The Five as you have never seen them before, part 3

I’ve done a couple of posts already, each showing a few illustrations by Eileen Soper which although look like they could be depicting the Five are in fact from other books entirely. So here’s another one! (Soper was quite prolific when it came to illustrating Blyton’s books!)

The Baronian Famous Five novel we all missed out on

Sadly the Five never travelled abroad for adventures (despite the boys being in France at the start of Five on a Secret Trail – just imagine what sort of mysteries they could have stumbled upon on the continent!). 

The Arnolds, however, did a lot of travelling. Eileen Soper only illustrated one of their adventures which was their trip to Baronia in The Secret of Killimooin

Peggy and Nora don’t look like either of the girls, but Mike definitely resembles George while Jack and Julian are very much from the same mould.

Here we have Julian and George (surely pleased to see herself referred to as a boy in the caption) finding a statue on just another of their underground adventures.

Famous Five on the farm

Soper also illustrated only one of the Farm series – More Adventures on Willow Farm. It’s been ages since I read that so I can’t remember who the children are in these illustrations. But we’re pretending they’re Kirrins so it hardly matters.

Here Dick shows off some as before unseen animal skills and shows George a squirrel.

Dick finding out that someone else has put on the Clopper costume.

And Dick finding a young Timmy (Famous Five timeline be damned!)

The Five in the colour of nature

Most of Soper’s nature plates which accompany the Nature Readers series are of animals and plants (and for some reason a lot of fairies). But there are children in some of them, including some young Famous Five lookalikes. The bonus of these are they are in colour!

A young Anne and George (if we ignore the fact that they didn’t meet in canon until Anne is 10 and George 11) playing dandelion clocks.

A young Julian and his mother (who I don’t think Soper ever illustrated).

And lastly a young Dick shows an equally Anne and Sid-the-paper-boy a conker.


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1 Response to The Five as you have never seen them before, part 3

  1. Dale Vincero, Brisbane Australia says:

    I don’t want to appear nasty, particularly with Christmas coming up and all that, but isn’t it true that Eileen Soper can only draw a few distinct faces?

    By that I mean even when she is called to draw imaginary faces for this EB series you are discussing here, the faces STILL look like the kids from the Famous Five series.

    I can’t talk – I can only draw ‘stick’ men. Just noticing she has this limitation. Even so, thank you Eileen for your great FF line drawings. They’re as much a part of the story as the text.

    Maybe I am missing the point of this article. If so, happy to be told to back off and leave Eileen and her excellent illustrations alone!


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