Thursday, 7 January 2010
The work of British writer Enid Blyton (1897-1968) is one of the great literary achievements of the 20th century. She wrote mainly for children and produced an average of 2 books per month during four decades.
Her writings have been translated all around the world. Irrespective of your cultural background, chances are that you have read one of her Famous Five stories, which recount the adventures of 4 children and a dog.
Although some literary commentators show little appreciation for Blyton's work, her overwhelming popularity leaves little room for debate. Her readers, children in dozens of countries, adore her books. In our days, sales of her work continue to reach enormous figures, even though her stories play in a world without mobile phones and internet.
Most of Blyton's tales are set in an environment of rigid social classes and traditions, where people have pudding for lunch and tea in the afternoon. Her own life was relatively quiet, far from the ways and fashions of modern media celebrities.
The only unusual event, considering the times, is that she divorced her first husband whom she had married when she was 27 years old. At 46, she entered a second marriage that turned out to be very happy. She continued her massive literary output during the next decades, played tennis and golf regularly, and died at 71, shortly after her second husband.
To be continued in Part 2
[Image by zarylla under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]