Last time we clarified which Jack, or indeed Jock, was which, we covered the difference between Morgan, Dai and Llewellyn and Morgan, Dai and Llewellyn, and we made sure we knew our great-grandad from our old grandads.
Now for some Toms, Dicks and Harries, many Peter-and-Susans and lots more.
HENRYS AND HARRIES
This lot are really confusing. Harry can be ‘short’ for Henry, but also for Harriet, while Henry can be a nickname for Henrietta too.
So there’s Henrietta, also known as Henry – because she wants to be a boy – in Five Go to Mystery Moor, then there’s Henry Philpot who’s known as Harry, and his twin sister Harriet who’s also known as Harry in Five on Finniston Farm. None of those should be confused with Harry Lawdler, always known as Harry unless he’s masquerading as his twin Guy, from Five on a Secret Trail, or Harry Dunn from The Naughtiest Girl. There are even an adult pairing of Harriet and Henry (though they are not known as Harries) – the evil aunt and uncle from The Secret Island.
WHEN THE FAMOUS FIVE ARE NOT THE FAMOUS FIVE
The Famous Five have to be amongst Blyton’s most famous characters, nearly everyone knows of Julian, Dick and Anne, George and Timmy the dog. And quite a lot of people will have heard of Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin. All of them have counterparts in other titles.
Julian Kirrin has a counterpart in The Naughtiest Girl books, Julian Holland.
Dick Kirrin gets confused with Dirty Dick in Five On a Hike Together, but there’s also Cousin Dick in The Magic Faraway Tree (both have huge appetites too), and Dick in Three Boys and a Circus. Also in The Magic Faraway Tree, and other books in the series is Fanny, a young girl not to be confused with grown-up Aunt Fanny.
George Kirrin‘s name is short for Georgina, and there’s a Georgina Thomas at Malory Towers, though I don’t know that she ever shortens her name. Then there’s a boy George (no, not the singer) in the Secret Seven, and a George as a supporting character in The Secret of Spiggy Holes.
Anne Kirrin is the youngest of the group, and Ann is also the youngest in The Caravan Family.
Timmy, a quite unique dog you would think, also appears in The Naughtiest Girl. He only gets a brief mention but he belongs to Elizabeth Allen.
And lastly Uncle Quentin could potentially be confused with Mr Quentin from Good Work Secret Seven.
Blyton wrote about a lot of school girls, so it’s perhaps not surprising there are names that crop up at more than one school (and even more names that appear at school and also elsewhere).
Belinda crops up four times, Belinda Towers attends St Clare’s, Belinda Morris goes to Malory Towers, Belinda Green is a pupil at Whyteleaf and Belinda is also one of the Caravan Family.
Whyteleaf has a Kathleen Peters while St Clare’s has a Kathleen Gregory.
There are even two Joans mentioned at Whyteleaf, Joan Lesley and Joan Townsend, but neither should be confused with Joan (also known as Joanna), the cook at Kirrin Cottage.
AND (SOME OF) THE REST
As mentioned above, George of the Secret Seven shares his name. Two other members do too. Peter is the leader, and there’s a Peter in The Adventures of the Wishing Chair, Peter Longfield The Six Cousins, Peter Jackson in The Family at Red-Roofs, Peter Frost in Hollow Tree House, and another Peter in The Very Big Secret. Peter-of-the-Secret-Seven‘s sister is called Janet, and there’s also a Janet at Malory Towers and a Janet Robins at St Clare’s.
There’s also a Peter who’s almost never referred to as Peter – Snubby from the Barney Mysteries. At least as Snubby you’re not likely to mix him up with anyone else.
Just as common as Peter is Susan. Peter in Hollow Tree House has a sister called Susan. Felicity’s best friend at Malory Towers is a Susan (possibly Susan Blake, but that comes from the continuation books as far as I know and isn’t canon in my opinion!), there’s Susan Longfield from The Six Cousins, a Susan in The Treasure Hunters, a Susan in The Four Cousins and of course the infuriating Susie from The Secret Seven books.
Also going along with Peter is Mollie from The Adventures of the Wishing Chair, and there’s another Molly (and Peter) in The Family at Red-Roofs.
There are some Whyteleafe pupils named above too, but others have their names elsewhere. Elizabeth Allen is the titular character of The Naughtiest Girl books, and Elizabeth, also known as Lizzie, Farrell is a main character of House-at-the-Corner. Nora O’Sullivan is Elizabeth Allen’s monitor, and there is a Nora Arnold in the Secret Series. There’s also Martin Follett, the kind but deceptive boy, and Martin possibly Curton from Five On Kirrin Island Again.
There are two Sids in the Famous Five, one a paper-boy who is partial to chocolate mould and appears in Five Fall Into Adventure, while the other Sid is part of a double act who perform as Clopper the horse in Five Go Down to the Sea.
Spelt differently, but arguably the same name, are Louis and Lewis. Lou, short for Lewis, Ahlberg is a sullen cat burglar/jewel thief who specialises in tight-rope walking in Five Go Off in a Caravan, while Louis-no-last-name is a sullen stilt-walker who specialises in the theft of jewellery in Secret Seven Adventure.
And lastly there is Philip Hilton, better known as Pip, from The Five Find-Outers, and Philip Mannering of the Adventure Series.
That is, though, not to mention various minor characters such as the Jeffs, Jims, Toms, Pauls, Larrys, Wills, Pamelas, Ritas, and Eileens of Blyton’s books. It also doesn’t touch on the fact there are probably lots more Jacks, Peter and Susans etc in the hundreds of short stories!
Can you think of any more shared names?