Author Topic: The Enid Blyton Thread  (Read 432 times)

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Offline The Test Card Girl

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The Enid Blyton Thread
« on: April 28, 2017, 08:30:24 AM »
You *never* have to grow out of reading Enid Blyton books.

This thread is for those who grew up reading Enid Blyton books, such as school stories like Malory Towers and St. Clares; adventure stories like Famous Five, Secret Seven and the Five Find-Outers (and dog); magic stories such as Faraway Tree and the Wishing Chair and children's books such as Noddy.

We can discuss a variety of subjects all relating back to Blyton books, from the light (which character did you most want to be to which food sounded the tastiest) to the heavier (dissecting racism and name changes in Blyton books).

Blyton was a prolific British children's author, who wrote during the 1920s through 1960s. Her most popular books mainly centered on young children, who all had wonderful adventures, whether it was foiling a smugglers' plot or visiting a fairyland via a magical treetop.

== personal thoughts ==

Some of the Bowdleriser's choices are bizarre; there's no need to hide the fact that the characters use pre-decimal currency.

Zerelda Brass in Malory Towers has lost her Victory Rolls* hairstyle and now has some unspecified "elaborate hairstyle".

From the Famous Five, Anne Kirrin stating that boys cannot wear pretty dresses or like dolls has been removed.

(* - for younger readers: During World War II, many things were give the sobriquet Victory or Liberty).

Offline DNAgenie

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Re: The Enid Blyton Thread
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 05:13:29 PM »
I grew up reading the Enid Blyton books and I thirsted for more issues of the various Adventure series and Mallory Towers. I did read the Magic Faraway Tree but thought it was pretty silly. Noddy was not on my radar.

I identified with characters like George in the Four Goes Adventuring books, and Bill in Mallory Towers, as many girls did who did not accept the female stereotype of the times, even in those days. I naturally assumed I could do all the things boys did, and I followed a traditionally male-oriented career path as a scientist.

Viva Enid Blyton.

Offline Превед

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Re: The Enid Blyton Thread
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 07:50:43 AM »
I remember reading several of those short Five series books by Enid Blyton (as a Norwegian kid in pre-Internet days I assumed the author was a man) in Norwegian translation when I was 10-12, I suppose. What I most remember was the sexual tension in them, perhaps due to the focus on excitement, adventure, gender roles, transgressions, getting locked up in dark dungeons, kidnappings etc. by a mixed group of boys and girls coupled with a puritanical and prudish restraint typical of Britain in that age. And if I don't remember too wrong there were rather detailled descriptions of the looks of these kids and the adults they encountered.

To sum it up it was like: Here we have a group of beautiful blond children frolicking wildly (nude?) on a deserted beach when suddenly one of them falls into a dark dungeon dug by evil, predatory, swarthy robbers. Will he or she be saved or will he / she be left to the dark desires of the robbers who will have their way with him / her before his / her brave and beautiful friends can rescue her?

Entertaining, but gave young pre-pubescent me some strange ideas.....

I think the sexual aspect came off so strongly because these books had no other theme, like other children's books which were about friendship, family, imagination, good vs. evil, finding yourself, knowledge, moral dillemmas, love, life, death etc. These books were only about transgressive adventures, with a cast of children that made no impression on the reader except their physical presence and agility. In short these books were like a children's version of the works of Marquis de Sade's!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 08:17:23 AM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline Kimberly

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Re: The Enid Blyton Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 04:24:31 AM »
Seriously!!!! Don't forget the ever so slightly sadistic " LASHINGS of ginger beer " in the picnic basket :-)
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Offline Превед

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Re: The Enid Blyton Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 08:18:01 AM »
Seriously!!!! Don't forget the ever so slightly sadistic " LASHINGS of ginger beer " in the picnic basket :-)

Haha, great, thanks for leading me to this apparantly famous parody of the series emphasizing exactly the features I noticed as a kid!
Five go mad in Dorset: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_KfQ0pD2gw

But then I'm Norwegian and we are a strange lot: A well-known Norwegian children's author, Gro Dahle, is now writing a book about pornography for children! https://www.nrk.no/kultur/xl/_-det-er-ikke-sa-farlig-at-barn-ser-pa-porno-1.13491801

Norwegian children's books that had to be censured in the US: https://www.nrk.no/kultur/bok/dette-er-for-droyt-for-amerikanske-barn-1.13377055 (Swipe bar in the pictures to see differences between Norwegian and American covers, mostly issues with nudity, peeing and a knife!)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 08:20:01 AM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)