Thank You So Much for Your Comments, it's lovely to see you here!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Y is for Why Enid Blyton Books are still so Popular!


Many in the UK of all ages would admit that they were or are fans of Enid Blyton. In fact, her books have just been re-printed in an illustrated form and very slightly up-dated. 

I'm sure that children's UK authors, apart from such writers as J.K. Rowling, Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson, would wish for such popularity. However, there was one time in the 20th century when her books were banned from some libraries and many schools on the grounds that her stories were repetitive and her choice of language was simplistic. However, like the Harry Potter series, she made readers from children who would  never have picked up a book otherwise. 


Apart from the many objections to her books from the educational establishment, it is interesting for any author to try to understand her lasting popularity. Several books have been written on this subject, but from my recent reading of her work I'd say that one reason is because the adults don't interfere with the children's lives. They are missing from the stories. The children always outwit stupid adults, they have adventures which the readers would long to experience. Food is an important subject. There are always animals with whom to share their adventures. There is conversation between the children themselves without adult intervention and a great deal of it on each page with very little description to slow things down.  The relationships between the children are believable, and most importantly, the children always succeed in whatever they do and there is always a happy ending. And perhaps, more importantly, something happens on every page. 

It would be interesting to contrast these books with the equally popular ones today, such as Dustbin Baby written by Jacqueline Wilson. She writes about dysfunctional families and has despairing endings....  but that's another story. 

10 comments:

Glynis said...

Enid Blyton just captured my imagination and transported it into her world. She made me feel like a character in her books. I could still pick up a book of hers and feel the same.

Carole Anne Carr said...

She had a wonderful way of becoming a child herself, Glynis - the secret of her success - for we are told she never grew up and wrote for the child she still was.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Enid Blyton books will always have a special place in my heart _ I grew up with them! I think you may be right - the children seem to live in an autonomous world where adults play little or no part... Just what kids love...

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, Pat, we all in our turn loved Enid Blyton books. :0)

Su said...

I got into British children's stories by way of Elinor Brent-Dyer, and have quite the Chalet collection, but have still never managed to get my hands on Enid Blyton. It's not for lack of wanting to! Perhaps my next book purchase will be to order a handful of Blyton books. :)

Carole Anne Carr said...

If you purchase from Book Depository I don't think you'll have to pay an awful lot of postage, Su. She's great for children - they still love her stories - but she's not a 'great' author. I've listed some of the best in the A to Z Challenge on my blog.

Carol J. Garvin said...

Your A to Z series has been great, Carole Anne! I'm curious to see what you'll choose for Z. You've come up with books I'd long forgotten. The Enid Blyton ones were popular with our children but only for a very short time, and I'm not sure why. They enjoyed the stories but seemed to outgrow them quickly, although there were certainly lots of titles to choose from. I can't believe how prolific a writer she was!

Carole Anne Carr said...

It is whispered that she had help, Carol, like today's writers who come up with the plots and then other people write the stories. However the plots were so similar, with only a slight change of setting,that it must have been much easier to write than the battles I have with my historical fiction. :0)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Carole .. I'm not sure if I didn't miss out Enid Blyton - I went from being an avid reader at home to boarding school and suspect Enid B wasn't on the list!! I was still an avid reader but probably skipped a couple of years somehow ..

But she certainly stirred a great deal of imagination in kids .. cheers Hilary

Rachel Morgan said...

Enid Blyton is the reason I fell in love with books when I was first able to read! I had no idea there had been objections to her books over the years... I understand from an article I read recently that the language in some of her books has been "modernised" to give the stories greater appeal to today's youth. That sounded like a good idea to me.

 
Design and Template by: Bright Sunshine Designs by Mary - Affordable Custom Blog Design
Design kit elements from Viva Artistry