Monday, April 25, 2011

Did you know that Manitowoc has a rather large British population? Some of the ladies meet regularly to share memories of home, and to take tea the "proper" way. Over the past few years, several of our English residents have become customers and even friends. Recently, one of these new friends expressed her disappointment in me in a way only a refined Brit can. She had been brought up on Enid Blyton bedtime stories, and announced that it was about time I read some of her work.

I confess, we have had a Blyton book on our sheves, but that artwork just doesn't appeal to me, so I have passed it over more than once. However, I have done some reading on the author herself. What a fascinating person, filled with contradictions. Blyton wrote over 800 children's books, and was loved by kids in the United Kingdom until her death in 1968. If Facebook, Twitter, and all the so-called news networks were up and running during her lifetime, we would have been kept well informed of the many scandals in her personal life, and her success as a writer for children would have been short-lived, I fear. Apparently, this woman could swear with gusto. She had numerous affairs, and barely knew her siblings, or her own children. As a matter of fact, in an interview after Blyton's death, her daughter, Imogene, called her arrogant and cold.

There were controversies surrounding her work. Newspaper columnists questioned whether she actually wrote the works attributed to her. BBC radio refused to read her works on air, explaining that the writing was not literary enough. Libraries removed books due to sexist and racist content. Since those days, Blyton's works have been revised, eliminating the "N" word. Thank goodness.

There is movie about her life called "Enid" starring Helena Bonham-Carter. I think I'll check it out.

Thanks for stopping by.