Monday Muse – A Childhood Favourite #EnidBlyton #MondayBlogs

Monday Muse

Inspirational people surround us at every turn.  To celebrate some of the incredible women who continue to motivate me on my writing journey I have decided to post a Monday Muse – a weekly look at the women who are my artistic inspiration.

For today’s Monday Muse I return to my childhood and honour Enid Blyton.  I believe we all have that one author that sticks with us throughout our lives, and for me, it’s Enid Blyton.  Reading her Faraway Tree series shaped my reading preference and would be a huge influence on my writing.

Enid-Blyton

Born on 11th August 1897 in East Dulwich, South London, Enid lived with her parents and two younger brothers.  Enid was extremely close to her father, and it’s said that he cradled her for an entire night when she developed whooping cough, refusing to accept the doctor’s claim that she wouldn’t make it through the night.

In a similar way that my own dad has offered me many words of wisdom over the years, Enid’s father also guided her in life, once telling her:

If you want anything badly, you have to work for it.”

Enid’s first book, Child Whispers, which was a collection of poetry, was published in 1922 followed by several other books and hundreds of short stories, plays, poetry and reviews.  Her hard work and perseverance paid off.

In 1925, Enid published The Enid Blyton Book of Bunnies (later re-titled The Adventures of Binkle and Flip) which some believe to be her first full-length novel.  It was in 1926 that Enid began using a typewriter instead of handwriting her stories.  When I was a youngster it was my ultimate wish to get a typewriter so I could emulate my heroine – I’ve still got that machine.

Enid had begun writing many of the books we know and love by the 1940s.  The Secret series, the Famous Five books, and my absolute favourite, the Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair series.  It wasn’t until 1949 that Noddy made his first appearance.

I wonder if she ever thought it possible that nearly seventy years later her characters would be alive and kicking, and being mass produced as children’s merchandise.

Enid wrote about seven-hundred books which included her short stories.  Her audience were children from age two up to young adults.  She wrote mysteries, fantasy tales, nursery and nature books, fairy-tales and re-tellings of myth and legends.  Her repertoire included school stories, religious books, plays, poetry and many other titles.  It’s this dedication and variety that I admire.  She didn’t limit herself or worry about fitting into any guidelines; she wrote because she wanted to share her stories with the thousands of children who loved her work.  She once said this after reading Little Women by Louisa M.Alcott:

“Those were real children… ‘When I grow up I will write books about real children,’ I thought. ‘That’s the kind of book I like best. That’s the kind of book I would know how to write.'”

Enid Blyton died peacefully in her sleep on 28th November 1968, four years before I was even born and yet she had a huge influence on my reading and writing life.  I loved escaping in her Secret Seven and Famous Five tales, and losing myself in her fantasy stories alongside Moon-face, Silky and Saucepan man.  She remains my favourite author and my biggest inspiration.

Who is your favourite author from when you were a child?  Share your Monday Muse.

28 thoughts on “Monday Muse – A Childhood Favourite #EnidBlyton #MondayBlogs

  1. I loved The Faraway Tree too but The Ship of Adventure was the first book I read entirely to myself when I got glasses at the age of 7 and could actually see – I was a late reader as a result of such poor sight – so it has a special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the first book you read for yourself has a special place in your heart, I know it did for me. I asked my children if they had a favourite book and got the usual teenage response of ‘dunno?’ I’m sure they were all swapped at birth!! 😉

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  2. EB too, but the Malory Towers series in partic. Read In the Fifth so often it fell to bits. I can still remember chunks of it. And The Boy Next Door, a one-off tale about a rich American boy and his wicked uncle. My heart pounds with fright now just thinking about it!

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  3. Last Christmas I bought The Faraway Tree book set for our five year old granddaughter. She loves them. Can’t beat the traditional Blyton books. They were my favourites. And I had another book called The Tree That Sat Down. I loved it. . No on has ever been able to tell me who wrote that one

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  4. So many faves! my mum had to change library at one point because I’d read all the books. I guess I loved Judy Blume, and the goosebumps, and Harry Potter just about counts although I was a smidge old. hmmmmm I wasn’t a blyton fan though, I read joisteen gaarder too, weird child I was! lol

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  5. I read the Famous Five …only found out later what a horrid woman she was, and how she put her readers before her own children (bit like Margaret Thatcher). A writer I loved growing up was Ruby Ferguson,,,she wrote the Jill and her ponies books. I was a pony girl, and devoured them…along with Primrose Cummings, another ‘horsey’ writer.

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  6. I loved the Secret Seven and The Famous Five books. I also loved What Katy Did and What Katy Did at School. Reading Carol’s comment above reminds me I also enjoyed pony books – Josphine Pullen-Thompson. And I loved boarding school stories – could never understand why my parents didn’t send me off with a tuckbox for midnight feasts in the dorm.

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  7. I too was hugely influenced by the Magic Faraway Tree books. I read them over and over again, and when my mother insisted my bedroom light should go off, I would pull back the curtain a little and read by the light of the street lamp! I started writing my own stories at an early age because of those books – I wanted to create my own worlds on paper, just like Enid Blyton did.

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  8. Pingback: Monday Muse – A Touch of Magic with Jill Murphy #MondayBlogs | Shelley Wilson

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