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Biography of Enid Blyton - Author of Children's Books

Nithya Venkat loves to read books and write biographies about authors who have captured her heart.

Enid Blyton with her two daughters, Gillian and Imogen

Enid Blyton with her two daughters, Gillian and Imogen

Enid Blyton was the author of children's books. Her writings were aimed at entertaining children. She opened a new world of fantasy and imagination for children through her writings.

She thrilled her readers with many adventure stories and wrote many poems that have been published.

Even today, children love reading her books. Her books have sold more than a million copies around the world.

Enid Blyton's Early Life

Enid Blyton was born on 11th August 1897 in East Dulwich, South London. She was born to Thomas and Theresa and had two younger brothers Hanly and Carey.

After her birth, her parents relocated to Beckenham in Kent. It was in Kent that Enid Blyton spent many days of her childhood.

Enid Blyton's father, Thomas, was a cutlery salesperson. He loved nature and had extensive knowledge of flowers, birds, and animals.

He loved to take Enid Blyton on long walks and taught her whatever he knew. He encouraged her and loved her very much. He also taught her about life and often told her that if she wanted anything badly, she had to work hard.

Enid Blyton's mother, Theresa, was just the opposite of her father. Theresa believed that housework was essential. She did not have any interest in reading or art. She felt that Enid Blyton should be helping with the household work rather than reading or going for nature walks with her father.

Enid Blyton at School

Enid Blyton was a good student. She was brilliant and excelled in art and the study of nature. The first school she attended was a small one called “Tresco,” just opposite her house.

In 1907 Enid Blyton was enrolled at “St. Christopher’s School for Girls” in Beckenham. She was very popular in school and full of life. She excelled at studies and cultural activities.

Enid Blyton excelled in the field of sports. She became the school’s tennis champion and was elected as the captain of the lacrosse team. She won many prizes and accolades. She was elected as the school’s Head Girl in her last two years as a student.

A Devastating Turn of Events

When Enid Blyton was twelve years old, her father and mother separated. Enid was very close to her father and was devastated.

Enid Blyton continued to live with her mother. She was not happy at all because her mother never supported her writings. Irrespective of her mother's disapproval Enid Blyton kept writing. She sent many of her stories and poems to magazines. At first, many of her works were rejected except for one poem printed by Author Mee in his magazine.

Even though her mother did not support her, she was encouraged to keep writing by Mabel Attenborough, the aunt of Enid Blyton's close friend "Mary."

Froebel Based Teacher Training

Enid enrolled in Guildhall School of Music in 1916. She was talented in music, and her family believed that she was going to become a musician. Enid Blyton did not want to become a musician. She felt that practicing playing the piano was a waste of time. She thought that she could spend the practice time in writing.

After having started her studies at Guildhall School of music, Enid Blyton suddenly changed her mind. She wanted to become a teacher. She felt that she would be close to the children she wanted to write by becoming a teacher.

On September 16th, she started on a Froebel’s teacher training course at Ipswich High School. During this time, her mother's relationship had soured entirely, and she distanced herself from her entire family except for her father. She used to visit her father in his office in London.

Enid Blyton answering letters from children with a Noddy statue by her side

Enid Blyton answering letters from children with a Noddy statue by her side

Enid Blyton's Initial Publications

Many of her stories and articles were published in periodicals in the year 1920.

Enid Blyton's first book, "Child Whispers," was released in 1922.

In 1923 many of her books, short story writings, and poetry were published.

Enid Blyton "Book of Bunnies," her very first novel, was published in 1925.

In 1926, she started writing in a fortnightly magazine, "Sunny Stories for Little Folks." This series became a huge hit.

The "Enid Blyton Book of Brownies" was published in 1927.

It was in 1927 that Enid Blyton began using a typewriter. Till then, she wrote in longhand.

Enid Blyton's Type Writers and Diaries

Enid Blyton's Type Writers and Diaries

Married Life

On August 28th, 1924, she married Hugh Alexander Pollock, the publishing firm George Newens editor. In 1926, the couple moved to their first house, the "Elfin Cottage" in Beckenham.

In 1929, they moved to the "Old Thatch," a cottage near the River Thames in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire. Enid Blyton loved the cottage, and it was here that she enjoyed a social life. She loved to play tennis and bridge.

On July 15th, 1931, she gave birth to a daughter named Gillian, and on October 27th, 1935, she had another daughter, Imogen.

In 1938, she published a book of adventures titled the" Secret Island." Enid Blyton plunged herself into more writing and had little time to spend with her children. She relied on her domestic staff for all the housework. In 1950, she released the book "Pole Star Family and Ship of Adventure."

During this time, her husband Hugh worked with Churchill for his work about the First World War. He slowly went into depression, knowing that they were about to enter into a Second World War.

Enid and her husband Hugh were very busy and spent a little time together. They slowly grew apart and finally divorced.

During this time, Enid became very close to Dorothy Richards, a maternity nurse who had helped her after her child Imogen's birth. Enid relied heavily on Dorothy Richards for mental and physical support.

In 1938, Enid Blyton moved to another house in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, with Dorothy's help. This house occupied a space of two and a half acres built in the Tudor style.

This house was named "Green Hedges" by her Sunny Stories readers.

Enid Blyton with her family at Green Hedges

Enid Blyton with her family at Green Hedges

Her Second Marriage

Enid Blyton married surgeon Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waterson on 20th October 1943. She released her autobiography, “The Story of My Life,” in the year 1952.

Kenneth and Enid Blyton loved to play tennis and golf. They loved the outdoors and shared common interests.

Kenneth was hit by a torpedo when he was in the army, and his hearing was permanently damaged.

During this time, Enid Blyton published three books - Queen Elizabeth Family, Five on Finnston Farm, Five Have a Mystery to Solve.

After her daughters had joined a boarding school, Enid Blyton found a lot of time to write.

Many of her book series was very popular among children.

To mention a few -

Famous Five

St. Claire's

Cherry Tree/ Willow Farm

Faraway Tree

Wishing Chair

Secret Seven Books

Barney Mysteries

The Malory Tower series

The Six Cousins

In 1949, Enid Blyton published her Noddy book series. Noddy was a big hit among the children.

After the Noddy series, Enid Blyton started to publish the magazine "Sunny Stories" again. Through her writings in this magazine, she encouraged her readers to be responsible, kind, and helpful. She encouraged them to contribute to society in any way they could.

She formed groups for her magazine readers to get involved in social work -

"Busy Bees Club" who were involved in helping animals,

"Famous Five Club" who were involved in raising money for needy children

"Magazine Club" who were involved in raising money for children affected by cerebral palsy


Demise of Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton’s health deteriorated after the death of her husband. She was detected with Dementia in 1960. Her husband, Kenneth, died on 15th September 1967 due to kidney failure. This affected her even more.

Enid Blyton was admitted to a nursing home in Hampstead in 1968. She passed away in her sleep on 28th November 1968, leaving behind her legacy of books for children worldwide to read and enjoy.


References

  • enidblytonsociety.co.uk
  • guardian.co.uk
  • famousauthors.org
  • enidblyton.net

© 2013 Nithya Venkat

Comments

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 13, 2020:

That is really sad, that librarian was out of her mind and I am sorry that you did not get to read Enid Blyton's books. Thank you for your visit and comments.

Olivia de Vos from Alsemberg on September 07, 2020:

Lovely article, strange that I never thought to research her life. I grew up on her books, I loved Noddy and the Secret Seven and the Famous Five. I even joined a library where they had no Edin Blyton books, the librarian's justification was that children read nothing else if there were Enid Blyton books on the shelves, How sad, I would have read them and anything and everything else available. We couldn't afford to buy books and the library was my lifeblood.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on January 15, 2018:

Gilbert Arevalo you are so right, we all need to be strong during difficult times when we feel so alone.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on January 11, 2018:

Amazing biography. I've never read any of her books, but next time I'm in the library I'll look her up. She wrote stories a long time ago. I'm impressed she persevered to become a professional writer despite the lack of support from her mother, a lesson to us all, we all need to be strong during times we feel alone.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on January 03, 2017:

I have read and enjoyed her books; she was a master story-teller. Thank you for your visit and comment.

Elena from London, UK on January 03, 2017:

I read many of her books, when I was a child. So, it's nice to read about her Thanks.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 12, 2013:

rdsparrowriter am so happy that you are an Enid Blyton fan! Thank you for stopping by.

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on November 11, 2013:

I'm a big fan of Enid Blyton. Thank you for sharing this Nithya. Brought back so many memories of how I got her books to read :)

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 11, 2013:

carter06 am so happy to meet an Enid Blyton fan. Her books are so very special to me. Her books are evergreen. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Mary from Cronulla NSW on November 11, 2013:

OMG So glad I found this!! I totally love her and can't even think how many stories I've read that she's written!! My favs were the Famous Five, Wishing Chair & Folk of the Faraway Tree!! Thanks for sharing this info on Enid Blyton one of my most loved children's authors..VUA& I..Cheers

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 10, 2013:

Denise Handlon, thank you for your visit. Thanks for the many votes and share. Much appreciated.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on November 10, 2013:

It's always interesting to read about the life of another author. I had not heard of this author but you've presented her work very well. UP/U/I Thanks for sharing.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on October 10, 2013:

stuff4kids thank you for your visit and am glad you were introduced to Enid Blyton through my hub.

Amanda Littlejohn on October 10, 2013:

A very interesting and informative biography of a prolific and clearly well-loved writer, although like Bill, I'd never heard of her before now.

I'm always astonished by these writers who publish literally hundreds of books. Amazing.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 08, 2013:

ChitrangadaSharan her books can be read again and again. Great that you still have her books intact in your library. Thank you for your visit and vote.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 08, 2013:

Great article about Enid Blyton!

I was a great fan of her books in my childhood days and have read so many of them. I still have a great collection in my home library. The Mystery and Adventure books, the Famous Five and the Secret Seven series and so many of them.

I came to know a lot about her through this hub of yours. Thanks for this interesting information! Voted up!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on July 30, 2013:

Eiddwen thank you for reading. Am happy to know that you have read her books too. Thank you for the vote and share.

Eiddwen from Wales on July 30, 2013:

A wonderful read Vellur. I was also a great fan of her books and as a child would always be reading one or another.

I read her Biography a few years ago and actually included her in yesterdays' hub.

You have published a great hub here Vellur.

Voting up and sharing.

Have a wonderful day.

Eddy.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on June 29, 2013:

AliciaC am glad you enjoyed thank you for reading.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 29, 2013:

I loved Enid Blyton books when I was a child and read many of them. She was one of my favorite writers. Thank you for this interesting biography, Vellur. I enjoyed learning about Enid Blyton very much.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on June 24, 2013:

hulah cagen thank you. Enid Blyton's books do bring back old memories!Great ones!!

hulah cagen on June 24, 2013:

Great writeup! I grew up with her books and this brought back nostalgic memories of the mystery books and other school books! Thank you!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on June 22, 2013:

Pamela99 thank you for stopping by and am happy you came to know about Enid Blyton. Thanks for the vote too.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 22, 2013:

I am not familiar with Enid Blyton either, but your biography type write-up was very interesting and I would be interesting in readins some of the books she has written. You did a great job with telling us all the important details of her life. Voted up and awesome.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on June 14, 2013:

Suhail and my dog thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I love the Famous Five stories and the rest of her stories. Thank you.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on June 13, 2013:

Awesome hub on a writer I grew up reading.

People like me learned our English from reading her books, especially the Famous Five series. I personally started from reading her Brer Rabbit stories and then the Secret Seven Series. However, it was Famous Five series that made me love the outdoors and nature. That series definitely had a major impact on me as a child and made me what I am today.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on June 01, 2013:

Jackie Lynnley yes she is a very interesting and her books are read and enjoyed by children and adults alike. Thank you for stopping by.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 01, 2013:

Had not heard of her but still very interesting. Certain people are interesting whether you know them or not.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 30, 2013:

barbat79 thank you for stopping by, much appreciated.

B A Tobin from Connnecticut on May 30, 2013:

Beautiful biography! Thank you for your work! Thumbs up!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 26, 2013:

tobusiness thank you, everybody loves her books and want to read more and more.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on May 26, 2013:

I read some of the books from the famous five series as I was growing up, they got me hooked on reading.

I vaguely remember a TV program about her life, you've done an excellent job here.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 25, 2013:

learner365 am glad you enjoyed. Thank you for stopping by.

Saadia A on May 25, 2013:

I have always read Enid Blyton's books as a child with great zeal. Thank you for sharing the insights and information from her personal life. I enjoyed reading your hub about her.

Voted Up !!!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 24, 2013:

Marilyn Kee thank you for stopping by and am glad to know that you are one of her fans too.

Marilyn Kee from Penang, Malaysia on May 24, 2013:

Thanks for sharing. I used to be one of her fans too!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 24, 2013:

ishwaryaa22 am happy to know that you are a fan of her books!! Thank you for sharing your experiences. Thanks for the vote and the share.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on May 24, 2013:

An engaging hub about one of my favorite authors! I still have her priceless books with me so that not only I re-read them but also pass on to my children in the near-future. I enjoyed reading her books such asThe Faraway Tree series, The Wishing Chair 1 & 2 and many more books about fairies, brownies, enchanted objects, talking animals etc. Here I came to know more about this renowned author thanks to you. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Interesting. Voted up & shared

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 24, 2013:

Gypsy Rose Lee thank you. Her stories were simply mesmerizing!!

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on May 24, 2013:

Voted up and interesting. Thanks for sharing this fascinating read. I believe I have heard of this writer before. I used to love reading as a child and practically "ate" my way through books. Passing this on.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 24, 2013:

Thank you rajan jolly, her books are great. We are lucky to have read her books.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 23, 2013:

I cannot forget her book "The secret of Cliff Castle" by Mary Pollock alias, Enid Blyton which I read when I was around 10 years. The story was about a haunted castle and a few kids who happen to frequent this castle. A very captivating book it was.

Very good review.

Voted up and interesting.

TDM from Welcome to my beautiful world, where magic is no longer a myth. on May 23, 2013:

Of course, you're very welcome.

I. White

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 23, 2013:

always exploring thank you, yes it is sad a great loss to us readers when she died.

Blossom SB you are so right, poor readers can improve their reading skills. Thank you for sharing your views.

Isaac White thank you for stopping by.

TDM from Welcome to my beautiful world, where magic is no longer a myth. on May 23, 2013:

Thank You,

Thanks for sharing that Roger C with us I have no clue about the author until you mentioned her. its always good to learn about follow others in the world writing :-). thanks again. Voted up.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on May 23, 2013:

An interesting and informative hub about a much-loved and well-known children's writer. As a teacher-librarian, I found that sometimes her writing was frowned upon as being fun rather than uplifting literature, but her stories were appealing even to poor readers and a great way of getting them involved and improving their reading skills. Thank you for writing about her.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 23, 2013:

This is a wonderful account of Enid Blyton's life story, sad in a way. Thank you for sharing..

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 23, 2013:

Nellieanna thank you, these books are great. I have read most of them, may have missed out on a few. They are great to read. Even today after so many years I still remember how I used to enjoy reading her books.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on May 23, 2013:

I, too, have not heard of her before. I, too, am pleased now to know of her, her interesting life and passion for writing! What an excellent write-up about both, Vellur! Thank you!!

With all the great-grandchildren I'm blessed to have, this gives me ideas for worthwhile gifts for some of them!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 23, 2013:

DDE thank you, I have read her books in my childhood days. Even today if I get a book, I just cant resist reading for old times sake!

billybuc am glad you came to know about her. I have read many of her books and enjoyed every word!! Thank you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 23, 2013:

I've never heard of her, but because of your great article I now know all about her. I love the picture of her family sitting around watching her write...that's a classic.

Nice job my friend. Very interesting.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 23, 2013:

Incredible write up about Enid Blyton as often as I heard about Enid Bylton I haven't yet read such an informative hub