Happy birthday, Enid Blyton! Here’s your guide to her best books of all time

On Enid Blyton’s 120th birth anniversary, we bring you a list of some of her most popular children’s books.

books Updated: Aug 11, 2017 09:04 IST
Medha Shri Dahiya
Medha Shri Dahiya
Hindustan Times
Enid Blyton,Enid Blyton birthday,Enid Blyton books
Enid Blyton, known for her hugely popular children’s books, was born on August 11, 1897. (Facebook/Enid Blyton)

Ginger-ale, ham sandwiches, meat pies, pop biscuits and google buns. If Enid Blyton comes to your mind while reading this, then you would’ve spent your childhood reading Famous Fives, The Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair, and so many more.

Evidently, there is hardly anyone who hasn’t read Blyton. On her birth anniversary, we share some lesser-known facts about the author, and a reading list. She produced as many as 50 books in some years, besides writing for various magazines.

* Blyton was at the centre of controversy because of the volume of work she produced and the speed at which she produced it. Many thought that Blyton had an army of ghostwriters working for her because it was incredulous that someone was capable of generating that much output and at that speed. She denied the charge.

* Around the 1950s, some schools and libraries banned her work as they found her work unchallenging; and some of the themes elitist, sexist or racist. For instance, many perceive the depictions of boys and girls as sexist. Take for example, The Famous Five series where female characters are either patronised, talked down to, or made to act like boys.

* BBC refused to broadcast her work from 1930s to 1950s, as her work allegedly lacked merit.

There is also a TV series based on Enid Blyton’s popular Noddy books. (Facebook/Enid Blyton)

Yet, she has remained a best-seller, and there’s hardly anyone who hasn’t grown up on a healthy diet of Blyton books. Let’s go down nostalgia lane:

Noddy: This fictional character from Toytown was made by a woodcarver, who also carved a wooden lion that scared Noddy, leading him to run away and live in his famous one-room house. Noddy books were published between 1949 and 1963. There was also a TV series based on the cute character.

Famous Five: The story revolves around a group of kids and their dog discovering exciting shipwrecks, or finding adventure on an island. The portrayal of the characters has often been called sexist, though.

Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series is hugely popular among kids. (Facebook/Enid Blyton)

Secret Seven: The Secret Seven society is a group of kid detectives who juggle day-school with mysteries, which sometimes involve mysterious railways, or abandoned houses.

Amelia Jane: The first book in this fictional character series came out in 1939. In an interview, Blyton’s eldest daughter Gillian Baverstock said that the title character, a naughty hand-made doll, was based on a doll owned by Gillian.

Wishing Chair: This magical chair which grew wings and could fly, won the hearts of many. The first book in the series was Blyton’s first full-length book. The adventure of the Wishing Chair, The Wishing Chair again and More Wishing-Chair Stories (collection of short stories) constitute the Wishing Chair series.

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First Published: Aug 11, 2017 09:02 IST