Enid Blyton: Biography

Enid Blyton

11 aug 1897

Enid Mary Blyton was born in South London in 1897. She was the elder sister to two younger brothers and the daughter of a cutlery salesman. Blyton grew up with a very close relationship with her father, until he left the family to set up home with another woman when she was thirteen years old. Her relationship with her mother never flourished, and Blyton chose not to attend either her mother or her father’s funerals when they passed away.

From a very young age, Blyton showed a passion and talent for writing. It was only after she had completed her teacher training that any of her work was actually published. Her first published work was a collection of poems called Child Whispers which was released in 1920. She continued to write and publish works from that moment on, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that she began to produce the work for which she is most famous today.

In 1934 she published the first of the Brer Rabbit series, followed by Adventures of the Wishing Chair in 1937. She then went on to write her famous boarding school series of books including the Naughtiest Girl and the St Clares series of books. The first Famous Five book came in 1942, and from that moment on, Blyton’s works have never been out of print.

Blyton reserved a view throughout her life that her books should help to educate children and to teach them moral guidelines as well as entertaining them. She often spoke about respect for nature and encouraged this through the behavior of the characters in her books. She was approached to see if avid readers of her books could set up a fan club after the success of the Famous Five series. She gave her permission, but only if the club were to serve a charitable purpose and suggested that they raise money for the Shaftesbury Society Babies’ Home.

Blyton continues to be a favourite author for children today, despite the fact that she died in 1968 at the age of 71. Throughout her career she wrote more than 600 books for children, many of which are still in print today.