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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Enid Blyton

Enid Mary Blyton was born on August 11, 1897  in East Dulwich, London, the eldest of three children, to Thomas Carey Blyton (1870–1920), a cutlery salesman, and his wife Theresa Mary Harrison Blyton (1874–1950).

She was educated at St. Christopher's School in Beckenham from 1907 to 1915 leaving as head girl.

Blyton was a talented pianist, but gave up her musical studies when she trained as a teacher at Ipswich High School. She taught for five years at Bickley, Surbiton and Chessington, writing in her spare time.

In 1922 Enid Blyton published her first book, Child Whispers, a collection of verse, but it was in the late 1930s that she began writing her many children's stories featuring such characters as Noddy, the Famous Five, and the Secret Seven.

First edition

On 28 August 1924 Blyton married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (1888–1971), editor of the book department in the publishing firm of George Newnes, which published two of her books that year.
Eventually they moved to a house in Beaconsfield, named Green Hedges by Blyton's readers following a competition in Sunny Stories.

In the mid-1930s Blyton experienced a spiritual crisis, but she decided against converting to Roman Catholicism from the Church of England because she had felt it was "too restricting". Although she rarely attended church services, she saw that her two daughters were baptised into the Anglican faith and went to the local Sunday School.

By 1939 her marriage to Pollock was in difficulties, and she began a series of affairs. In 1941 she met Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters, a London surgeon with whom she began a relationship. During her divorce, Blyton blackmailed Pollock into taking full blame for the failure of the marriage, knowing that exposure of her adultery would ruin her public image. She promised that if he admitted to charges of infidelity, she would allow him unlimited access to their daughters. However, after the divorce, Pollock was forbidden to contact his daughters, and Blyton ensured he was unable to find work in publishing afterwards. He turned to drinking heavily and was forced to petition for bankruptcy.

Blyton and Darrell Waters married at the City of Westminster Register Office on October 20, 1943, and she subsequently changed the surname of her two daughters to Darrell Waters. Pollock remarried thereafter. Blyton's second marriage was very happy and, as far as her public image was concerned, she moved smoothly into her role as a devoted doctor's wife, living with him and her two daughters at Green Hedges.

Blyton's husband died in 1967. During the following months, she became increasingly ill. Afflicted by Alzheimer's disease, Blyton was moved into a nursing home three months before her death; she died at the Greenways Nursing Home, London, on November 28, 1968, aged 71 years and was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium where her ashes remain.

Her books have enjoyed huge success in many parts of the world, and have sold over 600 million copies. Her work has been translated into nearly 90 languages.

Enid Blyton liked to play tennis in the nude.

Blyton's literary output was of an estimated 800 books over roughly 40 years.

Source Wikipedia

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