Tell Me More About: Enid Blyton

Having written over 2000 novels, character books and short stories, Enid Blyton is one of the most successful children's writers England has ever produced. Born in East Dulwich and raised in Beckenham, Enid was born on the 11th August 1897 to Thomas Carey Blyton and Theresa Mary Blyton, the first of three children.

With a natural gift for music, Enid’s family originally had envisaged a career in music, with Enid being offered the opportunity to study at the Guildhall School of Music in 1916. However, Enid always knew that her true talent was for story writing. Enid turned down the offer from the Guildhall and decided to train to be a teacher at Ipswich High School. Enid knew by doing this she would be able to study children and get to know their interests to help her with her novels.

Her first recorded publication came in 1917 when her poem “Have You…?” was published in Nash’s Magazine, with her first published book of poetry coming five years later in 1922.

Enid completed her teaching training in December 1918, taking up a position at Bickley Park School in Kent. Enid taught at Bickley Park for a year before moving on to a position as a governess in Surbiton, Surrey, teaching several children in her self-titled “experimental school”.

In August 1924 Enid met her first husband Hugh Alexander Pollock, an editor for the publishing firm George Newnes. They met whilst Enid was writing a children’s book about London Zoo – The Zoo Book. Enid and Hugh had two children together, Gillian in 1931 and Imogen four years later in 1935.

The first of many novels Enid published was in 1925, The Enid Blyton Book of Bunnies. Enid's first manuscripts were written in longhand, with it not being until 1927 when her husband Hugh convinced her otherwise that she started to use a typewriter which she would perch on her lap.

After Enid’s divorce from Hugh, she went on to marry her second husband Kenneth Waters, who she spent many happy years with until his death in 1967.

Over the course of her 46-year writing career, Enid Blyton was responsible for numerous children’s book series. Some of these famous series include: Famous Five, Secret Series, Adventurous Four, Secret Seven. The most famous of Enid's creations was, and still is today, Noddy.

Did you know?

Enid Blyton was able to write 10,000 words a day

600 million Enid Blyton books have been sold worldwide

Sometimes Enid would write under the pseudonym Mary Pollock

It was said that Enid didn't plan her stories, preferring to let her imagination take her on a          journey

Enid's books have been translated in to around 90 different languages

What is your favourite Enid Blyton novel?

If you are enjoying our “Tell Me More About…” blog series, you can find out more about J. M. Barrie’s life and the history of the Peter Pan story in our Kent-Teach blog.

Comments are closed