Enid Blyton : Children's Book Writer Extraordinaire
I am quite certain that the very first children’s books that I ever got into contact with were those written by the world-famous author, Enid Blyton. I fell in love with her Noddy books especially, and to this day, I am still an avid collector of everything Noddy.
I, and countless others, around the world, are great fans of her work, and continue to be inspired by her talent. Unfortunately, her life was not without controversy. Even today it would seem that people are still offended by her classic children’s books, and some by Enid as a person.
DID YOU KNOW? Enid Blyton is the seventh-best-selling fiction author of all time (estimated 600 million copies sold).
At Tobybooks.com we have decided to focus this article on Enid’s achievements rather than harp on about things we know very little about. If you know anything about history, and how people thought in the days that Enid Blyton wrote her amazing children’s books, you will know that it was by no means an easy feat.
In the time that she lived, woman as a whole, were regarded as being stupid and unable to do a man’s job. They were only fit to cook, clean and have babies… nothing else. One day, a woman named Enid Blyton, comes along and chooses to ignore the status quo, and against all odds become one of the most successful classic children’s books authors of all time… That… in our opinion… is a remarkable achievement.
What many do not know about Enid Blyton is that, back in those days, most – if not all – of the book shops around the world withdrew her works from the shelves due to “questionable” characters in her books.
But… Enid decided to soldier on, and continued writing, rectifying the situation by changing these characters in her children’s books. Pretty soon book sales picked up and superseded any sales before.
Getting to Know Enid Blyton
Born on 11 August 1897 in East Dulwich, London. Her father, Thomas Blyton was a salesman. Her mother was called Theresa. Enid had two siblings, both younger brothers.
In 1907 Enid began her schooling at St Christopher’s School for Girls in Beckenham. Sadly in 1910 her father left her mother and the family for another woman. It was at St Christopher’s that she discovered that she was musically talented, among other things, and in 1915 Enid left school and went with her family to Woodbridge in Suffolk. In 1916 Enid decided that she would very much like to be a teacher, and enrolled in a training course in Ipswich High School. Enid Blyton began her teaching career at Bickley Park School in 1919. Then in 1920, she moved to Surbiton where she became governess to four boys of the Thompson couple. This is when Enid, in her spare time, began writing. It didn’t take long before some of her poems, stories and articles were published in magazines. Her first break as an author came in 1922, when she wrote her first children’s book of poems – Child Whispers.
Soon after Child Whispers was published, Enid Blyton married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock on 28 August 1924, and became a full-time writer. She had 2 daughters from her marriage to Major Pollock, Gillian was born in 1931 and Imogen Mary who was born in 1935. Quite sadly the marriage was not a happy one and in 1941 Enid began an affair with a surgeon named Darrell Waters. Enid divorced Pollock and not long after that married Darrell Waters on 20 October 1943.
Enid Blyton died on 28 November 1968 in the Greenways Nursing Home, Horsham, United Kingdom.
Enid Blyton’s Achievements
Over the span of her life Enid is credited with over 10,900 short stories, poems and plays.
Below is a short breakdown of what her pen delivered over the years.
- 272 Education Books
- 282 Character Books
- 362 Recreation Books
- 235 Continuation Books
- 186 Novels/Novelettes
- 297 Enid Blyton Contributions
- 997 Short Story Series
Click Here to see a more comprehensive listing.