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Monday, 18 August 2008

Enid Blyton tops Dahl and Rowling as Britain's best loved author

by Suzan Abrams

Today, The Daily Telegraph writes that the legendary children's author Enid Blyton has been voted Britain's best-loved author in an adult reader survey, beating even Roald Dahl and JK Rowling. No doubt, Blyton will always have my vote. As a child, I found her far more delicious than lollipop. She helped humour my funny dreams and steady those wobbly castles-in-the-air.

My favourite caricature to this present day stays the Gollywog, with its congenial personality, flamboyant dressing and incredibly clever mind. No, I'll never believe for a minute that Enid Blyton was racist. She simply expanded on the wonders of her environment and I can only assume that she loved all of her characters equally.

Reprinted from The Telegraph's Weekend Magazine, here is a rare clip featuring England's celebrated childrens' author of all time, the prolific Enid Blyton. One of the world's top bestselling authors of the last century, she wrote some 120 novels, more than 700 other books and an estimation of 10,000 stories. Here Blyton is photographed with her spaniel, Laddie, who is licking her daughter Imogen's face while her older daughter, Gillian points to something with which to arrest her mother's attention and gaiety.

Pictured above of the Christmas story is a rare children's classic, first written, illustrated and published by the mother-daughter team of Bertha & Florence Upton in 1907.

It was English children's book illustrator Florence Upton (pictured left)who created the Gollywogg doll and character as an imaginary companion to her toys. In 1895 at the age of 22, Florence illustrated her first book, written by her mother, Bertha.
Titled , The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls, it involved a Gollywogg. The word golly was meant to be an exclaimation of surprise.
The dutch dolls were Florence's own toys. A total of 22 incredibly popular children's books on the Gollywogg were written and illustrated by Florence and her mum. Later all through the 1940s and 1950s, Blyton would reinvent the universal popularity of the famous black doll.

Lots more on gollywogs provided by Sterling Times

Today, Upton's dolls including the Gollywogg, are housed at Chequers, the British Prime Minister's country residence.


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