Today is the day to reminiscence about all the adventure stories you read during the early school years. Yes, today we celebrate Enid Blyton’s birth anniversary. A woman who changed story-telling for the younger generation in with her captivating plots and twists. Reading Enid Blyton was “cool” in school. Students walked out of the library with The Famous Five under their arm feeling like intellectuals and world leaders. Okay maybe not all of that, but you know what I mean? The 90s kids can totally relate, I’m sure. Summer vacations became more adventurous when you had an Enid Blyton book to spend your time with.
Her books have been amongst the world’s best sellers since the 1930s and some of them have even been made into movies like The Famous Five series and Make Way For Noddy.
I’m good at exploring roofs. You never know when that kind of thing comes in useful.” -The Rubadub Mystery
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She was born in 1897 in England and discovered her love for writing quite early. It is known that her mother was not a fan of her passion for writing but her father encouraged her to pursue her dreams. In the 19th century, this seemed like a privileged dream. She did not let her mother’s disapproval dampen her spirits and continued to write not only for her own musing, but also started sending her work to various publications.
Becoming an author was always on her to-do list, and boy did she not stop at reaching her goal! She published her first book called, “Child Whispers” in 1922 that was a compilation of short poems.
I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.” – Five Go Off in a Caravan
Her fame grew through the popularity of her stories in a children’s magazine named ‘Sunny Stories’. Enid, obviously, did not stop at that and continued to write not just for publications, but for her own enjoyment also. Her work did face some criticism from a certain set of people, especially librarians and literary critics as they thought her work was too childish! (Of course they probably forget she WAS actually writing for children)
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The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.” – Mr Galliano’s Circus
She also wrote under the pseudonym Mary Pollock, which was a combination of her married name name Pollock(from husband H.A. Pollock) and middle name Mary, just to see how successful her books would be if she did not use her known name.
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The children absolutely loved her work and till now more than 600 million copies of her books have been sold! A remarkable achievement, of course. A lot of people compare her work to other children’s books’ writers like J.K.Rowling, but we have to agree that times have changed and what one enjoyed a century back would obviously have a different perspective and liking now. Nevertheless, The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, The Adventurous Four still remain close to heart to all those 80s and 90s kids!
Feature Image Courtesy: leedsbookclub.com