This is one of my most treasured possessions. This will come as a surprise to those who know me as they know how I like to keep my books, but this is one of my most precious!
Firstly, it was my mum's copy when she was little and has her name and address written by her in the front. Some of the illustrations have been carefully coloured in by her (and others less carefully by my brothers and me when little!) and my lovely Grandpa has attempted to repair it!
'The Enchanted Wood' (for that's what it is!) is one of the first books that I can remember reading all on my own and, once started, I devoured everything Enid Blyton had to offer. I went adventuring with the Famous Five (I so wanted to be George!), looked for the clues with the Five Find-Outers, ran away to Mr Galliano's circus and dreamed of attending Malory Towers with Darrell and her friends!
When I started teaching, there was talk of Enid Blyton being removed from schools and libraries due to the racist, sexist and 'middle-class'ness of her writing. Her books were not recommended. As they were already dated by the time I read them, they were even more old fashioned by this point as well. Children who went to boarding school, families who had tennis courts, cooks and maids... none of these things existed in my world, yet I still enjoyed the stories!
However, having been voted Britain's best-loved author in 2008 and with the anniversary copies of the Famous Five books with covers by famous illustrators like Chris Riddell and Helen Oxenbury and the tweaking of the language and content of her books, Enid Blyton is now back to dominating the 'B' section of book shop shelves! Seven Stories held an exhibition about her which I went to a couple of years ago- and thoroughly enjoyed.
So -love her books or hate her books, Enid Blyton certainly gave the world a plethora of stories- and started many (like me!) to devour books and love reading!