Enid Blyton

Picture (c) by John Ashley Photography
As a child my book shelves were filled with the books of Enid Blyton, the writer of children's adventure stories like the Famous Five the Secret Seven and one of my real favourites The Wishing Chair, which I still have to this day.

Enid Blyton was born in 1897 above a shop in East Dulwich in London.

Her father Thomas Blyton was a cutlery salesman from Sheffield, who enjoyed painting, writing poetry, playing the piano and taking photographs. Enid is said to have adored him.

For her mother there appears to have been little love. Theresa Blyton was good looking woman very conventional and obsessively house proud.  When Thomas started an affair with another woman Enid's mother moved out with her children to Beckenham.

Despite being rather musically inclined, Enid decided to train as a kindergarten teacher at Ipswich High School, and then went on to open her own infants' school taking on about 14 pupils. She had to create all her own lessons for her pupils and it was this writing that made her realise that her true vocation was writing for children.

In 1924, Enid married Hugh Pollock, a soldier-turned-publisher, a divorcee eight years her senior. She gave up teaching career and concentrated on her writing and also started a family. It was shortly after her marriage, that her career as a writer really began to take off. She continued to contribute to the magazine 'Teachers' World' with both fiction and non-fiction stories.

Her public persona of a benevolent mother who adored children and animals, unfortunately was pure fiction and after her death her children described her as being somewhat distant and cold.  One thing I had never realised was that Enid Blyton was responsible for 'Noddy' the doll with the wobbly head which she introduced to the world in 1949 when he appeared in her book Little Noddy goes to Toyland.

Enid Blyton died in 1968, but through her books she lives on to this day.