Talk:Enid Blyton

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Enid Blyton is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 24, 2014.
Did You Know Article milestones
February 23, 2014Good article nomineeListed
March 16, 2014Peer reviewReviewed
May 1, 2014Featured article candidatePromoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on March 2, 2014.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that Enid Blyton's books were banned by the BBC for being "second-rate" and without merit?
Current status: Featured article

GA ReviewEdit

PURE NAZI — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:184:201:57B0:7507:EF0D:E088:ECD2 (talk) 00:00, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

This review is transcluded from Talk:Enid Blyton/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tim riley (talk · contribs) 17:06, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Will review. Hope to start tomorrow. More soonest. Tim riley (talk) 17:06, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

I have some suggestions about the wording here and there (nothing major). Would you prefer me to list them here or on the article talk page? Tim riley (talk) 15:42, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Here will be OK unless of course you feel up to fixing them yourself out of the kindness of your heart :-)♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:03, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm. Not sure about getting involved before doing the GA review. Rather undermines one's impartiality. I'll list the main things here and then dive into residual editing afterwards if that's OK with you. Tim riley (talk) 21:40, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I was kidding...♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:35, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

A few minor comments for your consideration:

  • Early life and education
    • "in the nearby town of Beckenham" – the WP article on the place says it was a village and is now a suburb
Should I change to village and add a foot note that it is now a suburb?♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:13, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
      • I don't know that I'd add the footnote. The blue link will surely suffice, as long as you change town to village. Tim riley (talk) 08:52, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "educating Enid on nature" – does one educate on? "about" seems more natural
Quite right!♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:16, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "In 1910 Blyton was baptised at Elm Road Baptist Church, and was devastated when her father left the family to live with another woman." – The two halves of this sentence don't seem to have anything to do with each other
True, changed.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:16, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "a small independent boys school" – theoretically ambiguous (though probably not in practice); still, perhaps better to say "a small independent school for boys".
Tweaked.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:24, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "In 1920 Blyton moved to Southernhay" – "she" would suffice for "Blyton" here, and help the flow of your prose
  • Early writing career
    • "she lived on Hook Road" – Americanism wanted here? "she lived in Hook Road" is the traditional British form (same in caption of picture alongside). I see you use the British form later on, for "in Ondine Street".
Nightmare in Elm Street :-)♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:28, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "she met up with" – she met?
    • "Teacher's World" – I see from the Times archives that the possessive is plural: "Teachers' World"
Well-spotted!♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:28, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "children's page in Teachers World" – missing the apostrophe altogether this time
  • Commercial success
    • "Blyton was asked to provide the text…" – and did she?
    • "her first contribution to the Sunday Graphic" – you are inconsistent about the definite articles in the titles of magazines/papers: earlier you have The Morning Post (with cap) but here the Post and the Mail aren't capped. Your blue link to The Mail on Sunday is incorrect, by the way. The Mail on Sunday wasn't launched till 1982. I think there was a Scottish paper called The Sunday Mail, but I don't vouch for it.
Removed mention of them to avoid confusion.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:47, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "and it wasn't until 10 years" – "wasn't" is hardly encyclopedic language
    • "the Evening Standard, which lasted until December 1953" – The Evening Standard lasted long after Dec 1953, and indeed is still being published. "…which she did until December 1953" would be better.
    • "By then time" – by then or by that time?
    • "a frequently collaborator" – adjective, not adverb wanted here
  • Later works
    • "last book in Noddy Library series" – is there a "the" missing here?
Quite right.
    • "Robert Tyndall, who had drawn the characters in the Noddy books since 1953" – this seems to contradict the earlier statement that Peter Wienk took over in 1953.
Removed mention.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:30, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Critical backlash
    • "mordaciously" – I had to look that one up. It's editorialising a bit, I'd say.
I added that recently. I rather like it, it's a legitimate word! There's plenty of sources which state he gave a scathing review, it means the same thing..♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:11, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
  • References
    • You sometimes have "Retrieved" with a capital and sometimes "retrieved" without. Tim riley (talk) 09:52, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
All addressed, amazed at some of the things you spotted despite Eric and I giving it a thorough read!♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:30, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Overall summaryEdit

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:  
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:  
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:  
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:  
    C. No original research:  
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:  
    B. Focused:  
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:  
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:  


The article states that her books were banned from libraries, and even that she enjoys the dubious distinction of being the author with the greatest number of banned books. Can anyone explain WHY the books were banned? Was it simply because the books were considered to have been poorly written, or was this the result of the percieved racism/sexism, etc? This does not appear to be made very clear in the article. It is one thing for an institution like the BBC to decide not to give air time to an author whose works it does not consider good -- that is fair game -- but it does seem surprising for libraries to take the positive step of actually banning a popular author's works on the grounds that they do not feel they are "good enough", particularly given some of the drivel that makes its way into libraries. (talk) 18:06, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I expect that different libraries had different reasons, including pressure on their budgets resulting from the sheer volume of Blyton's work. But the article already gives the generally accepted answer: "Some librarians felt that Blyton's restricted use of language, a conscious product of her teaching background, was prejudicial to an appreciation of more literary qualities." Eric Corbett 18:56, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

The A.H. Thompson book in the reference section goes into great detail on numerous instances of local librarians -- throughout various towns and shires of the UK, and in Australia & New Zealand as well, which happen to be the three countries where Blyton's books were (and are) most popular -- instituting de facto bans on Blyton's books, by choosing not to continue buying/stocking them despite public demand. The reasons given were of wide variation, but mostly revolved around three themes: (1) Blyton books are too popular, and are taking the place of "higher-quality" literature that youth would otherwise choose to read, (2) Blyton books promulgate values or characters that some find undesirable, or (3) So many Blyton books are published on a yearly basis that there are simply not enough shelves or budget in the library to keep very many in stock; the library must give fair consideration to all available books when maintaining an inventory, and discretionary priority should be given to librarians to buy as many of the "best" books as possible. The prevailing opinion among most librarians of the time was that a child who consumes too many of what they considered to be "overly simplistic" and "variously vapid" Blyton books will have no desire or ability to graduate to "higher" levels of literature, and would become caught in a spiral of educational mediocrity if their literary choices were not forcibly curated.
As Thompson describes, much political scandal was made in the newspapers throughout the 50s/60s/70s when an instance of "bookbanning" came to light, so naturally any such story tended to be covered with aplomb. No governmental authority intervened in any of these noted instances generally speaking; such decisions were originally made by individual librarians or libraries, and then litigated in community forums when challenged by constituents and/or reported in the press. Public outcry generally led to relevant oversight bodies reversing these librarians' decisions. Not surprisingly, the average citizen generally took poorly to such efforts, which were often criticized as elitist, pedantic, arbitrary, and/or hypocritical.
The whole thing comes off as pretty ridiculous in hindsight, especially in the context of the bookburning behaviour of National Socialists in Europe a couple of decades earlier, and in light of so many adult books from the mid twentieth century which are objectively much more scandalous and understandably controversial. But it's a fascinating phenomenon worth a deeper look if you ever have the time. ElCharismo (talk) 10:34, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
And on the subject of Blyton having "greatest number of banned books ever", this seems to be somewhat anecdotal (even if you don't get into semantics about what constitutes a true ban). There is no statistical citation in Tucker's book; he references the Thompson book I mentioned above (though he cites the wrong chapter). In Thompson's book the actual quotation on Blyton refers to the level of controversy within a specific period of time (and only in the British commonwealth), not any quantitative summation of total banning incidents. The American Library Association tracks banned books, but has only been keeping statistics since 1990, and I haven't found any other authority on the subject that mentions Enid Blyton or covers the most relevant years. So without asking Mr. Tucker himself, we might never know where he got that tidbit. ElCharismo (talk) 10:34, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

The link to her bibliography is difficult to findEdit

Just a suggestion from a reader to the users who contribute to this page: I came here looking for Enid Blyton's bibliography and it was not very easy to find. There was nothing in the contents index (there was a bibliography under References, but that was not the bibliography of her works. Finally I found the link at the beginning of the "Early writing career" section. Since the bibliography refers to her whole career, and not only to her early career, that was not very intuitive. It would be nice if it could be found easily from the contents index. Anyway, thanks for your work! --Db105 (talk) 20:29, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

Old Thatch SeriesEdit

In the Enid Blyton article it states that "The first of twenty-eight books in Blyton's Old Thatch series, The Talking Teapot and Other Tales, was published in 1934, the same year as the first book in her Brer Rabbit series, Brer Rabbit Retold", but in Enid Blyton bibliography, The Talking Teapot is stated as being published in 1938, moreover Brer Rabbit Retold is stated as being in the Old Thatch Series...GrahamHardy (talk) 16:58, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Thought I'd check what the Enid Blyton Society says, and it has 1934 for The Talking Teapot and Other Tales, so I have amended bibliography to match, the Society agrees that Brer Rabbit Retold is in the Old Thatch series (and does not mention a Brer Rabbit series) GrahamHardy (talk) 21:58, 29 M


Series 40, No 7 of BBC's Antiques Roadshow, from the Black Country Living Museum, first broadcast on 15 April 2018, featured Blyton's personal typewriter. The machine, a 1935 Imperial, was valued, by books and manuscripts expert Clive Farahar, at £5,000. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:20, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

It's a mildly interesting bit of trivia, but would need more context to justify inclusion—particularly, how does that compare to the normal price a collector would pay for a 1930s antique typewriter in perfect condition regardless of the Blyton connection? If Blyton ephemera is hugely valuable then it would be an indicator of continued high levels of interest in her, but £5000 for something that unique seems if anything remarkably low to me; for comparison, Ian Fleming's old typewriter went for £56,000, Russell Crowe's jockstrap sold for $8450 (and even has its own Wikipedia biography), while Cormac McCarthy's old typewriter went for a mind-boggling $254,500. (Martin, I would never have you pinned as an Antiques Roadshow viewer.) ‑ Iridescent 19:36, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
Pin away, dearie. In my book, the titanic Rupe can do no wrong. I was intrigued more by the fact it exists, than by it's current street value. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:45, 29 July 2019 (UTC) p.s. personally I only put £3,000 tops on it.
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