Enid Blyton was an English children’s writer whose books have been among the world’s best-sellers since the 1930s, selling over 600 million copies. Typically they tell stories of adventure and mystery for young children. Enid Blyton’s books are still enormously popular, and are translated into nearly 90 languages; she started being published in 1922, and wrote on a wide range of topics including education, natural history, fantasy, mystery, and biblical narratives and is best remembered today for her Noddy, Famous Five, Secret Seven, and Adventure series.
Following the commercial success of her early novels such as Adventures of the Wishing Chair (1937) and The Enchanted Wood (1939), Blyton went on to build a literary empire, sometimes producing fifty books annually, as well as prolific magazine and newspaper contributions. The volume of writing she produced led to rumours, strongly denied, that she had used ghostwriters.
Enid Blyton felt responsible for providing her readers with a strong moral framework, so she encouraged them to support charitable causes. She set up clubs through which her readers organized to raise funds for animal and childcare charities.
Enid Blyton’s books became increasingly controversial among literary critics, teachers and parents from the 1950s onwards, because of the alleged unchallenging nature of her writing and the themes of her books, particularly the Noddy series. They were seen by some as old-fashioned, elitist, sexist, and racist at times, but they have continued to be bestsellers since her death in 1968.