11 August 1897 - 28 November 1968
Today I introduce a woman who possibly inspired me more than anyone to be a writer. The first book I ever recall being read to me as a kid was written by her. Then, as a teen, her Famous Five and Secret Seven series had me enthralled.
She took Froebel training and became a governess to a family of boys in Surrey and this experience encouraged her to set up a school for boys.
In her spare time she began writing a variety of children’s stories. These ranged from natural botany books, biblical stories, a simplified version of Pilgrim’s Promise, to the Famous Five series and the ubiquitous Noddy and Big Ears stories.
Her first stories were published by George Newness and her fame grew through the popularity of her stories in the children’s magazine ‘Sunny Stories.’
Her books were controversial amongst literary critics and librarians. Her writings were often not seen as ‘great literature’ Some found the likes of Big Ears and Noddy just too childish (poor Noddy would frequently burst into tears at any sign of trouble in toytown). For a considerable period, certain libraries would refuse to stock Enid Blyton’s books – despite strong demand from children themselves.
Clancy's comment: Go, Enid! Always loved ya work. Interesting comment above, that many libraries would not stock her books, although kids loved and demanded them. Mm ... Makes ya wonder, eh? I've always had 17 young readers who have read my manuscripts and completed a questionnaire. That way, I knew that I was on track ... And writing for my clients.