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Enid Blyton: The Biography

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  232 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Enid Blyton is known throughout the world for her imaginative children's books and her enduring characters such as Noddy and the Famous Five. She is one of the most borrowed authors from British libraries and still holds a fascination for readers old and young alike. Yet until 1974, when Barbara Stoney first published her official biography, little was known about this mos ...more
ebook, 466 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by History Press (SC) (first published January 1st 1974)
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Sherwood Smith
When I was nine years old, my babysitter brought me a Blyton in a stealthy play to keep me from leading my sibs into bratty behavior. Always book-starved, I glommed onto that book and fell straight into the story. It was The Castle of Adventure. I discovered five more by her on the library shelves, and checked them out and reread them repeatedly.

It wasn't until I was considerably older and traveled to England that I discovered just how much she'd written, but by then, alas, most of the magic ha
Apr 02, 2008 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long before Harry Potter was even a twinkle in J. K. Rowling's eye, another British author staked her claim as queen of children's literature.

Enid Blyton was a lean, keen, writing machine who churned out over 700 books in a career spanning forty years. Devoted readers from Portsmouth to Port Elizabeth devoured her stories in their hundreds of thousands. Even today, translations of her work outnumber those of Shakespeare and Dickens.

Barbara Stoney's biography of this gifted, single-minded woman w
Jan 21, 2009 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ALL Enid's fans.
Recommended to Wayne by: Bought it for my sister Jane, an also big fan!!
Enid Blyton could be called the Barbara Cartland of Children's Literature. They both wrote voluminously and both received the scorn of their critics. However,in my books, there is one vital difference: Enid was a GENIUS!!

Her biographer, Barbara Stoney, agrees that "her stories are repetitive, lacking in characterisation and limited in their vocabulary" among other 'faults'. But she also points out that librarians and educationalists who were among her severest critics from the 1950's onward, by
Sep 24, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
While I remember the 'Read with Dick and Jane' series of books as the first books I read, I credit Enid Blyton and her many series with developing my love of reading as a child. Her poetry and her stories drew me as no other author had, and I could not get enough of her books. Thankfully, she wrote voraciously and the multiple series helped me develop an appreciation for different types of stories and poems. I still have some of my old Enid Blyton books and will occasionally still lift one from ...more
Natasha Ellis
I had to read it, the biography of the author that made me a reader. Main book finishes at about 50% and then it's an appendix.
Jul 04, 2016 Ash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Enid Blyton's fans or those who love her books
Enid Blyton - "the most prolific, successful, yet controversial children's writer of all time" (taken from the book) is my most favorite author ever. She had a depressing, horrible childhood (just like I thought she would). Her father who was closest to her, left her and her mother for another woman. Her mother never cared for her and "felt that her daughter should give more help with the domestic tasks". She did not meet her mother again after she left her house, not even when her mother pleade ...more
Nov 02, 2016 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enid Blyton's books gave me a world of magic and wonder as a child. Most of the books were Christmas presents or even at times, rewards for doing something good. I could read The Magic Faraway Tree any day even as an adult to escape into a world of fantastic adventures and still hold a precious copy of the series very close to my heart.
A fan of Enid Blyton's books, I looked for her biography because I've always wanted to know what inspired her style of writing and the themes of her books. I cam
Dec 26, 2016 Rahulandrews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good insight into how consummate Enid was as a writer. Good trivia too for those who grew up on her books
Andrea Hickman Walker
This book is exceedingly difficult to find. I have seen references to it all over the place. I have seen an actual copy of it in the UCT Special Collections, though you aren't allowed to take it out (they also have Childhood at Green Hedges, written by her younger daughter, which is also an elusive book). Finally, for a fair amount of money, I found a copy at Quagga in Kalk Bay. The Kalk Bay book/antique shops aren't on my usual rounds because (a) they're annoyingly far away and (b) they're most ...more
Namitha Varma
I always find it difficult to rate an bio/autobiography/memoir. We cannot rate it on the story, of course. So it has to be on the narrative and writing style. But even then, how much creative liberty can we take in a biography, a reconstruction a life, other's or self's? I do not know, despite having made an attempt at writing an autobiography myself.

I liked the biography. Because in my humble opinion, Barbara Stoney's attempt at bringing to us the story of Enid Blyton, that prolific writer who
Apr 07, 2015 Flapper72 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-stories
I had always heard that Enid Blyton was a 'complex character' so thought that it would be interesting to find out more. Unfortunately, that's probably all I know now having read the book. It really was a statement of facts, as much as we have them, without really having a great deal of insight or suggestion as to why she is always perceived as a complex character. OK, her father left the family home when she was a child and she didn't tell anyway, she then became a teacher, got married, got divo ...more
Apr 09, 2015 Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Enid Blyton's books but was almost put off reading this by the Foreward written by her daughter. It tells how she turned down other potential biographers because they were young and unmarried or the wrong sex. Her mother's biography had to be written by a mature woman who understood about being married and a mother. What may have been an acceptable caveat in 1974 (when the book was written) sticks in the craw these days.

Having said that I think the author did a good job of pai
Feb 19, 2011 lytteltonwitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
I loved the Famous Five books when I was growing up but wasn't quite so keen on the Secret Seven. It was the adventures of the Famous Five that appealed to me. Enid Blyton books get such a bad press but they are read and children love them. Anything that get children reading is good in my eyes.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Enid's life and she didn't always come across as a nice person but she was shaped by her childhood and the times that she lived in. She never really grew up and I think
Enid Blyton was a major figure in my childhood. I loved her series Hanni und Nanni. Sammelband 1 and Five on a Treasure Island, when I shuffled around the library with my mom I would always pick one of Blyton's stories to entertain me. In between games with my friends I would always haul my book with me and sit under a tree or on the swing and would read and get lost to another world. I still love her books and recommend them to my friends children and my nieces.

It was interesting to read about
L.A. Maria
Surprisingly I liked it but didn't love it - although I still love her books - this extract of her book from one of her fans sums up how I felt about her books "Once again, thank you for helping to make my childhood so extremely happy. I hope I can make my children as happy by introducing them to the magic, sunshiny world created by you..." I was an Enid Blyton book addict and carried this through with my family. I still have some of the original famous five hard cover books from my childhood. E ...more
Mar 13, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a biography written 40 years ago I wondered if this would be a bit hard going but it really wasn't. I loved Enid Blyton books as a child and have enjoyed them all a second time round with my own children. I was intrigued to know whether her life experience was behind many of the stories she wrote and was amazed at the sheer volume of output she managed, sacrificing time with her own children to keep working and replying to the thousands of letters she received from children, parents and teach ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Ellena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as I used to devour Blyton's books as a child I couldn't put Stoney's biography down. It was incredibly interesting to find out about the writer who has brought so much joy to readers around the world and I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of her earlier poems. I also loved a passage describing Blyton's move to Elphin Cottage. Stoney says she received seedlings and plant cuttings from all over the world and "Enid was particularly pleased with some marigold and sunflower seeds from Tasmania" ...more
Jan Q
I think the author did well to tell us much as she did. Enid Blyton was an incredibly private person so there wasn't a lot of information available. I would love to know so much more, I 'discovered' Enid Blyton in 1968, the year she died, when my teacher read us 'The Magic Faraway Tree,' I was hooked & I devoured her books. How I wanted to join in an adventure with the Famous Five. What a shame her home wasn't preserved as Beatrix Potter's home was.
An interesting biography into one of my favourite authors when I was a child ... quite shocking to find out that, while Blyton was devoted to her young readers, she failed quite magnanimously as a mother to her own.
Nov 03, 2011 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intresting story of a woman who wrote a few of my favourite stories from my childhood. I admit I was inspired to read this after seeing a docudrama about the woman. The book is not as scandolous as the film.
Allie Riley
Feb 25, 2013 Allie Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow - need to sort out my notes. But informative and engaging read, a little more sympathetic than the BBC 4 drama from the other year.
Jun 07, 2012 Sini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mielenkiintoinen kirja naisesta, joka kirjoitti yli kaksisataa kirjaa ja jota omat lapsetkaan eivät oikein tunteneet. Eiköhän ne Viisikotkin tämän jälkeen uppoa.
Nov 05, 2016 Vcmc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressively detailed and thorough. Insightful and probing without being prying. My favourite part was her correspondence with a psychologist who was interested in imagination and day dreams etc.
Gillian Black
Interesting read as I grew up on Enid Blyton books my favourites were The magic faraway tree series, The Famous Five and both St Clare's and Mallory Towers.
A Dreamer's Hope
Nov 15, 2016 A Dreamer's Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: honours-thesis
Brilliant biography. I did not skip or skim. It held my attention throughout, and made me choked up at the ending. Enid's life story will tear your heart apart.
Jani rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2015
Robert Halton
Robert Halton rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2014
Dorothy Marin
Dorothy Marin rated it it was amazing
Nov 11, 2014
Correna C
Correna C rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2008
Nele Fraeyman
Nele Fraeyman rated it liked it
Jul 26, 2013
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