The news that an unpublished Enid Blyton novel has recently been discovered has reminded me of the huge range of this author’s work. There are many rare and collectible books by Enid Blyton and for collectors there is an unusually wide range of associated material which never appeared between the covers of her well-known works.
Magazines and children’s comics are a good place to look for the lesser-known Blyton stories. Some of them are more obvious – Enid Blyton’s Magazine, for example, which was launched in 1953 and ran until 1959. Some of her stories appeared for the very first time in this magazine. For example, the first chapter of Five Go Down to the Sea was first published in the opening issue. You would be lucky to find a copy, and it should be treasured if you do.
Before launching her own magazine, Enid Blyton spent twenty-six years editing (and entirely writing) Sunny Stories for Little Folks magazine. Any copies of this are highly prized, even though a huge amount of the weekly magazine was published between 1926 and 1952. Incidentally, if you are looking for a full set you would only need to obtain fortnightly issues during much of the 1940s, due to the paper shortage!
Going back still further, you may be lucky enough to stumble across some of Enid Blyton’s poetry, first published in Nash’s magazine during the First World War. An ‘unknown’ such as her will be well-hidden, however, so look well beyond the list of contributors at the front. Another series of publications worth looking out for would be Teacher’s World, for which Enid Blyton wrote a weekly letter and a great deal more from the early 1920s. Prolific though she was, you will find that several of her books incorporated material which first appeared between the covers of Teacher’s World.
As for rare and collectible books from the pen of Enid Blyton, there are few scarcer than the booklet Child Whispers, which was published in 1922 by J. Saville. This 24-page book of poetry with a striking orange cover was quite delicate even when new, and good examples are extremely scarce. A first edition of Enid Blyton’s first book in good condition? The very definition of a hard-to-find book, but one of the mission statements of Online Rare Books is to track down collectible books such as these.
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