I'm afraid of reading it again now, for fear of destroying their magic.

aadams73
04-08-2010, 01:06 PM
BTW I love collecting very old children's books - both for their dreadful inappropriateness and the richness of the vocabulary. Glorious stuff!!

I wish I still had all mine. A few years ago I purchased copies of The Faraway Tree books and noticed that Fanny had become Franny and Dick had become Rick.

I would comment further, but someone is bound to be offended.

mccardey
04-08-2010, 01:11 PM
I wish I still had all mine. A few years ago I purchased copies of The Faraway Tree books and noticed that Fanny had become Franny and Dick had become Rick.


I started collecting them when I found my wicked daughter reading my old ones to her friends and sniggering over Dick and Fanny and hundreds of gloriously un pc paragraphs... Gave them a whole new meaning...


Aruna - yes. That was mean of her :(

Stlight
04-08-2010, 11:00 PM
I can’t speak to the racism or sexism in the books, I didn’t notice it when I read them. As for sexism in the fifties and sixties, this I know a bit about. My mother read a few feminists books and decided men had ruined her life by forcing her into marriage and having children. (This was a bit of imagination, she’d been a college professor when she married my father.) Anyway that’s why I heard about it.

Were her books sexist in terms of the time period in which they were written? In the fifties and sixties many colleges, jobs, and careers were closed to women. Few people thought this was wrong, it “was only natural that women didn’t do certain jobs” - firefighter, preacher, on the floor Wall Street stock broker, most middle management, upper management (what man would want to have a woman for a boss? Great confusion would occur in the work place the economy would be destroyed.) Women were not considered capable of sustained physical feats, to attempt them would ruin their chances of having children.

My own pediatrician told me that my one purpose in life was to have children. It bothered me since she was a woman, but being a doctor was different. It was teacher, nurse, salesclerk, and for a few doctor. The glass ceiling was so solidly in place that almost no one knew it was there.

Cyia
04-08-2010, 11:04 PM
I can’t speak to the racism or sexism in the books, I didn’t notice it when I read them. As for sexism in the fifties and sixties, this I know a bit about. My mother read a few feminists books and decided men had ruined her life by forcing her into marriage and having children. (This was a bit of imagination, she’d been a college professor when she married my father.) Anyway that’s why I heard about it.

Were her books sexist in terms of the time period in which they were written? In the fifties and sixties many colleges, jobs, and careers were closed to women. Few people thought this was wrong, it “was only natural that women didn’t do certain jobs” - firefighter, preacher, on the floor Wall Street stock broker, most middle management, upper management (what man would want to have a woman for a boss? Great confusion would occur in the work place the economy would be destroyed.) Women were not considered capable of sustained physical feats, to attempt them would ruin their chances of having children.

My own pediatrician told me that my one purpose in life was to have children. It bothered me since she was a woman, but being a doctor was different. It was teacher, nurse, salesclerk, and for a few doctor. The glass ceiling was so solidly in place that almost no one knew it was there.


Not to mention that women become so irrational once a month that. if put in a position of power, they might kill someone or a whole slew of someones by "pushing the button" in a hormonal rage. :rolleyes:

Stlight
04-08-2010, 11:05 PM
I remember reading on the HQ blog maybe about them reissuing a number of books from the 30s and 40s. From the titles, I’m guessing they were Golden Eagle books, hard-boiled detectives. HQ ‘cleaned them up’ removing racism, sexism, particularly violence toward women. Many of the commentators were incensed they’d done this, because it removed the historic value of the stories. It kept the stories from showing how far we’d come. If we pretend the world has always been pc, then all the pain and suffering to reach this point is belittled.
IMHO.


Yes, that was bad of her in relation to her husband and the daughters. What was his lawyer thinking not to get that part of the argeement, which didn't have to be read in court, in writing?

aruna
04-09-2010, 10:11 AM
I remember reading on the HQ blog maybe about them reissuing a number of books from the 30s and 40s. From the titles, I’m guessing they were Golden Eagle books, hard-boiled detectives. HQ ‘cleaned them up’ removing racism, sexism, particularly violence toward women. Many of the commentators were incensed they’d done this, because it removed the historic value of the stories. It kept the stories from showing how far we’d come. If we pretend the world has always been pc, then all the pain and suffering to reach this point is belittled.
IMHO.

?
I recently wandered into an "old time toy shop" and they had a shelf full of brand new vintage copies of many of the EB books I loved. Just looking at those old covers made me swoon and go all mushy with nostalgia! I don't think they were real vintage copies. I think they were reprints made to look like the originals. I should have peeked inside tosee if they;d been PC'd up!

Wish I'd kept some of those old books. I'd love to reread them now. They'd also be worth a fortune; not that I'd ever sell them!

mccardey
04-09-2010, 10:27 AM
Many of the commentators were incensed they’d done this, because it removed the historic value of the stories. It kept the stories from showing how far we’d come. If we pretend the world has always been pc, then all the pain and suffering to reach this point is belittled.

Exactly. What's the point of say MLK day if racism never existed? (I was going to say "why honour Pemulwuy (http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/AS10389b.htm) and then I remembered - we don't....)

Marian Perera
04-09-2010, 10:31 AM
I wish I still had all mine. A few years ago I purchased copies of The Faraway Tree books and noticed that Fanny had become Franny and Dick had become Rick.

In new editions of the first Malory Towers book, Darrell shakes Gwen rather than slapping her. I'm not sure why the change. I mean, it's still physical violence.

zahra
04-11-2010, 09:51 PM
In new editions of the first Malory Towers book, Darrell shakes Gwen rather than slapping her. I'm not sure why the change. I mean, it's still physical violence.
Interesting. I wonder what else they changed? I wonder if they changed the line about one of the girls lying because 'she knows she's not as good as us' - 'good' in that context meaning 'as far up the social ladder'. I loved the school books, but I remember that line throwing me a real loop when I was a kid. Also, the school-girls being waited on by maids who were their age or younger.

The books also totally ignored the war, although they were written around that period.

However, I do remember Miss Grayling's speech to new girls emphasised that she wanted to turn out 'good, strong women the world can lean on', which I thought rather impressive.

In reply to an earlier poster, re jobs for the gals, Darrell was going to be a writer, Mary Lou a nurse, Bill and Clarissa were going to run a riding school (so may well have had men subordinate to them - pretty certainly, in fact, unless they were all away at - whisper it - war!), but apart from the muso and the artist and Mavis the singer, I can't really remember any more. I do remember Alicia was going to St Andrews, and for some reason I took it she was going to be a doctor.

I think - at least from the BBC4 film's perspective - that EB's besetting demon was that she had to be in control. She just did not trust the world any other way. Bet that was a common mindset with successful women of that era.

Celia Cyanide
04-14-2010, 01:22 AM
Oddly enough, I was a big fan of the Noddy books, but not as a child, only after I got to college. I was a HUGE fan of the band Current 93, who wrote an album called SWASTIKAS FOR NODDY, which I loved. They were threatened with legal action for using the Noddy character and name, so they started referring to him as "Goddy" or "The Nodding God." They even released a comic book depicting Noddy called "The Nodding God Unveiled." I loved their music, which they called Apocalyptic Folk, and I loved the Noddy imagery. But had I grown up with it, I probably would have found it very disturbing.

Kats
04-14-2010, 07:54 PM
I really want to see this, I missed it on TV - hopefully it'll be on BBC again.

rugcat
04-15-2010, 07:02 AM
Anyway . . . they were great adventures filled with serious peril. Though, like we've already discussed, they were still rather sexist and racist unfortunately. At any rate, they nonetheless really inspired my adventure stories.The Adventure books were some of my absolute favorites as a kid, and like others, at the time the racist and sexist stuff went over my head.

But that's what's so insidious -- when you have awful and cruel villains who are hook nosed and swarthy, it sinks into the unconscious and makes a connection. Takes a while to remove, sometimes.

I often re-read my favorite kids books -- usually I enjoy them just as much, and appreciate them even more in some ways -- although they no longer have quite the magic that you feel as a kid. We grow up, sadly.

But I re-read the Valley Of Adventure a couple of years ago -- not only was I amazed at the blatent racism, but even worse, it was a terrible book. Badly written as well as unpleasant. No surprise that she was an unpleasant sort herself.

Hugh Lofting now -- I could read Dr. Doolittle forever. I know nothing about him, but I'm willing to bet he was a very nice man indeed.

DrummerGirl
04-16-2010, 07:27 AM
Wow. I had no idea -- all this stuff about Enid. She was, of course, my childhood fave author -- despite having, what I remember thinking as a child, the ugliest name :) (No offense to any Enid's out there - but as kid it was a what the? kinda moment :))

I was seven when I became addicted to reading The Famous Five. I read them non-stop and adored them. My parents actually banned me from reading them for a period, they told me my behaviour and attitude had been getting worse and they thought it was because of me reading Enid all day long.

I vivdly recall the converstaion we had. I thought they were being ridiculous and very unfair - to be banned from reading! Plus, as a kid, I couldnt see where they were coming from. Mum said that the children in the books didn't respect authority and parents/authority were shown to be stupid. Of course, I valiantly rose to their defense. I remember thinking Mum was stupid :) during the course of the convo, LOL.

I still feel a little bit of indignation for my childhood self, although I do get where my parents were coming from now...

Tracy
04-18-2010, 01:49 PM
I too loved Enid Blyton as a child, devoured all her books.

But since hearing about what she was like as a person, I am convinced she had narcissistic personality disorder. Loving the fame and the adoration, but hating genuine needy children - oh yes ...

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-03-2010, 05:28 AM
Wow. I had no idea.

I'm American, and enjoyed The Secret Seven when I was in about 4th or 5th grade. That's all I really knew about her.

SP, it sounds like you and I could go bowling and rap about our respective monsters...I mean mothers. After years of craziness from my mother (who actually told me once that she wished I'd strangled on my umbilical cord), I have completely cut the cord. I refuse to have anything more to do with her. I've moved to Canada, and didn't even tell her. I knew it was the only way I could get away from her completely.

scarletpeaches
05-03-2010, 05:30 AM
Oh, I was a told "I wish I'd had an abortion." I believe that was the nicest thing she ever said to me. Besides "I'm gonna put you in a home," which was no threat. Would have been a nice wee holiday.

Ah well. Fuck 'er. She disappeared a few years ago and if I ever find out my dad bumped her off, I'll give him a medal, a handshake and a free bar for the evening.

Elisabeth Bruce
05-03-2010, 06:42 AM
I read some of EB's books mostly because my Aunts would buy them for Christmas presents.
When I got books from the Library, I usually brought home "Swallows and Amazons" or "Just Williams."

I wonder where those series are now? Anyone else remember them. I hope the authors were nicer to their kids than EB was to hers.

aruna
05-03-2010, 10:07 AM
I saw them recently in a shop in Forest Row, West Sussex, that sells old fashioned tows and books. They were nwe editions, but they had all the old covers. ALl the Enid Blyton books were there too, looking just as they used to, but brand new. I got quite weepy and nostalgic! I used to love William.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-03-2010, 05:25 PM
Oh, I was a told "I wish I'd had an abortion." I believe that was the nicest thing she ever said to me. Besides "I'm gonna put you in a home," which was no threat. Would have been a nice wee holiday.

Ah well. Fuck 'er. She disappeared a few years ago and if I ever find out my dad bumped her off, I'll give him a medal, a handshake and a free bar for the evening.

Nice pair, those two. My wonderful dad died when I was 13, leaving me with the harridan. I had to spend 10 years with she and her fuck buddy (later 2nd husband, the complete wanker) before I could get free of her.

Here's to our continued happiness, without the old bats.

Marian Perera
05-04-2010, 06:12 AM
I've moved to Canada, and didn't even tell her.

I did that too! Except in my case it was to get away from my father, after my mom died.