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Enid Blyton was British writer for children’s books born on 11th August 1897. Enids love for writing had surfaced from the beginning of her childhood. Although her mother never approved of her writing and thought it was a mere waste of time her father encouraged his daughter to take part in all such activities. Enid gained confidence and started sending her work to different magazine. Finally her efforts paid off and her poem named ‘Have you?’ was published for the first time in Nash’s magazine.
Enid was a very bright child who excelled in studies, was a talented pianist and had remarkable writing skills. She attended St. Christopher’s School in Beckenham where she was the head girl. Later she became a trained teacher and taught at Bickly Subiton and Chessington. During this time she never gave up writing. She hoped to become a published author one day. Her dreamed was fulfilled when her first book ‘Child Whispers’ was published in 1922. It was a compilation of children’s poems. Two years later she got married to Hugh Alexander Pollock who was a book editor at the firm that had published two of her works.
In her mid thirties Enid went through some crisis in her life which included the death of her daughter. This troubled her emotionally and she began to show signs of instability. She started post marital affairs and in 1941 divorced her husband to marry Kenneth Fraser, a man she had met while she was still with her first husband. However she remained in her second marriage for the rest of her life.
Enid Blyton is most famous for her book ‘The Famous Five’ which is mystery series with 5 characters Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and a dog named Timmy. Her other well known novel from the ‘Mystery series’ was ‘The Adventurous Four’ where four children get wound up in different mystery expeditions. Another follow up is ‘The Secret Seven’ similar to the previous two novels; with a society of seven children who work on various mysteries. One of the most popular characters from her ‘Noddy books’ is sometimes criticized for being too soft and wrongly crying when situations were difficult.
Her stories were generally of 3 types. One was where children who are fairly independent from their parents or even authority figures move around solving mysteries and going on adventures. The second is the boarding house theme; where the story revolves around school life and its happenings like parties, practical jokes and relationships between the different characters. The third type is the world of fantasy where children are in a magical place with elves, goblins, fairies and other types of imaginative creatures.
A lot of Enid’s work faced criticism for presenting ‘a rosy view of the world’ and being racist or gender discriminate. However this never faltered her immense popularity among children. Her books which reach about 800 in number are still read with enthusiasm and have sold innumerable copies all over the world in over 90 translated languages.
Enid’s health started to deteriorate after the demise of her husband in 1967. She is reported to have Alzheimer’s disease and was moved to a nursing home where she died on 28th of November 1968 at the age of 70. She was a bestselling author with over 600 million copies of her books sold.
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