Enid Blyton was born above a shop in London’s East Dulwich in 1897. Her favourite books as a child were ‘Black Beauty’ and ‘Little Women’. She was encouraged by her father to pursue her interests in nature, music and art, but her mother referred to her compulsive writing as a “waste of time” and “scribblings”. She remained undeterred and in 1922 published her first book of poems called ‘Child Whispers’.
She met Major Hugh Alexander Pollack, an editor, while on a commissioned project to write a book about the London Zoo, and they were married in 1924.
She wrote and edited a children’s magazine and in 1925 published her first full-length book called ‘The Enid Blyton Book of Bunnies’. She wrote over 700 books during her career, sold over 400 million copies to date, and is still selling over a million books every year including translated versions ranking just behind Shakespeare.
After a battle with Altzheimer’s Enid died in a nursing home in Hampstead in 1968 aged 71. She played a very special part in our childhood years when we entered her worlds of the ‘Famous Five’, the ‘Secret Seven’, ‘Noddy’ and my favourite stories about ‘The Faraway Tree’.
A true London treasure!