Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Enid Blyton - A Forgotten Treasure Unearthed
So prodigious was her output that many refused to believe that Blyton herself wrote every book that bore her name. Her response to this accusation was predictably indignant. Vigorously denying any association with the controversial business of ghost-writing, she insisted that, at the height of her career, she would often punch out 10,000 words a day. A word-count such as this would be beyond the reach of most authors, but in Blyton’s case, it is likely to be an accurate estimate; no ghost-writer has ever come forward to claim authorship of any of Blyton’s books, despite the fact that Blyton herself died in 1968.
The seemingly inexhaustible productivity of Ms Blyton’s pen is all the more remarkable when one considers the effect each and every one of her books had on her legions of fans.
Despite this success, Enid Blyton was not without her critics. There have been some who have questioned the quality of her writing – for a period of almost thirty years, the BBC steadfastly refused to dramatise her books for radio, declaring her work to be “long-winded and stilted … and really not very good".
Undeniably, Enid Blyton was a polarizing figure, but love her or hate her, most agree that she was a force to be reckoned with. It is hardly surprising, then, that news of the discovery of a previously unpublished Blyton manuscript has made the headlines in recent days. The document, thought to date from early in her career, was unearthed by a cataloguer