This is the first movie I've ever watched that I had taped to view later and straight after viewing it ordered from Amazon. It was always going to be a winner with me for the following reasons.
Helena Bonham Carter.
The frocks. Yes, I know thanks to the post on The Washerwoman's Blog that they're not authentic vintage and are Cath Kidston's but I still loved them.
The mystery of what was the 'truth' in the Enid Blyton story.
Enid Blyton’s two daughters, Imogen and Gillian, tell vastly different stories of their mother. They may as well be describing different women. I found that idea so fascinating that it formed quite a large part of the plot of my mystery novel, Poets Cottage. I've always been interested in families’ varying points of view and how that can shape and alter future events . The family unit is such a potent dynamic to work with even when things seem to be in balance - when they're not, it's gold for a Tale Peddler.
The Scribe loathed the character of Enid in the film and some of the scenes are painful to watch. In particular, the scene where Enid has her tiny fans around to enjoy romps and a Blyton tea whilst her banished daughters look on from a distance longingly.
It's interesting to know that the film had to wait to be made until Gillian (daughter who always loved and supported her mother) had died. This left more control to Imogen (daughter who was much harsher in her judgements of Enid).
I am far more forgiving of Enid than the Scribe, who wasn't raised on a diet of Blyton books as I was.
I adored Enid with a passion that I still have to this day. I get misty-eyed thinking of midnight suppers in boarding schools, scummy food with chocolate cake, boiled eggs and lashings of ginger beer. Rabbits holding cosy tea-parties in trees. Fairies hiding in dolls-houses. Talking tea-pots, smugglers, gypsies, wishing-chairs, French-mistresses, argumentative teddy bears. spoilt children and Cherry-tree farm. When I see the words Kirren Island, my heart gives an excited thump.
She gave my childhood (which wasn't always idyllic) some magic, mystery and excitement.
Enid knew full well the power she had on young minds around the world. She took that responsibility seriously. One of the great things about being a mother is I get to revisit all the Blyton worlds and watch my daughter falling under the Blyton spell. Daisy has adored her books from about two. There isn't another storyteller who holds her interest as much as Enid Blyton.
I have no doubt that Enid neglected something to enable her prolific writing (about 700 books in all).
Which raises another question I've been musing over - do you neglect your own children if you know you can make millions of children around the world more joyful, imaginative and caring beings? Which legacy is ultimately more important if you are a writer who has this talent to awaken the imaginative mind?
Have you seen Enid? Let me know if you have what you thought of it. Love or Loathe Enid Blyton? I thought Helena was inspired casting for Blyton. She's English to the core and watching her walk, the manner in which she spoke to people in the film – it was very true of a lot of writers I've met.
Here's a link to a newspaper article on this topic. There was a rather good article on this on the UK Telegraph several years ago but it's been removed.
And my favourite new Blog for the week is a Swedish woman by the name of Chez Larsson. She has a stupendous Blog if you are interested in organising, culling and making life neater around you. I badly need her services. Her post on magazines was particularly impressive. Here's a link.
Signing off for another week with the incredible duo of Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp.
Enjoy your weekend. Hope it is filled with family, fun and lashings of ginger beer. xx
"Mothers were much too sharp. They were like dogs. Buster always sensed when anything was out of the ordinary, and so did mothers. Mothers and dogs both had a kind of second sight that made them see into people's minds and know when anything unusual was going on." (The Mystery of the Hidden House.) - Enid Blyton
images of enid film source
johnny depp and vanessa source