Thursday, 13 March 2008

The best books of my childhood!

I was a Marmite and Enid Blyton girl! ;-)
And if I could get both at the same time then I was in paradise!
Were you the same?

OK... let's forget the Marmite for the time being.
So..At which one did you fancy boarding... Malory Towers or St Clares?!

Or maybe you would prefer an adventure with The Secret Seven? Or The Famous Five?

Or perhaps you were just too busy having fun in The Wishing Chair?

Many a night, when I was young, I would snuggle down, under the covers, with my torch and my Enid Blyton book!
Soon I would be off to another world ...because that's where she took you.

But oh my goodness, poor Enid came in for some stick after a few years!

'They' said that the books had ' limited vocabulary' and 'they' didn't like her 'immature style' which 'they' said was fast paced, with very short sentences and very little description. (SO what?!!)
Enid replied that criticism from people over the age of 12 didn't matter.. (well said Enid ;-)
And then 'they' came forth with the accusations of racism! And that word Golliwog! Oh dear dear me! ;-)

'They' said that she made her foreign characters seem less intelligent! (Claudine, for instance).
But let's face it, the sexism, racism and other attitudes were no different to other authors of the period!
Blyton was like almost every author, a product of the time in which she was writing.

She might well have been frowned upon, but my golly, if you read and enjoyed her books, the memories remain with you always. And most importantly, she got children reading!
To any parent who has ever asked me about their child reading Enid, I have always replied: 'As long as they read a wide variety of other books as well, then I see no problem at all.'

She did me no harm and so her books have taken pride of place on my shelves (amongst JKR ; Pullman, Horowitz, Wilson... etc etc... as I am not totally old fashioned, I hasten to add.
Enid deserves to be there with the rest of them,IMHO).

And so, maybe, I will sneak in and borrow one of her books, when I can't sleep and want a bit of fun under my bed covers;-).... If I can find my torch, that is.. !

Of course, I have the older editions on my shelves, as I hate the new ones, really can't stand the new illustrations and don't agree with anyone messing about with the text either.
Oh and, meanwhile, do to read this article ! It's a couple of years old but acts as a reminder to you , about you know what ;-)

Finally, if you need is a very long list of the books that she penned...

Long live


DH said...

You won't need a torch for fun under the covers with me ;;

asti said...

God, I used to LOVE Blyton as a child. They are seen as so un pc now. What a shame.

DH said...

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Well then! so is ugly
If you go looking for faults or trouble you will find it
These books are so inoffensive and charming
It is the twisted and PC corrupted adult mind that needs addressing
Children will see them for what they are,simply a good read. They don't know of PC and so don't go looking for it.

Kitty said...

What, no Noddy? :-O

I loved to read Enid Blyton as a child, I plan to reread The Famous Five at some point.


FrenchGardenHouse said...

Absolutely LOVED these all as a little girl.:) Who cares what THEY say, we love the Enid books just as they are. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and also for giving me such sweet memories.
xo Lidy

Anonymous said...

I quite agree with your comments about Enid Blyton. As a teacher I notice most kids seem to be reading football or computer games mags these days. Some really need lots of persuasion to read a story book. Enid Blyton's books are still classic by comparison and deserve all the credit your web site gives them. So refreshing to get away from 'p c' claptrap too! Many thanks.

Sal said...

Anonymous...I quite agree! Well said!;-)

Frenchgardenhouse...exactly..who cares what they say!!

Kitty...Noddy was already on the side of my blog so that's why I didn't put him on to the posting..sorry ;-)

Asti..there's no need to refer to me as that ;-)LOL

DH...Your short comment is just the sort of comment I would expect.Your longer one is brilliant!!;-)

Joanna said...

Its lovely to see everyones posts about their old books. Enid Bylton was soo poplular. I love the far away tree and the easy way they are written, I'm dyslexic and found them great to read as rather frustrated reader at school, being kept to the boring bottom shelf! Love your nature table, I'm so glad country living is promoting nature, its so very important.

cd&m said...

Malory Towers and The Famous Five for me, what could be more wonderful than owning your own island?


Forget the Marmite, I hate the stuff, but I love Enid Blyton. I wanted to be a boarder at both Malory Towers and St Clares, feasts at midnight and all that! I am not going to be liked for this but I never ever got round to reading Secret Seven or Famous Five, I really don't know what happened there? I think the Magic Faraway Tree series was one of my favourites. Being brought up with these books never did me any harm, I went on to get an O Level in English! As for all this nonsense with regards being PC nowadays, and playing around with the text is ridiculous, if you don't like it, you don't buy it. Have you got the early edition of The Three Golliwogs, before they had to change their names, the original copies are worth quite a lot of money now, unfortunately my version has got the name changes! I wish you had mentioned naughty Amelia Jane, she was one of my favourites too. x

thevintagemagpie said...

How funny, I blogged my 'new' Enid collection this week. I just adore them, Malory Towers was my favourite, but my children's at the moment is The Faraway Tree. How we love that book - they are all magical. Much better than blooming High School flipping Musical Vols. 1 & 2 which I have tried to hide from my eldest daughter several times! She has read lots of Enid though, so I suppose I have to let HSM in... damn it!

IsabellaCloset said...

Oh what a delightful post! The photos of your vintage book are wonderful. I smile at the love you have for vintage books.. Bless your heart!
Have good day ~Mary~ :-}

Jennie said...

I think we must all be feeling nostalgic at the minute. I love it!
I adored Enid Blyton, Especially 'The twins at St Claire's',(Claudine was my favourite. Wasn't it her little sister who put anchovy paste on Angela's Shoes and shoe polish on her toast?) and 'Malory Towers'. Oh how I longed to be called Darrell and have midnight feasts and go swimming in the moonlight!
I also loved 'Secret Seven' as they were easier and quicker to read than 'The Famous five'.
But my favourite favourite 'Enid Blyton' books are 'Naughty Amelia Jane'.

Jennie said...

p.s I've given you a little award over at my blog. :D

Cowboys & Custard said...

Sorry Sal.. it was peanut butter and Enid Blyton for me.. but how I loved her Famous Five books.. I couldn't get enough of them and would feel desolate when I had finished one of their adventures until I got my hands on the next story...
Yes..indeed.. Long Live Enid Blyton.. she gave so much pleasure to so many... and still does!


Country Cottage Chic said...

I think we all loved Enid Blyton - I wanted to live on a farm with Shadow the sheepdog, climb up the Faraway tree, have some adventures with The Five & then go to Malory Towers!


Lark said...

Noddy, then Faraway Tree (my favourite ever) then St Clare's for me, as I got older. I love some of your old editions!