Thursday, August 21, 2008

We Still Love Blyton!

A survey carried out to mark the 2008 Costa Book Awards has revealed that Enid Blyton tops the list of Britain's "most cherished and best-loved writers".
Blyton's gold medal position in this table, along with the high preponderance of children's writers elsewhere on Costa's list (Roald Dahl took second place and JK Rowling third, while JRR Tolkien and Beatrix Potter made the top 10), is evidence that it is the books we read, wholeheartedly, passionately, uncritically, in childhood to which we remain most firmly and irrevocably attached. The flaws we see in them as adults, the criticisms - and some pretty hefty ones, in the shape of accusations of sexism, racism and class snobbery have been flung Blyton's way over the years - do not weaken those bonds. For hundreds of thousands of us, Blyton was the wedge that cracked open the pleasure-filled world of reading and allowed us in. Our rational adult sides reject and mock Kirrin Island and all the adventures played out there; our inner children remember it rightly, and gratefully, as the promontory from which we caught our first glimpse of the promised land.
writes Lucy Mangan in the Guardian. I've certainly acknowledged my own debt to Blyton who got me reading!

The full list of most loved authors is here :
1. Enid Blyton
2. Roald Dahl
3. J.K. Rowling
4. Jane Austen
5. William Shakespeare
6. Charles Dickens
7. J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Agatha Christie
9. Stephen King
10. Beatrix Potter
11. C.S. Lewis
12. Catherine Cookson
13. Martina Cole
14. Bill Bryson
15. Charlotte Bronte
16. Jacqueline Wilson
17. Oscar Wilde
18. Maeve Binchy
19. Dan Brown
20. Emily Bronte
21. Jackie Collins
22. Martin Amis
23. Isaac Asimov
24. Margaret Atwood
25. John Grisham
26. Marian Keyes
27. H.G.Wells
28. Alan Bennett
29. Arthur C. Clarke
30. George Orwell
31. Danielle Steel
32. Iain Banks
33. Judy Blume
34. Jodi Picoult
35. Arthur Conan Doyle
36. Peter Ackroyd
37. Kingsley Amis
38. P.G Wodehouse
39. Dr. Seuss
40. Mark Twain
41. J.G. Ballard
42. Thomas Hardy
43. James Patterson
44. Ian Rankin
45. Leo Tolstoy
46. Irvine Welsh
47. Jilly Cooper
48. Beryl Bainbridge
49. Ray Bradbury
50. Geoffrey Chaucer


Ted Mahsun said...

hehe! Dan Brown's on the list. Go Dan Brown!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Awwww. I think many people our generation relate to Blyton and her tongue sandwiches and scones. This was at a time when all I knew about was thosai. Maybe she started my fixation on food. :-)

Anonymous said...

And Jackie Collins is in!!! Whoo hoo!!!!

Gette said...

On my shelf is nearly the entire set of the Five Find Outers and Dog which I picked up at a secondhand book shop. As soon as my stint as book reviewer is over, I'm gonna revisit it.

Satima Flavell said...

I learnt to write by reading Blyton - when I was little, I wanted to be a children's author, just like her. However, I'm now having to unlearn all the bad habits of Blyton and her era generally - overuse of adverbs and adjectives, slow starts, trite endings...but without reading her I might not ever have put pen to paper.

Anonymous said...

Love the Five Find-Outers. More interesting than Famous Five with whiney Anne and dykey George...

vovin said...

i love enid blyton.

i love Margaret Atwood also.



vovin said...

Oh, i also wrote my praise for Enid Blyton last year, here:

fadz said...

yey, Roald Dahl is second on list!

Anonymous said...

Well she was pretty racist, but then again everyone was I guess.

YTSL said...

Hooray for Enid Blyton. As un-PC as she may seem these days, her books really were a major factor in getting me on the road to bibliophiledom. In fact, I remember as a child thinking that she, the Brothers Grimm and Aesop were the only storytellers the world had ever known! ;D

A few other favourite authors I noticed on the list: JK Rowling (though I wouldn't have placed her that high!), George Orwell, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jilly Cooper (yes, well!)... hmmm, that makes for quite the mix, doesn't it? :)

Anonymous said...

Yea am surprised people like Sir Arthur aren't in. Also am surprised that people like Barrie and Twain aren't in either.

Anonymous said...

Wait, Twain IS in. Blah :P

Ted Mahsun said...

And so is Sir Arthur actually. Unless you're referring to a different Sir Arthur? *scratches head*

Anonymous said...

Eh, I didn't know what I was thinking. And I just realized Carroll isn't in either. Or Herriot.