I don't know about you, but I need massive contrast in my life. This blog pretty much reflects that, I think. Like in life, in which I need to follow one activity with one that is the opposite or not too similar to the one that preceded it, I try to do the same with this blog.
Although I know (from lack of response) that these Enid Blyton posts are not terribly popular or relevant to most readers, I keep putting them out there because Blyton had a powerful effect on me as a kid. In particular, her books encouraged my love of nature and exploring. Hers were also the first mysteries I ever read.
I get the sense that she wasn't big with American kids of the 50's, 60's, and 70's. I'm not sure how many Blyton books were published in the US. If anybody knows, please illuminate me.
I don't think she's a brilliant writer, but I do think she had an incredibly rich, expansive, infinite imagination. Her books forged incredible connections with children at a time when entertainment options for the young were extremely limited. There WAS radio, of course.
Blyton is easily the most prolific children's author of all time, and it's unlikely her body of work will ever be eclipsed.
If you have never read her, I can't possibly predict what reading her now, as an adult, would be like. She is so tied to my childhood, extrication from that connection is impossible.
Recommended reads for the uninitiated would be The Magic Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair, Mr. Meddle Muddles (arguably a precursor to Mr. Bean), Five Go To Smugger's Top, The Adventure of the Secret Necklace, The Wishing Chair, and Mr. Galiano's Circus.
Once you're done with those, there are approximately 745 more to enjoy.
Blyton is the sixth most translated author in the world, equal to Shakespeare in that respect. She has sold over 400 million books.
It has been announced (but not confirmed) that Helena Bonham Carter will portray Blyton in a new BBC TV movie about her complex, fascinating life.