Enid (2009) TV BBC 4: The Complex Personality of Enid Blyton

How I loved this movie. Enid is absolutely great and I am glad I bought it as I will watch it again very soon.

I am such a fan of Helena Bonham-Carter and have always been ever since I first saw her in A Room with a View that gorgeous Merchant-Ivory production. And I am also a fan of period drama and movies about the lives of authors. I totally enjoyed Finding Neverland and was enchanted by Miss Potter. A BBC production about the life of Enid Blyton seemed just the thing to look forward to. I was not disappointed. It is very good and Helena Bonham-Carter is, as so often, at her very best. However, as good as it is, it was absolutely not what I had expected. Of course, like most children, I did read Enid Blyton. Maybe not as many books as a British child would read but still quite a few. I had no idea what kind of a person she was. At best I thought of her as a Beatrix Potter type of woman or maybe like Astrid Lindgren who invented Pippi Longstocking. Enid Blyton was nothing like this. She was a complex, tormented and at times frankly mean person if we should believe this movie. Still she is fascinating and to look into the life of a writer is always interesting.

When she was a young girl her father, whom she was very attached to, left the family. It seems as if she never recovered from this trauma and fled into her dream world where she dwelt in a never-ending childhood full of adventures. At an early age she started to write down those stories. Being also a very determined person, she managed to find an editor who later became her first husband. As much as she loved her little readers and was totally addicted to her fan mail, she hated babies and did not get along with  her own children that she treated like trained monkeys.

She constantly escaped into her dream world and lied about a lot of things to herself and to others. When her mother dies she is really shattered. And so is her family since no one knew she had still been alive.

Enid Blyton wrote some 750 novels. She wrote 6000 words a day. At a certain point of her career she was accused of not writing all of her novels herself. She was almost devastated by this rumor. All in all, we see a very fragile person, a very self-centered and selfish person too. But still someone with a great talent.

The movie is beautifully filmed. The way she dresses, paired with  her eccentric ways, make the Enid of this movie appear like a fairytale character. Sure,  a bit of a wicked witch, but far from the ordinary. Despite the depiction of the negative aspects of Enid´s character, all these elements together make this a very enchanting movie.

4 thoughts on “Enid (2009) TV BBC 4: The Complex Personality of Enid Blyton

  1. Enid Blyton is only someone I heard of through British bloggers as I never came across her books here in the US as a child–even now I am not sure they are available in the US. I do like the sound of the movie, though. I love period costume dramas and in particular anything British. Enid sounds like she was an interesting woman and very complex. I love Daphne du Maurier’s books, but when I first read a bio of her I was disappointed as she seemed like maybe not such a nice person–a little disappointing, but it’s unfair of me to judge, so I also like to just think of her as being a very complex woman! Now I will have to see if I can find any of Enid’s books to try out–even if they are for YAs.

    • I liked some of her books as a child but we did not read as many as British children would. But most British people read a lot and some are quite familiar with her being harsh with her own children. Still, this movie is fantastic. They way she is dressed, the make-up. And how she writes endlessly. Her energy and determination are impressive. Many writers are self-absorbed. I think it shocked people that she was able to be so nice toher fans and mistreated her own kids.

  2. I grew up reading Secret 7 – Famous 5 and many of Enid Blytons books . At the moment I am watching a movie about her and am horrified on how horrible she really is – If this is all true .

    • Thanks for sommenting, Kris. Yes, that’s the question really. I think she wasn’t a likable charcater that seems obvious b ut still her creativity and imagination were amazing.
      I don’t think her negativity can be felt in her books but it must have been horrible for her children.

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