Happy birthday Enid Blyton!

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Enid Blyton (August 11, 1897—November 28, 1968) was an English children's writer. She was also known by the name Mary Pollock. She wrote many series. Some of her best known series include The Famous Five, The Five Find-Outers, and The Secret Seven.

young_blytonBlyton was born East Dulwich, London, England to Thomas Carey Blyton and Theresa Mary Harrison Blyton. Blyton was very close with her father, and he nurtured her love for the outdoors—the two would often go out on long walks. She was not as close with her mother. As a child, she loved reading, with some of her favorite books being Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies, and Louisa M. Alcott's Little Women. She attended St. Christopher's School in Beckenham, where she left as "head girl." (Image source)

Her parents separated when she was young, her father leaving his mother for another woman. The experience had a profound effect on Blyton, both mentally and physically. She took to locking herself in her room and writing as a way of coping with the psychological trauma. Her mother was not supportive of her work, calling it "scribbling."

Blyton also played the piano and was supposed to study at the Guildhall School of Music to become a professional musician. In an abrupt change of course, she rejected her place at Guildhall and instead trained to become a teacher. She knew that she would learn from the children she would teach and therefore how to write for them.

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In 1917, Blyton had her poem, "Have You...?," published in Nash's Magazine.

Blyton spent her years as a teacher in Bickley, Surbiton and Chessington. In 1922, she published her first book, Child Whispers, a book of children's poetry. In 1924, she married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO, who was an editor in the book department at George Newnes. The publisher went on to publish two of her books.

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In 1926, she began writing and editing for Sunny Stories for Little Folks. By 1937, it became Enid Blyton's Sunny Stories, and ultimately was called Sunny Stories. Her first full-length novel was called The Enid Blyton Book of Bunnies, though it was episodic in nature.

Other works by Blyton include The Wonderful Adventure (1927) The Secret Island (1938), The Pole Star Family (1950), and The Ship of Adventure (1950). Later in her life, she wrote The Man Who Stopped to Help and The Boy Who Came Back, both published in 1965 and retellings of bible stories.

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Monday, 11 August 2014
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