Thursday, 5 April 2012
E is for Enid Blyton
Enid Mary Blyton was born in August 1897 in South London, with two younger brothers for company Enid spent all of her childhood growing up in the area. She had a close loving relationship with her father, and they would often spend time together, in the garden, on nature rambles or out at the theatre. They had many shared interests which they enjoyed whenever time permitted.
However, her relationship with her mother wasn't as joyful, and the pair didn't see eye to eye. Her mother was of the opinion that girls should be domesticated and should be doing housework. Enid wasn't this way inclined, and resented having to do chores whilst her brothers were given a lot more freedom.
Unfortunately, her parents had little in common, and as the years passed the situation got unbearable, there were many upsetting rows and eventually they split up, and her father left. This had a devastating effect on young Enid, and she all but locked herself away in her room where she wrote compulsively. Her mother didn't understand why her daughter wanted to spend her time scribbling stories, and gave her little support. Enid already knew by this time that she wanted to be a writer. She sent off many stories and poems, but apart from one poem, had many rejections. It wasn't until years later she became successful.
She eventually became a teacher, after realising this would bring her closer to the children she wanted to write for, and it would give her a better understanding of what they wanted to read. Eventually in the early 1920's she began to get her stories and articles published in periodicals. She also wrote verses for greeting cards and had her first book, Child Whispers a slim volume of poetry published in 1922.
It is believed Enid wrote over 700 books including the Famous Five books, the St Clare's books, the Cherry Tree/Willow Farm series and the Faraway Tree, and Wishing Chair books. These were later to be joined by Secret Seven books, and the the Mallory Towers series to name but a few. Noddy appeared in 1949, and was a huge success, making Enid a fortune.
She died in 1968, at the age of 71, her books sell all over the world, and she continues to entertain, educate and inspire. My own favourites are the Faraway Tree series, I loved the characters who lived in the magic land, and made up my own stories long after the books had been read. I devoured the Famous Five, lingered over the Secret Seven, and spent many happy hours reading the books two or three times over because I loved them so much.
Enid was a 'panster' writer, she never plotted a story, preferring to let the story unfold as she typed. She was tireless in her pursuit of writing for children of all ages, and couldn't imagine her life without writing. What a wonderful legacy she has left behind for generations of children.
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