Now the interesting thing about Enid Blyton for me, is that I can’t really remember any of the stories specifically, yet whenever I think of her and the series’, I get a really warm fuzzy feeling inside: of safety, joy and contentment. I’m brought back to that feeling of Innocence.
It’s been at least 26 years since I read them. I have always been an avid reader, and was reading before I even went to school, so my mum tells me. So I do wonder how old I was when I read my first Enid Blyton book and if perhaps the reason for specific memories giving way to emotional memories could be the reason for this. Do you know what I mean? Has this ever happened to you – the memory disappears but a feeling remains in its place?
Enid Blyton, for those of you who don’t know, was born 1897 and died 1968. She created such innocent stories: all about mystery, action and adventure. Stories that are like catnip to children, at least they were for me. The ideas of kids being smart, determined, strong and with the childlike notions of right and wrong, and black and white…
Perhaps going backwards to read them again now I wouldn’t find them so enthralling. As an adult it wouldn’t be the same. However, Enid Blyton will always remain for me, one of the ‘Golden Writers’ of my childhood. As well as the inspiration for many of my own pieces of creative writing during those early years.
List of Works
Famous Five (Series of 21) Secret Seven (Series of 15)
Adventure Series (Series of 8) Five Find-Outers (Series of 15)
Barney Mysteries (Series of 6) Secret Series (Series of 5)
Adventurous Four (2) Malory Towers (Series of 6)
St Clares (Series of 6) Naughtiest Girl (Series of 3)
Six Cousins (2) Galliano’s Circus (3)
Faraway Tree (3) Wishing Chair (2)
Noddy (24)*Bold denotes those that I have read in part or whole.
When I read through the list of titles, I came across a few that stood out, but I don’t remember the stories specifically so I’ll just give a general review of some the series’ that I did dip into as a whole.
The Famous Five Series, what is not to like? Two girls two boys and a dog, strong spirited and with a sense of right and wrong. They always got into trouble and had to find ways to get out of it. They investigated mysteries, followed their instincts and caught the bad guy. Well the adults they alerted with the proof they found, or the events they set in motion led to the bad guys getting caught. The stories were realistic, they’re only children and can’t catch the bad guys directly. There is a sense of children being able to act, but that they needed adult help and support for certain things.
The Secret Seven Series. This was a series about seven kids that start a secret club. This idea captured my imagination more than the famous Five. They had a clubhouse, used secret passwords and codes. I think the reason I liked it was the club was a sort of close nit group of friends that were a team. The nostalgia I feel is a sense of: them against the world, together, as a family.
I’m seeing a pattern here in my Enid Blyton fandom. I’m a sucker for adventure stories it would seem. I had a thick triple collection edition and they were extremely engaging, adrenalin pumping action books! Just look at the cover of The River of Adventure… those rapids, the flimsy looking boat….
The secret series must have been my favourite series. I recognise every title, especially ‘The Secret of Spiggy Holes’. Sadly I don’t remember any of the stories, just a sense of wonder and anticipation. Wanting to find out what the secret was…