As so often is the case Stef had a good idea for a blog and now I am going to shamelessly copy her and do the exact same. Strangely, coming up with three favourite adults has been a lot easier than coming up with three favourite characters was for me.
BILL CUNNINGHAM AKA BILL SMUGS
Don’t forget Bill Smugs! Bill once shouted, from a helicopter atop a dangerous mountain no less. And indeed, how could anyone forget Bill Smugs? A daring secret-agent of unknown origins, yet he’s affable and friendly and even willing to take on four teenage children as his own. Bill is brave, resourceful and yet he is not infallible. He does make mistakes upon occasion, but always owns up and tries to fix them.
Mam’zelle Dupont also features on Stef’s list, and I’ve chosen her for much the same reasons. Mam’zelle Dupont, the younger and fatter of the two French mistresses at Malory Towers is by far the better tempered. She sounds like a great teacher to have – even if only because she likes to tell long rambling stories about her chers nièces and other family members, meaning everyone gets out of work for a while. She even takes most of the ‘treeks’ played on her by the girls in good humour. Her mistakes with the English language are an absolute hoot, as well. Who wouldn’t laugh at her mistaking stones for pebbles and asking how many pebbles Amanda weighs? Or her talking about Alicia and her measle. And as Stef mentioned, Mam’zelle’s final revenge in playing her own trick is très magnifique.
There are several good characters in the ‘knowledgeable old man’ vein amongst Blyton’s books, but for me Jeremiah Boogle is the best. The others like him would be Yan’s Grandad from Five Go Down to the Sea, Great-Grandad from Five on Finniston Farm and Old Grandad from The Ring O’ Bells Mystery for a start. For me, though, Jeremiah is the best. He might be old and spend much of his time sitting around the docks, but he also elevates himself beyond being just a source of old story and memory. He is the one who gives the Five a tour of the underground tunnels around Demon’s Rocks, and even gets into a scuffle or two with the baddies of the story. His granddaughter may think he’s a bit of a hopeless old man who’s in need of coddling but he proves that he is still brave and capable in his old age. I would have loved for him to make another appearance in a Famous Five book.
And so those are the best three Blyton adults, in my humble opinion. Who would you choose?