Monday, July 26, 2010

Enid Blyton for the Twenty-first Century

By Nigel of Bagot Books.

In Saturday’s Guardian there was an article about Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books getting a ‘makeover’ – changing some of the terminology to fit modern times, for example ‘mother’ to ‘mum’, ‘mercy me’ to ‘oh no’, and ‘fellow’ to ‘old man’. The new language is supposed to be ‘timeless’ according to Hodder, but presumably it’s as timeless as today – or rather, today’s children’s language as adult editors imagine it. Presumably in fifty years’ time the language of speech in these books will seem not only dated, but anachronistic, as the rest of the books are remaining unchanged. The reasoning is that the language puts children off reading the books, but I think this underestimates the intelligence of children. (I like this comment from Tony Summerfield, who runs the Enid Blyton Society: ‘How can you change Nobby to Ned and yet leave Dick and Fanny?’)

Reads more thoughts on the modernising of Enid Blyton by Bagot Books here.

You can see Enid Blyton books for sale from Bagot Books here, from Stella and Rose's Books here, from March House Books here, and from Peakirk Books here.

This post is illustrated by a book from the stock of Stella and Rose's Books.

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