The Famous Five are 75!

Five years ago, in 2012, I wrote about Enid Blyton’s Famous Five turning 70.  Five on a Treasure IslandIt was one of my most popular posts.

In May of this year, that gang of four children and a dog will turn 75. The anniversary of the first publication of Five on a Treasure Island is being celebrated as part of Visit England’s Year of Literary Heroes 2017.
To mark the occasion the Royal Horticultural Society is creating four ‘Five Go on a Garden Adventure’ trails, one in each of their gardens: Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall, Wisley and Rosemoor. All four gardens will also hold a picnic party on 11th August to celebrate Enid Blyton’s 120th birthday.

A series of new paperback books will be released in May to coincide with the anniversary. These have new covers, an example of one of these can be seen on the Bookseller’s website. Have a look and tell me what you think. I’m not keen but I guess today’s children wouldn’t be impressed by the ‘old-fashioned’ original covers. I much prefer the one I’ve used to illustrate this post.

However, I do fancy that picnic – especially if there’s lashings of ginger beer plus plenty of ice cream (didn’t Julian always buy an ice cream for Timmy the dog?) and then we can relax on a bed of springy heather and keep watch for the smugglers on Kirrin Island …

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  1. #1 by dianneanoble1147 on January 9, 2017 - 9:55 am

    Great idea! I loved the Famous Five – correction, I loved everything Enid Blyton wrote.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on January 9, 2017 - 8:00 pm

      Me too, Dianne – Malory Towers was my favourite.

  2. #3 by Sue Wood on January 9, 2017 - 12:45 pm

    We could organise our own celebration in a park? It sounds like so much fun. I devoured the books too and still have a few Enid Blyton’s on my bookshelf. Sue

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on January 9, 2017 - 8:01 pm

      Sounds good, Sue. As well as growing up with them, I remember reading Enid Blyton to my children.

  3. #5 by Shirley Stow on January 9, 2017 - 3:12 pm

    Although in my eighties I still remember with nostalgia The Famous Five books and cannot wait to book a place at the Harlow Carr picnic, if it is going to be anything like Sally suggests!!!

  4. #7 by juliathorley on January 10, 2017 - 9:11 am

    No! That new cover design is awful. If they’ve reverted to the original text, why faff about with the visuals?

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on January 10, 2017 - 6:10 pm

      Presumably to appeal to modern children, Julia? But seems a bit pointless for a story set in the past with no computers, internet etc. And I can’t image a book like ‘Five Children and It’ or ‘Little Women’ having modern-style characters on the cover.

  5. #9 by isengerperkinsauthor on January 12, 2017 - 3:14 pm

    I never read The Famous Five, but my other half did.
    On another note about Literary Heroes: I live in Stoke-on-Trent, and this year marks the anniversary of Arnold Bennett’s birth 150 years ago!

    • #10 by Sally Jenkins on January 13, 2017 - 8:14 pm

      Thanks for the heads up about Arnold Bennett, Ingrid. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything of his – which probably shows I’m not widely read enough for a writer!

      • #11 by isengerperkinsauthor on January 18, 2017 - 10:45 am

        I’d never heard of him until I booked our wedding venue (at *the* hotel), so don’t worry too much! And he is often talked about as he is local! I too am not widely read 😉

  6. #12 by Rosemary Reader and Writer on January 16, 2017 - 2:06 pm

    75th anniversary of Famous Five? Rat-her!

    • #13 by Sally Jenkins on January 16, 2017 - 8:08 pm

      You grew up with them too, Rosemary!

      • #14 by Rosemary Reader and Writer on January 16, 2017 - 8:53 pm

        Oh yes! I read all Enid Blyton avidly. So did my daughter and son. The reason I started wanting to write was that there weren’t enough Enid Blyton stories to read!

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