Enid Blyton

Books Published: 243 books

Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 ? 28 November 1968) was an English children's writer, whose books have been worldwide bestsellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies. Her books are still enormously popular and have been translated into 90 languages. As of June 2019, Blyton held 4th place for the most translated author. She wrote on a wide range of topics, including education, natural history, fantasy, mystery, and biblical narratives. She is best remembered today for her Noddy, Famous Five, Secret Seven, the Five Find-Outers, and Malory Towers books, although she also wrote many others including the St Clare's, The Naughtiest Girl and The Faraway Tree series. Her first book, Child Whispers, a 24-page collection of poems, was published in 1922. Following the commercial success of her early novels, such as Adventures of the Wishing-Chair (1937) and The Enchanted Wood (1939), Blyton went on to build a literary empire, sometimes producing 50 books a year, in addition to her prolific magazine and newspaper contributions. Her writing was unplanned and sprang largely from her unconscious mind: she typed her stories as events unfolded before her. The sheer volume of her work and the speed with which she produced it led to rumors that Blyton employed an army of ghost writers, a charge she vigorously denied. Blyton's work became increasingly controversial among literary critics, teachers, and parents beginning in the 1950s, due to the alleged unchallenging nature of her writing and her themes, particularly in the Noddy series. Some libraries and schools banned her works, and from the 1930s until the 1950s the BBC refused to broadcast her stories because of their perceived lack of literary merit. Her books have been criticized as elitist, sexist, racist, xenophobic, and at odds with the more progressive environment that was emerging in post-World War II Britain, but they have continued to be bestsellers since her death in 1968. She felt she had a responsibility to provide her readers with a strong moral framework, so she encouraged them to support worthy causes. In particular, through the clubs she set up or supported, she encouraged and organized them to raise funds for animal and paediatric charities. The story of Blyton's life was dramatized in Enid, a BBC television film featuring Helena Bonham Carter in the title role. It was first broadcast in the UK on BBC Four in 2009.

Published books