A to Z Challenge B for Blyton
Enid Blyton was my favourite author as a child. It was in a time when Golliwogs were not taboo in books and over zealous editors weren’t trying to change Blyton’s words into something that the modern generation would understand. ‘Peculiar’ is apparently very old school, ‘Weird’ is cool! I was probably one of the last generation of readers who read the books with their original text.
I really feel strongly about updating books to reflect a generation because books are our window into the past. Blyton wrote of her times when caning was legal and children played in the sun. They went camping, and parents and teachers were allowed to discipline children. I think it is as important for children to know about the past, as it is the present and there are enough children’s fiction writers these days.
However what really shocked me was the film Enid, where Blyton was portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter. If the story is really true to her life, then it is amazing how a troubled person like her could produce best-selling, sensitive and well written children’s books! Her relationship with her own children were appalling but you would think she was an ideal mother from her books. The mother who was so in tune with her children’s needs, desires and fantasies, that she could write books about them. In reality she was just like one of the troubled girls in her books trapped in a woman’s life. Whatever she wrote and generations of children have enjoyed were idyllic fantasies she wished she had lived in.
Helena Bonham Carter was superb as always and won a BAFTA for her performance. Going by her portrayal I pity the author and cherish my unadulterated copies of Enid Blyton books even more. They are not just a window into a bygone era any more but a person’s unfulfilled dreams and desires.