Polly Piglet by Enid Blyton

Polly Piglet by Enid Blyton My rating: 1 of 5 stars “And what did you do when you finished reading Polly Piglet by Enid Blyton?” “Well, my imaginary friend who has been invented to help me make a rhetorical point on the internet, I screamed. And then I screamed some more and a little moreContinue reading “Polly Piglet by Enid Blyton”

Mischief at St Rollo’s by Enid Blyton

Mischief at St Rollo’s by Enid Blyton My rating: 3 of 5 stars Mischief at St Rollo’s is never going to change the world. It’s a typically Blytonian school story; new kids go to a school, thing happen, shenanigans, shenanigans, end of term, I can’t wait to go back! It’s not high literature nor isContinue reading “Mischief at St Rollo’s by Enid Blyton”

New Class At Malory Towers

Malory Towers: New Class at Malory Towers: Four brand-new Malory Towers by Enid Blyton My rating: 3 of 5 stars Malory Towers is having a moment. The past couple of years have seen theatre adaptations, news of the rights being sold to the BBC, and the publication of this: four new Malory Towers stories fromContinue reading “New Class At Malory Towers”

The Children At Green Meadows : Enid Blyton

The Children At Green Meadows by Enid Blyton My rating: 5 of 5 stars Sometimes Enid Blyton could be rather brilliant. I picked this up in a second hand bookshop the other day as a treat to myself. I had a vague memory of the title and, what’s more, I had the odd ache forContinue reading “The Children At Green Meadows : Enid Blyton”

Five Fall Into Adventure : Enid Blyton

Five Fall into Adventure by Enid Blyton My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a little part in this where Julian, after detailing the current predicament that the Famous Five have gotten themselves into, remarks, “…This is all very stupid and melodramatic” and it’s kind of the highlight of the entire book for me. It’sContinue reading “Five Fall Into Adventure : Enid Blyton”

Conversations with dead authors : Enid Blyton

  Enid Blyton “Can you write a biography of somebody without ever knowing the true facts? Why, you barely know anything about me.” She’s bored and not trying to hide it. I suspect that she never hides the way that she feels. I saw the little flash of irritation when they took a little tooContinue reading “Conversations with dead authors : Enid Blyton”

How famous were the Famous Five?

My thanks to Nikesh Shukla for the tweet that unknowingly prompted this pleasant and super nerdly distraction from my thesis … The Famous Five are Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the Dog. 4 humans and 1 dog. For the purposes of this post, we’ll discount Timmy (as much as it pains me) and thus work with 4 individuals. WithContinue reading “How famous were the Famous Five?”

Happy birthday Enid Blyton!

Enid Blyton was born on this day in 1897. Happy birthday Enid! I’ve become increasingly fascinated by Blyton the more I’ve worked on the second chapter of my thesis. I’m considering the changing relationship of children’s literature with landscape; the Arcadian idyll of the Victorian period shifting through to the movements of the post-war period where boundariesContinue reading “Happy birthday Enid Blyton!”

A spectrum of choice : Girlhood and Enid Blyton

“Shall I tell you what I want? What I really really want? I really really really want to see a recognition of the diverse modes of femininity and girlhood presented in Enid Blyton’s school stories zig a zig aah.” Whilst I’m conscious that these aren’t the exact lyrics for the Spice Girls classic, I want you to imagineContinue reading “A spectrum of choice : Girlhood and Enid Blyton”

Last Term at Malory Towers : Enid Blyton

Last Term at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s maybe three or four books locked up in this finale to the Malory Towers series, three or four other stories waiting to be told in this tale of pace and speed and so important moments are lost in chapters, andContinue reading “Last Term at Malory Towers : Enid Blyton”

First Term at Malory Towers : Enid Blyton

First Term at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton My rating: 5 of 5 stars And so my Blyton marathon reaches another great classic, her series of school stories set at the deliciously described Malory Towers. It’s a school set nebulously on the Cornish coast somewhere, but the detail is what makes this school sing. Turrets.Continue reading “First Term at Malory Towers : Enid Blyton”

Enid Blyton, St Clare’s and ferocious readability

I finished my St Clare’s reread last night. I’ve been reading these books as part of my research; they form one of the big aspects of my next chapter alongside the Malory Towers books. It’s been a long time since I read St Clare’s. I had fond memories but bare ones, you know? The sortContinue reading “Enid Blyton, St Clare’s and ferocious readability”

The O’Sullivan Twins : Enid Blyton

The O’Sullivan Twins by Enid Blyton My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m going to be deliberately provocative here and begin with the assertion that this might be one of the best school stories out there. At first glance, this is a strange assertion to make: The O’Sullivan Twins is the second novel in aContinue reading “The O’Sullivan Twins : Enid Blyton”

Enid Blyton’s Nature Lover’s Book : Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton’s Nature Lover’s Book by Enid Blyton My rating: 4 of 5 stars As ever with me and Enid Blyton, the idea of ‘rating’ one of her books is something quite different than rating another. So four stars, yes, definitely, but they are four Blyton-shaped stars and thus of a very different ilk toContinue reading “Enid Blyton’s Nature Lover’s Book : Enid Blyton”

The Sixth Form at St Clare’s : Pamela Cox

The Sixth Form at St. Clare’s by Pamela Cox My rating: 3 of 5 stars Thanks to my local charity shop, I recently picked up a batch of the Pamela Cox fill-in titles for both St Clare’s and Malory Towers and was a bit fascinated to see what I thought of them. I’d registered thatContinue reading “The Sixth Form at St Clare’s : Pamela Cox”

Blyton. Bourne End. Birthday!

(Another phase of The Spectacularly Self-Indulgent Birthday Weekend!) Enid Blyton is a thing of wonder. I’m sure we can all agree on this? And on Sunday I visited her old house. Old Thatch is located just outside of Bourne End, Bucks. There’s a nice part about it here and the official website here. Guys, IContinue reading “Blyton. Bourne End. Birthday!”

The Secret Life Of Anne

I’ve been reading a lot of Enid Blyton recently. From her gloriously mad autobiography through to the Famous Five, her mark on children’s literature remains arguably unsurpassed. And when I was on holiday in France recently, I was startled and then greatly pleased to see rows and rows of freshly issued Blyton books in theContinue reading “The Secret Life Of Anne”

The Story of My Life : Enid Blyton

The Story Of My Life by Enid Blyton My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book. This strange and terrifying and amazing book. The first thing to say is that it sort of defies rating. The five stars I’ve given it reflect, mainly, the outstanding audacity of it. It is supremely constructed in order toContinue reading “The Story of My Life : Enid Blyton”

Children’s literature, food, and frenchwomen

Food is a central theme in children’s literature and school stories in particular. It’s something which has stayed eternally present from the cookery lessons of  the Chalet School, the roundness of Billy Bunter through to the chocolate frogs of Harry Potter. Food is a magical device and it’s particularly magical when used in the schoolContinue reading “Children’s literature, food, and frenchwomen”

The Joy of Enid Blyton

Yay! The fab team at Seven Stories (I’m such a fangirl) have put up a recording of their event on “The Joy Of Enid Blyton” via SoundCloud. I love Enid Blyton. Admittedly in real life she might have been a little … different… but in book form, she’s quite simply astounding. And that’s not justContinue reading “The Joy of Enid Blyton”

“Gosh, odds bodkins!” expostulated Jemima : The very curious tale of the British Boarding School story

There’s something distinctly British about the boarding school story. It struck me the other day on my commute home. For some reason I had Sally from Malory Towers stuck in my head. Good old solid loyal steadfast Sally (poor sod!) was always doomed to be second fiddle to Darrell’s central role. And then I gotContinue reading ““Gosh, odds bodkins!” expostulated Jemima : The very curious tale of the British Boarding School story”