Friday, 7 December 2007


Now where did that come from?

As a child, I loved Enid Blyton, particularly The Famous Five, but it was a thwarted love that dared not speak its name. Parents, teachers and librarians were united in their disapproval of her works, and conspired to make them unavailable to middle-class children like me.

I managed to read only three or four Famous Fives; I can’t remember how I got my hands on them. Possibly borrowed them from other children, or gulped them down in visits to friends' houses (what an unsatisfactory guest I must have been).

When my daughter started to read, I bought her the lot. She devoured them. When she was older and we were having a clear-out, she began to read… They ended up back on the shelf.

For me, the moment has passed, the magic is gone. I am, alas, too old and cynical to enjoy the books now.

But I there’s one I remember as being especially riveting. I looked it up; it’s Five Fall into Adventure. The Five meet a plucky ragamuffin girl, Jo, whom they mistake for a boy. She’s the baddie’s daughter, but helps the boys rescue George. Chatting on the Youwriteon forum about early loved books, I had a revelation about Jo:

Good God, that’s where Tor came from!

Tor, my heroine in Rising Fire. Five Fall into Adventure went deep into my imagination when I was a child, to emerge all these years later…


  1. I thought you were Tor, scrambling about vendor stalls with sword in hand. At least, that's how I pictured you; the obligatory shot of author by bookcase, posing, notwithstanding.

  2. No, Tor hasn't much of me.

    She's got more of my daughter; slender but muscular, adventurous, no fear of heights, and a reckless temper.

    The row with Skardroft is very Minty.

  3. Hi Lexi,
    I'm really looking forward to reading what they say about your book when you have it reviewed by the professional literary critique. I hope it is good news for you. My fingers and toes are still crossed for you. lol

    Best of luck and wishes for you.


  4. Thanks Annie.

    Even if they find fault with every part, it'll help me to improve.

    It's a worthwhile prize to win - I couldn't afford to pay for a critique.

  5. Ah, Enid Blyton - those books were wonderful! I read them all when young.



  6. Lucky you, Anne!

    The thinking was, in my childhood, that a child's taste would be corrupted by Enid Blyton and would never advance to PROPER literature - nonsense of course.

    I read everything available, from sauce bottles, my grandmother's magazines to accessible adult novels.

  7. You're never too old for Enid Blyton! Re-read some of those FF's now, the memories will come flooding back!

  8. Maybe you're right...

    I'll dig them out and have a look.

  9. As Moonraker says, you can never be too old for Enid Blyton! Go on, relive some childhood days while reading the books again. :-)

  10. I will, just as soon as I can remember where I put them. I know we didn't give them away in the end, but they're in a box somewhere now Minty's off at university.

    I like your bird.

  11. Lexi...

    When I clicked at your website through of Keith, I not only saw two wonderfully-illustrated books, but I saw a seductive article about you loving Enid Blyton's books when you were little. Plus, your picture at the bookcase is quite pretty. :)

    The magic has never gone, Lexi, the magic is still there. You can enjoy Enid Blyton's books, young or old...

    Can you tell me a little about your books? 'Cause they look absolutely interesting.

  12. Hi Mimsy,

    Yes, I will read The Famous Five again (as soon as I can remember where I put them). I will try to put the present aside, and enjoy them the way I did when young.

    For me, it was mainly the FF who had the magic. I wasn't as entranced by the Secret Seven, and missed Noddy altogether, though my daughter loved having Noddy read to her.

    My books aren't published yet, but you can read about them, and the first chapters if you want, at my website - there's a link on the right of my blog.

    Enid Blyton's books are page turners; you have to keep reading to find out what happens next. Plus you identify with the characters. I've aimed for the same in my writing.