Monday #359

A guide to unnecessary retellings of Blyton’s works


The Famous Five as you’ve never seen them before

The wind howled round and shook the tree violently. Something fell from the tree and hit the raging man full on the shoulder. He dropped down at once, shouting, clutching at his shoulder. Jack sped off into the wind. He  turned and looked back. Pepi was trying to get up, groaning. The wind howled again, and the big tree spat out something else that hit Pepi on the head. He fell back and did not move.

This is one of those little moments from The Valley of Adventure that I just love. The cases were put up earlier, to hide them, and now they’ve come back into the story in such a funny way.

Not a book by Enid Blyton this week but a book about her. Enid Blyton a Biography by Barbara Stoney is the most important biography. So many newer books purporting to be an authority on Blyton have consulted this book (and many just repeat what they have read amongst their new and entirely unsubstantiated claims).

Over three years Barbara Stoney talked with Gillian and Imogen, Blyton’s daughters, her brother Hanley and other relatives, Blyton’s friends and former staff, the people she worked with at different publishing houses and many more people to give a very detailed and wide-ranging biography. 

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1 Response to Monday #359

  1. chrissie777 says:

    Barbara Stoney’s EB biography was the first book in April 1978 which I bought at a German bookstore in Braunschweig and had ordered from an English speaking country (the novel “After The Reunion” by Rona Jaffe in 1991 was the second book).

    I don’t remember who told me about it and when that was (any time between 1974 and early 1978 as it took many weeks for the book to arrive at the bookstore). Maybe I found out about it at the Frankfurt Book Fair which was the only chance during the pre-Internet years to get any information about British and American publishers.

    But the major reason for me to get this book was gathering information on the the CFF film “Five on a Treasure Island” (1957) as I had watched that film when I was about 11 years old and since then it never ever had a rerun on German TV.


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