I’m fairly certain that every child in the UK or Australia has read at least some of her works. Apparently she was an author of some repute throughout the Commonwealth, but I hesitate to say for sure in Canada (nothing about this new country of mine is quite the same….) but with books translated into 90 different languages, you would be forgiven for thinking that almost the entire world has read at least one Blyton book in their younger days: The Magic Faraway Tree anyone?
My special love was the series ‘Famous Five’. When I was younger I was crazy about them, and any time Mum went into the city for the day she would come home having visited the book shop with a new book or two (sometimes three!) for me to add to my collection. Sadly the books are all back home in Australia right now, and I will either have to ship them out for Bronwen (or more likely if I’m still in Canada get them on e-reader) when the time is right so that I can share a part of my literary heritage with her.
Blyton wrote almost 800 books over the course of a 40 year career (take that Nora Roberts,) is apparently the fifth most translated author in the world and there are at least 600 million copies of her books scattered around the globe. *phew*
So one can imagine the shock someone had when they initially discovered in a pile of old manuscripts an unpublished story after buying the box of manuscripts at auction. Imagine that amongst the drafts of Famous Five, Secret Seven, Noddy and Malory Towers, a new story….a Mr Tumpy’s Caravan suddenly came to your attention. Quite possibly an early attempt at a novel…. just … imagine.
One cant help but wonder, will the publishing house that bought the box of manuscripts publish the book now for old times sake, or the money making potential that is undoubtedly has with Blyton devotees – even if the story is really poorly written? Think Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl” series and the reputed forth novel he was writing before his death, the debate over that being published one day or not, according to who wins out in the Swedish courts over the rights to his property. Anything is possible.