Enid Blyton rare books and memorabilia

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:56:33

Enid Blyton rare books and memorabilia are collectible items relating to British children’s writer Enid Blyton (1897-1968).

 

Brief History/biography

Blyton is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time. Each series is designed to be read by certain age groups with minimal adult help, and as such were designed to help children learn. Her stories feature brave and intelligent young children, usually having adventures, solving mysteries, and sometimes involving magic. She was a prolific writer, producing around 800 books over a period of 40 years. Her best known series are Noddy, the Famous Five series which consists of 21 novels, written between 1942 and 1963, and the Secret Seven series consisting of 15 novels written between 1949 and 1963. There were numerous other series written by Blyton, but these are the best known.

Types of rare books and memorabilia

Books

Bloomsbury Auctions

  • The Big Noddy Book, collection of 22 original illustrations along with the book (1956). Sold for £2,000 in April 2012.
  • Child Whispers (1922) first edition, sold for £1,300 in March 2006.
  • Five on a Treasure Island (1942) first edition of the very first Famous Five title, sold for £950 in June 2008.
  • Eight first edition Blytons, sold for £600 in November 2003.

Documents, Autographs etc

Bonhams

  • Manuscript album of illustrations by Blyton of characters and their costumes, with her signature. Sold for £552 in April 2009.

Christie’s

  • A series of 14 autograph letters, one autograph card, and eight Christmas cards 1958-61, sold for £1,998 in November 2001.
  • Ten autograph letters and notecards signed, 1959-61, sold for £1,058 in May 2000.

Guide for collectors

Single Blyton first editions usually sell for up to a few hundred pounds. To gather all the first editions of one series together could be an enjoyable project for a collector, and result in a much more valuable collection that odd books alone.

It is common to see a selection of first edition Blytons sold together as a job lot, or in amongst several other children’s books, which is an ideal starting place for a new collector.

Due to the fact that Blyton books are currently so inexpensive compared to many first editions and vintage children's books, it is a good time to start collecting them. Blyton memorabilia is simply bound to go up in value as time goes on, as it gets more and more popular amongst collectors. When people decide to collect children's literature, they are bound to focus on what they read and loved when they were children themselves, and Enid Blyton is definitely at the top of that list for millions of people.

Blyton books are utterly of their time, with numerous examples of dated attitudes and some things that could well be considered outrageous and reflective of negative stereotypes these days. As such, this could be considered to simply reflect an older era, and for some, this makes them even more collectible. It is worth noting, however, that reprints often alter and correct some of these issues, including racial stereotyping, corporal punishment, xenophobia and sexism. Whilst being more socially acceptable, these are not true to the first publications of the stories and Blyton’s original work.

The Enid Blyton Society website is extremely useful in providing information to collectors and enthusiasts. It can be found here: http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk.

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