Enid Blyton – the Beckenham years

Just added to our stock is a new DVD on the early life of children’s author Enid Blyton. Produced by Footprint Productions in Bromley, this production looks at the formative years of the woman who would later go on to be a best selling author, but also latterly a somewhat controversial figure for many librarians and teachers.

Using archive material and dramatised re-enactment, the DVD highlights Blyton’s somewhat troubled childhood in Beckenham and early attempts as a writer. It also documents her training as a teacher in the kindergarten department of Ipswich High School for Girls and later work at Bickley Park School and as a governess.

Her career as a education writer really took off with a regular column in Teachers World magazine which my colleague Nazlin wrote about last year in a post about Blyton as an educationalist.

The Beckenham years story ends with her blossoming career as a writer, particularly the success of a collection of poems, Child Whispers (published 1922), illustrated by her friend Phyllis Chase, and marriage to Hugh Alexander Pollock who worked for publisher George Newnes.

Viewers of the DVD can obviously draw their own conclusions, but Blyton in later life,  on the evidence of this production, certainly seems to have been shaped by her childhood.

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