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A Childhood at Green Hedges: A Fragment of Autobiography by Enid Blyton's Daughter Hardcover – Mar 1989


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen young books (Mar 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0416126324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0416126327
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

a fragment of autobiography by Enid Blyton's Daughter. dw, 1989 name fep

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Byron on 22 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
As a child who grew up in England during the early 1940's and 1950's - and whose favorite author was Enid Blyton - you can imagine my shock and distress to both watch the BBC4 film, starring Helena Bonham Carter, about Enid's life - and then this memoir written by her younger daughter. However, to be fair, we cannot assign a perfect life to someone, just because they happen to write simple, morality filled books that appeal to our childish imaginations. Like the rest of us, Enid Blyton was just an ordinary woman, with all her foibles and insecurities, who unfortunately was unable to display real warmth or understanding towards her daughters. Whether one likes this portrayal of her personality or not, she was simply a human being who succeeded in her quest to become one of the most popular children's writers in the UK. The fact that she was lacking in warmth and maternal feelings is something that we cannot take personally.

In critiquing this book, I immediately recognize that the author is attempting to set down her recollections, as best she can, in order to be true to herself. There is no point in nitpicking about form or writing ability because that is not what this book is all about. As a woman who has written her own memoirs, set in Britain in the 1940's and 1950's, I relate very well to Ms. Smallwood and was fascinated with the detail of her life. To be quite honest, I could not put this book down. I totally empathized with her sour attitude and fear of closeness. This poor child had never been nurtured, cherished, protected or loved. Instead, she was banished to a nursery, cared for by governesses, and then (like me) sent off to boarding school at an early age.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luthien Arnatuile on 12 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
I read this about a year after watching a TV-program about Imogen Smallwood's famous mother, Enid Blyton. Helena Bonham-Carter portrayed Blyton, and I did not know what to think about the latter. I was in shock since it showed a very cold, unpleasant woman, not at all what I had imagined, after loving her five books, as a child. So I bought this book to find out "the truth"!

After reading the book, that describes Enid Blyton's cold, callous ways, I am inclined to say, that the film company used it as their script. As for the truth of the book, well, Imogen's older sister has written a chapter in it and did not seem to object to anything, so I assume that she concurs? I have given it three stars because the author has to rely on other people's memory, to describe her growing up years. She doesn't really remember much herself. This takes away something from the book. One does understand though that her mother messed up her entire life, being an incredibly selfish woman, so the book leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Certain people should not have had children and to read about abuse is never pleasant. The pain is there, but at the same time she has distanced herself from it, so that it still becomes a "cold" unfeeling book. I think she wrote it to get closure and to tell the world to stop glorifying her mother, whose halo definately have fallen off for me, after reading the book and watching the TV-program. Imogen, I'm afraid, lacks her mother's knack for writing though.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
My heroine has feet of clay! 22 July 2014
By Valerie Byron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a child who grew up in England during the early 1940's and 1950's - and whose favorite author was Enid Blyton - you can imagine my shock and distress to watch the BBC4 film, starring Helena Bonham Carter, about Enid's life - and then read this memoir written by her younger daughter, Imogen. However, to be fair, we cannot assign a perfect life to someone, just because they happen to write simple, morality filled books that appeal to our childish imaginations. Like the rest of us, Enid Blyton was just an ordinary woman, with all her foibles and insecurities, who unfortunately was unable to display real warmth or understanding towards her daughters. Whether one likes this portrayal of her personality or not, she was simply a human being who succeeded in her quest to become one of the most popular children's writers in the UK. The fact that she was lacking in warmth and maternal feelings is something that we cannot take personally.

In critiquing this book, I immediately recognize that the author is attempting to set down her recollections, as best she can, in order to be true to herself. There is no point in nitpicking about form or writing ability because that is not what this book is all about. As a woman who has written her own memoirs, set in Britain in the 1940's and 1950's, I relate very well to Ms. Smallwood and was fascinated with the detail of her life. To be quite honest, I could not put this book down. I totally empathized with her sour attitude and fear of closeness. This poor child had never been nurtured, cherished, protected or loved. Instead, she was banished to a nursery, cared for by governesses, and then (like me) sent off to boarding school at an early age.

If you don't wish the memory of your childhood heroine, Enid Blyton, to be tarnished, do not read this memoir. However, if you are as fascinated as I was with her life, and the very well written reportage by her younger daughter, I highly recommend this page-turning account of the "real" Enid Blyton." Well done, Imogen. You did a splendid job and I hope and pray you eventually found the peace and happiness all of us deserve.

Valerie Byron - author of NO ORDINARY WOMAN
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