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March 22, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Why update books?
Enid Blytons books have an affinity for children in different time periods. I started reading them when I was 11 and at the ripe old age of 74 am still reading them. I have read them in India where I lived most of my life and where English customs were different and now I am living in New Zealand where again there is a difference in perceptions about many things. Yet Enid Blyton appeals to all everywhere and anywhere and that too for any age. The books should be left untouched and in their original form, they have a charm of their own and no updates or changes can make them more appealing. In fact it will make them far less interesting and they should reflect the period in which and the audience for whom they were written.—Avan N. Cooverji
March 17, 2017: St Clare's - Malory Towers vs. St Clare's
Where Malory Towers scores over St. Clare's is firstly on its location. The mental image that the school with its four massive towers high up on a cliff conjours is inspiring. While St. Clare's is huge, the scenic beauty of Malory Towers with its swimming pool cut into the rock with fresh water flowing in and out of it is unbeatable. Now coming to the schools itself. There is not much to differentiate one from the other. There is a common ribbon running through both the series. Both schools have sisters in them as pupils, in both certain characters are good and virtuous and both have mean spiteful girls as well. The head mistresses are of equal caliber, wise and serious and capable of guiding the girls superbly through their formative years. Also I feel that Malory Towers makes a lot of Darrell while attention is more equitably distributed among the various students in St. Clare's. American girls too are present in each school, Mamzelle's and teachers also follow the same lines and events like midnight feasts, sports competitions, tricks and the like are the same in each. But that it is to be expected because they are schools set in the same country , for the same age girls and therefore the spirit is the same. Somehow I feel that Claudine At St. Clare's is the most enjoyable of the lot and each book gives the reader enough entertainment as well as some pearls of wisdom in a discreet and sensible way. Enid Blyton has made the world of boarding schools for girls come alive in a wonderful way.—Avan N. Cooverji
March 17, 2017: Mystery (Five Find-Outer) Series - The Find-Outers' Books
Not sure about that. The later "Fives" are a shadow of the earlier ones, and "Banshee Towers" is awful. Maybe mid-series are some of the best. Always better when you really know the characters.—Philip
Fatty says... Fatty says: Daisy did say "most"! I agree about the FF books, but no Find-Outers' book can ever be bad!
March 16, 2017: St Clare's - Favourite character
St. Clares gives a good all round education to girls. Equal emphasis is laid on formal studies and sports. Those who show special talent in art, drama or music are encouraged and guided to excel in them. But the reason I admire the ethics of the school is that the head Miss Theobald is a very sensible person who is ever willing to give a chance to those who may have gone on the wrong path or as they say ,off the rails, and then does try her best to bring them on track again instead of just giving up on them. Since she lays more stress on character building than only on academics, I would like to place my child in such a school if I could afford it and have the chance.—Avan N. Cooverji
March 14, 2017: Mystery (Five Find-Outer) Series - The Find-Outers' Books
I recently bought a collection of the first 3 books. It's interesting as how the 5 were quite gullible at times. Larry was not a good leader and why Fatty could get into the secret room and then fall asleep and be captured is beyond me. Pip is quite annoying but to me the real stars of the early books are Bets and Buster, the later books are better, needless to say Mr Goon is as awful as ever. A very underrated set of books,certainly better then some of the later Famous 5.—brendan fitzpatrick
Daisy says... Daisy says: Most serial books get better as the series progresses. I don't think you can compare the Find-Outers to the Famous Five. It's a different series altogether.
March 10, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Female Villains
In the Five Find-Outer books, I can only think of two female villains. In Spiteful Letters, there was Mrs Moon. In Tally-Ho cottage, the villains were Mr And Mrs Lorenzo, who later disguised themselves as Mr and Mrs Larkin. Am I missing any others? .—Padré
March 4, 2017: Famous Five - George's feelings
Nigel, I see your point, but those who would have given her the restrictions she hated so much already knew she was a girl and wouldn't have changed just because she said otherwise. Don't forget that her cousin Anne, also a girl and fully accepting of the fact that she was, also managed to bypass many of these restrictions without changing a thing. George would have known this and yet she continued to dress and act as a boy anyway, with loud objection whenever anyone got it wrong.—Beth
March 4, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Enid Blyton
Be interesting to see what Enid would have thought of the "swinging sixties". In some of the last books before the dementia hit she makes remarks in her stories disparaging fifties youth culture and like Elinor Brent Dyer's later efforts, this comes across as an middle aged/elderly person who can't understand a different world.—Paul
March 3, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Female Villains
Sorry, sometimes it's easier to ask questions under a different name. Less preconceptions and stereotypes and less pre-judging.—Paul
Fatty says... Fatty says: Our actions of the past and present build the foundations of people's perceptions of us now and in the future. We are what and who we are.
March 3, 2017: Mystery (Five Find-Outer) Series - Banshee Towers
Daisy, it does seem as you write that Enid Blyton was not quite herself when she wrote The Mystery of the Banshee Towers. Ill health must have taken its toll on this much loved children story writer. Yet her efforts are indeed praiseworthy. She will always be remembered for the enjoyment she gave to millions of children and opening for them an enchanting and wonderful world.—Avan N Cooverji
March 2, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Female Villains
Aside from non-humans like Dame Slap and schoolgirls like Gwen Lacy and Angela Favorleigh, were there many female villains in Enid's stories? In real life, many female villains have been able to strike because most people won't think a woman will attack them and so their guard is lowered.—Paul
Fatty says... Fatty says: There were plenty. An interesting topic to see what people come up with! Incidentally, you have enough non de plumes online, Paul, so I have reverted your name to your real one.
March 1, 2017: Mystery (Five Find-Outer) Series - The best and the weakest of the Five Find Outers series
I feel the best book in the series is The Mystery of the Invisible Thief. It requires a lot of deduction and is almost a very grown- up sort of mystery that requires good brains like Fatty has solve it. Also the character of the cocky thief Twit is very well portrayed as is Goon who always blunders and in fact becomes friend with the wrong doer. The weakest of the series seems to be the last one, namely, The Mystery of Banshee Towers, here the story does not have the same grip and seems to ramble on for the sake of constructing a mystery. Adere is not much fun in it either. It does seem a far cry from the other Five Find Outers books and am a little puzzled as to how it turned out be so after reading so many really good ones in the series.—Avan N. Cooverji
Daisy says... Daisy says: The reason why the last book of the series isn't quite as good as the others, I think, is because it was published in 1961 and Enid's health was starting to fail. Also there was a four year gap between The Mystery of the Strange Messages and Banshee Towers.
February 28, 2017: Mystery (Five Find-Outer) Series - Mr Goon
Do we know how much money Mr Goon made? .—Jamie
Fatty says... Fatty says: A village PC was classed as 'servant class', so would have earned very little. He had a house provided - rent free - which made up for a low wage.
February 27, 2017: Famous Five - George's feelings
I think Beth is right, George is so prickly and uncomfortable with herself that she may be potentially transgender while say, Bill Robinson from Malory Towers, despite her name preference, has no questions about her gender identity and is very happily a tomboy girl.—Jamie
February 26, 2017: Famous Five - George's feelings
George was a figment of Enid's imagination - a character she made up, reputedly based on herself. There is no question of her being 'transgender'. She simply hated being a girl because of the restrictions imposed on female children at that time. She was frustrated because she wasn't allowed out at night and constantly being told she had to make beds etc because she was a girl. She wanted to do things that boys did and because of this she shunned skirts and dresses. Nothing to do with sexuality, just her attitude and make-up.—Nigel
February 26, 2017: Famous Five - George's feelings
I believe that George was transgender, due to how strongly she objected whenever anyone called her a girl. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if a girl is simply a tomboy, they're perfectly happy to be identified as a girl, as they know they are and don't object to this- they simply act more like a boy, such as taking part in activities normally associated with males and not wearing "girly" clothes like dresses and skirts. The fact that George felt so offended whenever anyone called her a girl and was so pleased when new people thought she was a boy suggests that she was, in fact, transgender and fully identified as male.—Beth
February 24, 2017: Mystery (Five Find-Outer) Series - Mr Goon
Mr. Goon , the policeman in the Five Find Outers series is a very necessary part of the mysteries stories. If there was no Mr. Goon, the race to see who solves the mysteries would not exist and the main fun of the stories would be gone. Now coming to the main traits of Mr. Goon, it can be safely said that he is an unpleasant person and therefore disliked by the five children and dog Buster as well as most of the people of Peterswood. There are many unworthy traits in his character , for he is mean, unkind and pompous. He is not above offering a bribe and resorting to underhand means either, as when he offers a bribe to a young boy to catch Buster for him. Mr. Goon is also mean to his poor nephew Ern , will not pay him what he promised, so that shows him to be stingy and dishonest as well. Also he is unable to recognise a hand offered in friendship as Fatty does when he feels he has acted unfairly towards Goon. He is a person who can never forget or forgive. Now coming to the positive aspect in his nature, it also must be said that Goon is not lazy, and does try to improve himself, he goes for refreshment courses and makes an effort to try out various disguises and even goes out late at night in the cold to try to catch thieves and robbers. The Find Outers and dog do annoy him with their disguises and false clues but then only if he were a bit more pleasant , life would be easier for him for each time he is outwitted by the Find Outers, it adds a strike against him. Still without Goon in the picture , the stories would just not provide the punch and fun they do.—Avan N.Cooverji
Buster says... Buster says: I agree that Mr Goon is a necessary part of the books, if he wasn't in them, whose ankles would I chase!
February 21, 2017: Mystery (Five Find-Outer) Series - Ern Goon: A Potential Poet
Ern loves to write poetry, he tries ever so hard but never goes beyond the first line or two. Another factor in his poems is that they are always sad and mournful. He is absolutely shocked when Fatty effortlessly rattles off the rest, and is so awed that he proclaims Fatty to be a genius. Fatty says that they are nonsense but I also admire Fatty for being able to do so on the spot. Though a bit boastful, he is also charming, generous and good mannered so that one can easily overlook that and feel that he is a very talented person.—Avan N. Cooverji
Buster says... Buster says: I think Fatty is very talented too, but then he is my owner.

Fatty says: You are right to admire Fatty, Avan!
February 21, 2017: Famous Five - George's feelings
Yes, Fatty you are absolutely right. The Famous Five has four children ( Julian, Dick and Anne who are brothers and sister, and their cousin George ) with their dog Timothy whilst the Find Outers are five children and their dog Buster (the combination being two sets of brother and sister duo Larry and Daisy and Pip and Bets). Fatty is their common friend and the leader of the Five Find Outers from the second book of the series, replacing Larry because of his talents and pluck by mutual consent of all the Find Outers.—Avan N. Cooverji
Fatty says... Fatty says: It can all get a tad confusing! I have put your post in George's thread to provide continuity.
February 20, 2017: Famous Five - George's feelings
The Famous Five tells about the fun and adventure the five children had with their dog Timothy, thats all. If George liked to be counted as a boy, well girls also like to pretend they are princesses but that does not make them so. Why complicate the straightforward stories by surmising about sexuality , romance , religion etc. The Famous Five enjoyed who they were and what they were doing and so did the children who read about them, it is only adults who unnecessarily complicate things instead of accepting the stories in the vein they were written.—Avan N. Cooverji
Daisy says... Daisy says: Well said. Enid didn't take criticism from anyone over 12. Her stories were for children.

Fatty says: The Famous Five consisted of four children and their dog, Avan! ;-)
February 19, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Why do people call Blyton 'racist'?
Enid Blyton was a great children story writer. If there are any sort of racist slurs, they are done inadvertently and not meant as an insult to any race or peoples. It was a way of pointing out the peculiarities of a different culture, to show the different ways of living. May be it could have been handled more sensitively for no one likes to be looked down upon and pointed at, still all the same she has also inadvertently shown how narrow and class ridden her own English society was at that time and she would not be purposefully insulting to her own country and its values. So it was just a way of life that is depicted as it was in those times.—Avan N. Cooverji
Fatty says... Fatty says: So true, Avan. Enid's books, as with all classics, need to be read with the era kept in mind. Which is why most updates are pointless.
February 18, 2017: St Clare's - Favourite character
In the Enid Blyton's St. Clare's series, Claudine at St. Clare's is my favourite. The range of personalities depicted is vast, starting from the sensible O'Sullivan twins to the aristocratic and uppity Angela , the silly frivolous Alison , Pauline who tries to hide her poverty by pretending to be rich like Angela, and Eileen who is actually a sad person but lords it over the others by tale - telling in order to escape from her sad circumstances. Yet each have their good points like Eileen who shows great love for her brother and tries to shield him from their bossy mother, Alison also who is actually a kindhearted and sensitive girl. And Carlotta who is frank and fearless. Except for Angela , who is wholly selfish and proud like her mother, the other girls have a lot of good in them in spite of their weaknesses and failings. But Claudine surpasses all of them for she is funny, loyal, and sweet. This mix of girls in different situations and how they come out of it makes Claudine at St. Clare's a very interesting read and for me , the best among the St. Clare's series.—Avan Cooverji
Fatty says... Fatty says: As a British newspaper one said about itself, "All human life is here."
February 13, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Best books
Well there were so many, during the school holidays my sister and myself were usually first in the line for the library to open. We would discuss with others which were the best books to borrow. A girl behind me was returning The Secret Mountain, she said that it was very good. I waited for quite a long time before it was returned to the shelf and quickly grabbed it, a wise move. We were allowed 3 books each so my sister and myself would normally read them in the evening after a day of looking out for houses which could hide criminal gangs and kidnapped royalty, alas we never found any. Other great books were The Boy Next Door and The Rubadub Mystery. Happy days.—brendan fitzpatrick
Buster says... Buster says: Great choice with The Boy Next Door.
February 13, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Enid's Desciption of Foreigners
I am Indian. For seventy one years of my life, I lived in India. Now I have migrated to NewZealand since the last three years. I started reading Enid Blyton's books since I was eleven and I am still reading and enjoying them. I read only the Five Find Outers and the St. Clare and Malory Towers series as I find these interesting. I have also read the Famous Five but the books did not hold my interest. There seems to be a lot of discussion on whether the books are somewhat racist. I do not think so, though foreigners in her books are viewed with suspicion. But then it also exposes the acute class consciousness that is prevalent in the England of those days as when Ern , a friend of the Find Outers is asked to go to the kitchen for his meals and not eat with his friends at their table. What I feel is that the books are a product of her time, a period when people in England were not familiar with other cultures , so being different is the crux here. In the Mystery Of the Vanishing Prince, Indians are depicted as disliking having a bath but I assure you that Indians are very clean in their habits and very particular in keeping their houses spotless and tidy. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but mostly it is poverty and lack of facilities that unfortunately does not let people be as clean as they would want to. That can happen anywhere. So the matter here is that cultures are different, it was a different world then and now there is a more integrated society all over, so lots of misconceptions are cleared. All countries have their particular traits and concerns, some are more advanced, some more spiritual and so on but people and human nature is the same everywhere and tolerance , acceptance and good will should be the guiding light for all.—Avan N. Cooverji
Fatty says... Fatty says: An excellent post, Avan. Thanks for sharing your feelings.
February 6, 2017: Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general - Other Authors
What about the Billy Bunter stories? Could Enid have been inspired by those? .—Paul
Fatty says... Fatty says: Who knows? Our brains are full of inspirations gathered over the years. Books centred around boarding schools were extremely popular at the time.
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