Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Home Truths

Happily settled myself on the sofa last night to watch the BBC 4 docu-drama on childrens' novelist Enid Blyton. Helena Bonham Carter was fabulous (and sexy Matthew McFayden was, well… not sexy, but fabulous too) and I deeply coveted her office, her clothes and her ability to write 6 000 words a day. However, the programme was not all sunshine and lashings of ginger beer, focusing as it did on the bitter irony that Ms Blyton was so busy writing about the endless joys of childhood that she ruthlessly sidelined her own children.

Gulp. Better get back to my own book, where the hero and heroine are lying in the afterglow of hot sex on a car bonnet and try not to dwell on the fact that the most intimate thing I’ve done with my husband this week is discuss car insurance.


Anonymous said...

I watched it too, and am completely disillusioned, had no idea she was such a witch! And I loved her books! Ah well...will just have to have lashings of ginger beer to get over the disappointment...x Abby Green

Michelle Styles said...

I have recorded it and will watch later.
But I did know about the witch part.

I believe her first husband's second wife wrote from M&B -- something that EB mocked and made fun of. Quite probablu because she was inadequate.

India said...

I know-- complete witch, but didn't you love her leopardskin coat and the pink stockings she wore at the beginning? I was never much of a fan of her books, but briefly respected her more when I saw her cool clothes. (What? They came from the wardrobe department at the BBC? Oh well-- as we were then!)

Can't believe she had the nerve to mock M&B Michelle! This being the woman who peppered most of her books with toweringly intellectual lines like 'You can't help it-- you're just a girl' and whose main contribution to the canon of literary heroes was Noddy. Humph.

Kate Hewitt said...

I loved Enid Blyton books as a kid, esp. the of Adventure series with Philip, Jack, Dinah, and Lucy-Ann. And don't forget Kiki the parrot! But I reread some of them as an adult and was horrified. The children can be terrible to one another (esp in the boarding school books like Mallory Towers, etc). Still my daughter reads and loves them, so go figure. And I'd heard somewhere she was awful, which doesn't surprise me as much as the leopardskin coat! I pictured a twinset, tweed and pearls.

India said...

Kate, my youngest started reading them recently but has been put off by the archaic dialogue. She said she couldn't believe that people spoke like that. (Just not posh enough in this house, obviously.)

The leopardskin coat was very glam, but probably - given the era - very cruel too.