A beloved children’s author

Enid Blyton was one of the most prolific and most translated authors that this country has ever produced. She was, at one time thought to have produced 50 books a year and there seemed to be no end to the Lady’s talent. She is something also of a controversial author with many of her books being heavily criticised and even banned from some libraries, some have also suggested that she used ghost writers, a claim strongly denied by Blyton vociferously. Blyton’s most popular creations were the Famous Five, Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, St Claire’s and Malory Towers. They were about two fictional UK Boarding Schools but if you’d like some information on real ones try http://www.andersoneducation.co.uk/uk-boarding-schools

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It’s not much of a surprise that she had an active imagination. Blyton was very ill with Whooping cough and as treatments were limited almost died. She was nursed back to health by her Father. She was devoted to him and he is said to have installed in her a love countryside, adventure and animals. He left the family home to live with his lover and left the young Enid adrift with her Mother who she was not close to. Blyton is said to have never forgiven her parents and did not go to either of their funerals. She excelled at school, becoming head girl and made the life changing design of not following music but rather wanted to become a writer instead. She had had poems publish as a child, much to her mother’s disproval.

She moved out of the family home to live with close school friend. It was on trips to a family friends house Seckford Hall that it seemed to cement her ideas. It is a place full of secret passageways and supposedly a haunted room. Whilst there Blyton decided that she would pursue her writing career but also as train as teacher as a backup. This background as a teacher would also instil some critics as she based her books solely for children without stretching their vocab. For Blyton though this meant nothing. She was reported to have only been interested in what under twelves thought and as they made up the bulk of her readership you felt she had a point.

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Her own personal life as an adult was fraught. She married Major Hugh Pollock. The bitterness she felt towards her family reflected int eh fact she did not invite them. Pollock worked for a publisher and he made sure her works were published. Pollock drank, and this took a toll as he took a mistress. Blyton to did so in kind before petitioning for divorce. She then married Darrell Rivers and was much happier. She had two daughters with Pollock but was sadly to miscarry several times and was unable to give Darrel Rivers the son they had both dreamed about.

It’s easy to think of her as a stuffy upper middle-class woman but she was more liberated than people think. For example, one of her greatest pleasures was naked tennis!

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