When people search for Blyton related media, what are they looking for?
A large proportion of our blog views* come from various search engines – and WordPress tells us exactly what the search terms were. It’s really interesting to see what people are looking for in terms of Blytonian material (and sometimes downright funny).
THE TOP TERMS
The top 5 topics searched for (roughly in order) the Famous Five, Malory Towers, the Five Find-Outers, Blyton’s poetry and illustrators.
THE FAMOUS FIVE
The Famous Five’s search terms were mostly people looking for information on a particular book – either a summary or information about the various editions. The books that featured most often were Five on a Treasure Island, Five go to Smuggler’s Top, and Five Run Away Together. There were also lots of searches about the various TV series – and searches for each of the actors in them. The most popular actors were Laura Petela and Jennifer Thanisch who played Anne in the 90s series and the 70s series respectively. Plenty of people also searched for characters of the Famous Five, Julian got the most searches while Anne, George and Dick were roughly tied. There were also quite a few searches for Edgar Stick (generally questioning the Five’s treatment of him.)
People searched for individual books mostly, again, wanting plot summaries or information about editions. They also searched a lot for details about Malory Tower’s crest or badge and its uniform. Unsurprisingly Darrell Rivers got the most searches of any character, followed by Sally Hope and the Mamzelles.
THE FIVE FIND-OUTERS
Again, searches for books were most common – The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage had the most. The most common character searches were for Fatty – though someone did want to know about movie versions of some of the books, and someone else asked if there were any photographs of the characters.
There were lots of searches just looking for poems or poetry by Blyton, and some which specifically named the poem they were looking for – Little New Year and Dead Leaves most often.
Lots of people searched generally for illustrations from various books, or for a particular illustrator. Eileen Soper appeared in the most searches, though there were several for Betty Maxey and Stuart Tresillian.
Other terms to have several searches were: The Adventure Series, the Adventurous Four, Amelia Jane, the Barney Mysteries, Dean & Son, the Enchanted Wood Series, Enid Blyton, Fanfiction, Green Hedges, the Secret Seven and St Clare’s.
Perhaps surprisingly we had very few searches for Noddy, and none for the Secret Series.
THE NOT QUITE RIGHT
We had a whole catalogue of people who clearly found themselves on our blog when they were in fact searching for something completely different.
For example we had people were looking for Sylvia Naughty, whoever she might be, Belinda Morris Athletics, World end tomorrow weather, Five find father, George Soper, Famous Five Santa, Sindy 1990s, Imogen Summerfield Blyton and Who is Top Smugglers.
You can see how these people came to the blog, though, as we’ve used most of those names/words – just not in that order! Except for Sindy… no idea why they ended up here.
We also had a lot of very confused people, searching for Blyton-related material, who got their search terms rather muddled.
A few of my favourites would be Rene Cloke Wishing Tree, Summary of Kirrin Island by Eileen Soper, Mary Pollock The Treasure Hunters and The Six Find Outers.
THE COMPLETELY UNEXPLAINABLE
We also had some that are just impossible to suggest an explanation for.
Mannering Enid book people, eh?
Novel the Ship of Adventure Guid Blyton is character… I almost see where that one’s going, but it’s just so wrong.
And main event and incident and episode her ankle… just what were these people looking for, and how did they expect to find it with those terms?
What is the odor is Amelia Jane books… just weird.
There were definitely defined themes that became obvious when I read through the search terms.
A lot of people wanted plot summaries and character sketches for all the main series mentioned above – many book related searches contain the words summary, theme, message, values and synopsis. Also popular in book searches were edition, dustjacket, published and illustrator. There were multiple searches looking for ideas for costumes based on Blyton characters (the Secret Seven and Amelia Jane were popular choices) and ideas for Blyton-themed birthday cakes. We also had a lot of searches for audio books.
We also had a few searches about racism within Enid’s books. The most disturbing part was these searches were specifically asking about books where I can see no racism at all. Five on Finniston Farm was one, and Mr Pink-Whistle another.
A final, amusing theme, is the number of people looking for photographs of characters or information about movies/television series that don’t exist. I’ve mentioned the Five (or Six!) Find-Outers, and those were of The Mystery of the Strange Bundle (or more specifically Fatty in that movie), and The Mystery of the Missing Necklace, but we also has people asking about the actress who plays Mamzelle Dupont from Malory Towers and a Malory Towers movie.
Just to swell the heads of some of our contributors we had a bunch of people search directly for their work. The ones I noticed were Julie, Aaron and Poppy.
Oh, and several people actually searched for our blog directly, and actually found us!
*nearly two thirds of people who click a link to come to our blog do so through a search engine.
What an interesting article, Fiona. Lots of surprises there – I always thought that George was the most popular character in the Famous Five (maybe it’s only me!).
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Francis, for me George is the most famous character. After all, no other of Blyton’s suspenseful series of books reached 21 sequels and countless continuation stories. It’s even more popular than the (slightly better) Adventure series. How I wish Blyton would have written 21 Adventure stories taking place somewhere in the British countryside…
Still discovering things on this site! It occurs to me that “What is the odor is Amelia Jane books [sic]” may not be so weird as all that: perhaps ‘odor is’ was just a typo for ‘order of’? And “Mannering Enid book people” someone remembering the name of the family in the Adventures?
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Could be Chris, could be! You ought to be in the Find-Outers with deductions like that 🙂
So where is the MT film available from? Not seen it anywhere!
It’s available in any brain with a good imagination near you! 🙂
Relating to the search for Sindy: it’s possible they were looking for information about the “Sindy” series of adventure books – rather Blytonian adventures featuring Sindy and Patch; maybe someone thought Enid Blyton wrote them (the author is in fact anonymous). Quite good stories, actually – better than you might guess. (I recall that “The Curious Clock” had one of the most protracted, exciting car chases I can recall reading for a long time.)
The actress who plays Mam’zelle Dupont: I did read a few years ago that some company was proposing a film or T.V. series of Malory Towers, and it was suggested that Dawn French (of “Vicar of Dibley” fame) might play the part of Mam’zelle Dupont. As far as I know, this never happened, though. It might have been interesting, although I believe it was going to be massively “updated” (i.e., corrupted), with references to drug usage, broken families, sexual identity, the Internet, and other modern things. I would really rather not have that sort of stuff in a Blyton adaptation.
I’m not saying fiction shouldn’t deal with such things; but an Enid Blyton story is not the proper place for them.