Archive for Book

Watched – Enid (Blyton)

Posted in Authors I've read, period drama, Watched it with tags , , , on August 12, 2011 by echostains
Bonham Carter as Enid Blyton

When I was a child, Enid Blyton was my favorite author. She was beloved of most children: a wonderful storyteller whose stories kept you entranced. But what was she like as a person? Helena Bonham Carter was, at first glance, a surprising choice, to play Blyton in this BBC 4 biopic, but – then so was Trevor Eve who played Hughie Green, in the last series and I thought he was absolutely great!

Enid Blyton

The young Enid gets into storytelling to distract her siblings from the furious arguments which are going on between their parents. Her father eventually leaves for another woman (or so her mother says, though all her life Enid won’t believe this). It is easy to see why Enid starts escaping into her own world. She leaves home as soon at the first opportunity (Enid never stops running all through her life). She trains to become a schoolteacher, though her real ambition is to be an author. Rejected many times, she keeps trying, until eventually a door opens. Not one to hang around, she marries her publisher.

the very famous Five books

Their early days seem idyllic. What a blow it must have been to her to be told she couldn’t have children.. But despite these problems, she does have a child (in fact two,) but motherhood does not come easily to her. She seems more work inspired, than nurturing. Time for a nanny. But although she is honest about her failings, she does have some odd ideas about how to handle week old babies….

Enid Blyton bedtime story book

It is strange the way Blyton is different with other children than her own, and a bit baffling really. She seems more relaxed whilst in the company of children she doesn’t know. To an extent, she seems to shun anything that doesn’t fit into her world of fiction, such as the War. It’s as if in her refusal to be distracted, it will just go away. When her husband starts drinking, she banishes him into the spare room!

Noddy a popular Blyton character

 

Blyton is the ultimate escapist, and does not like the banalities of motherhood: writing comes first. When Blyton finally comes to terms that we are at war, she contributes by digging for victory with her children and entertaining officers whilst her husband is away (escapism again). Eventually of course, she takes a lover ‘Uncle’ Kenneth Waters.

the magical land of Enid

The acting was really good and the attention to period detail wonderful. Bonham Carter makes a great Blyton, showing all her contradiction. She is both hardened and yet vulnerable in her reluctance to face reality. The way that Blyton deals with harsh reality is through her children’s tales, where a happy ending is assured and cake is distributed with lashings of Ginger Beer She has such a hard unfeeling edge to her to her personality though and is able to compartmentalise her life skillfully, dismissing her children. Poor Hugh (ex husband) gets the treatment time and time again, and very cruelly. It is incredulous the way that she can turn her back on anything she doesn’t want to deal with, including her mother and her siblings. A very complicated, emotionally damaged but talented person, whose end was indeed tragic.

Watch it HERE 

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Dear Reader – I read them

Posted in Dear Reader I read it! Book reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 23, 2011 by echostains
 
what I’m reading at the moment

I really must catch up with reviews of all the books and films I have seen!  The list is long, and although I do find myself taking notes (on the films) there never seems to be enough time to write it all down.  So, in a nutshell here’s a pile of books which I have read this year alone and which I SHALL review!

The English Ghost by Peter Ackroyd

The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossman

Murderous Manchester by John J Eddieston

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

The Hireling by L.P. Hartley

Grayson PerryPortrait of the artist as a young girl by Wendy Jones

The Shrouded Wall by Susan Howatch

Lancashire – Where Women die of Love by Charles Nevin

My Fault by Billy Childish (reading at the moment)

Some of these books aren’t finished though and I can’t review them until they are.  Somewhere, I have acquired the habit of starting one book then after a few chapters, acquiring another book which I also start.  Depending on which book is the most interesting – well, that’s the book will get finished at the time. 

 

 When I am in between any new books being bought, then these unfinished books will come out.  The difficulty in the continuation of reading them lies in my memory of what they were about in the first place!  What I mean is that although I can remember what the book is about, to actually get engaged or immersed in the book means retracing my steps and starting yet again, at the beginning!  There are several books this has happened to (Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is one of them)  The list above shows  just a few of the books I have read lately and some of these are re reads.

Images from here and here and here