Stef’s 10 Facts about the Famous Five and Me


I was sorting out my profile on the Enid Blyton Society forums the other day, and came across this old post. So with a keen sense of “Wow I can use this again!” and with a few added pieces of information I have decided to share my 10 Facts about the Famous Five and Me here on World of Blyton.

Ready? Lets get going then!

1. The first Blyton book I remember reading was “Five go to Mystery Moor” with my mum when I was about eight years old. She did most of the reading, although I tried. I remember getting scared when the boys lost the girls in the fog!

The cover of the first Famous Five Book I ever read. Published by Hodder in 1995. Cover illstrated by David Barnett.

The cover of the first Famous Five Book I ever read. Published by Hodder in 1995. Cover illustrated by David Barnett.

2. My first three Famous Five books were picked out because the owner of the book shop had more than one copy on the shelf. I didn’t want anyone else to be left out! I still have the copies I brought back then now. Three 1995 Hodder versions of Five Fall Into Adventure, Five Have Plenty of Fun and Five Go to Mystery Moor.

My First three Famous Fives. Published by Hodder. Cover illustrations by David Barnett.

My first three Famous Fives. Published by Hodder. Cover illustrations by David Barnett.

3. I wrote a book report on The Famous Five in general and read it out to my class when I was in year 4. I don’t think it was anything brilliant, just the standard “four children and a dog who solve mysteries” line. Unfortunately that is long gone and I don’t even have a picture of it to show you, so apologies.

4. My childhood crush then brought me Five Go to Demon’s Rocks for my birthday but it was in the cover of Five Go Off in a Caravan. I still have that misprinted volume. As a consequence I always got the covers for Demon’s Rocks and Caravan mixed up!

5. At the age of 8 or 9 I left Enid Blyton behind for new books, namely Lucy Daniels – I found out later that one does not simply leave Enid Blyton behind!

6. Yet I kept the books. I have never given away an Enid Blyton book. I have given away a few others but I’m a great believer in keeping books, especially Blyton’s. I suppose my mother had a hand in that, thinking that I might grow back into them and forbidding me to get rid of any. It was easy to keep them in a house where you have a librarian as a mother. She kept bringing lots of books home as well!

7. I used to get all the videos of the 90s Famous Five out of the library and watch them on repeat. There were only about three videos in the library and I must have had them for months on end, because my mother was a librarian and kept renewing them all the time so I could watch them. When some of them got deleted from the system, she brought them home for me to keep. Unfortunately I ended up giving them away only to collect them years later!

8. The first time I saw Five Have a Wonderful Time on the TV I saw Marco Williamson had broken his leg and was in plaster. Later on when I had come back to the Famous Five and was reading Five have a Wonderful Time it was a shock  for me to read that in the book Julian didn’t have a broken leg! I kept reading solely because I was convinced that it must happen sooner or later! I didn’t as I’m sure you all know!  Hilariously enough I later discovered what had happened to Marco. He had broken his leg playing football. Boys! You just can’t trust them not to make a mess of things!

Screen shot of the 1990s Famous Five TV series, showing Marco Williamson with a broken leg. (L-R) Jemima Rooper, Marco Williamson, Connal, Laura Petela, Paul Child.

Screen shot of the 1990s Famous Five TV series, showing Marco Williamson with a broken leg. (L-R) Jemima Rooper, Marco Williamson, Connal, Laura Petela, Paul Child.

9. Since seeing that episode before reading the book, I have been part convinced that Julian should have a broken leg in the book. It works strangely well in my head, which leaves room for more character development and leadership tests for Dick. He doesn’t have a broken leg if you’re wondering – Julian does lose some hair though!

10. It was an odd dream about the 90s Famous Five that got me back into reading the books again when I was about 12. The three I can remember reading properly after that long gap were Five Run Away Together, Five On a Hike Together and Five Have a Wonderful Time. The former two were primarily because they had Marco on the front – I had a bit of a crush on him, shall we say?

The Famous Five books with the 1990's TV cast on the front that convinced me to start reading Blyton again. With Marco Wiliamson, Paul Child, Jemima Rooper, and Laura Petela on the front.

The Famous Five books with the 1990s TV cast on the front that convinced me to start reading Blyton again. With Marco Williamson, Paul Child, Jemima Rooper, and Laura Petela on the front.

And those were my 10 facts! Hope you laughed at them a lot – some are rather daft but I can promise you that all of them are true. Honest.

Does anyone have any facts about them and Blyton that they would like to share? Come on! Don’t be shy!

All book covers taken from the Enid Blyton Society’s Cave of Books.

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This entry was posted in 90s Famous Five Series, Blyton on TV, Books, Personal Experiences and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Stef’s 10 Facts about the Famous Five and Me

  1. francis1 says:

    Lovely list and idea, Stef. I realise, of course, how young you are – getting your first Famous Five in the 1990s! When I was young we didn’t have paperbacks for children’s books and the hardbacks were a lot of money at 7/6 each. Too much even to have as presents so my reading experiences were from borrowed books – Public Library (very limited) or Boots Library (as many as you could afford). My sister and I did manage to obtain ‘Five go to Billycock Hill’ which my sister still has. Because we owned it it became my all time favourite Famous Five with a special feeling in my heart. No TV series to relish in the 1950s unfortunately! I probably had a soft spot for George – although I was rather afraid of her!

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    • Pete says:

      Great Stuff Stef!
      I wondered if I could rustle up my own list….I eventually found it!
      Here it is;

      1.First book -Five on a Treasure Island-completely changed my life-I thought this is the way I want to live my life

      2.Read Five on Finniston Farm in the very hot summer of 1976..The opening line ‘Phew!’said Julian,mopping his wet forehead.’What a day! Let’s go and live at the Equator -it would be cool compared to this!’ seemed to fit that long hot hot summer perfectly!

      3.Decided to excavate our old cottage to search for secret passages at 4am with my brother Mike,covering the resulting two foot square hole with lino-Dad not pleased!

      4.Grew up on both versions of the Five (Betty Maxey and Eileen Soper) and therefore love ’em both!

      5.Would spend hours comparing the two artists (above) illustrations looking for any differences and similarities in their work.

      6.At age 11 threw every Enid Blyton I owned ( I had them all!) in the bin,as I suddenly felt ‘too old’ to be reading her work!!!!

      7.Age 13,bitterly regreted my decision to throw all my books away and proceeded to collect them back again with a vengeance!

      8.Recently found just one book that escaped my purge ‘Five Have Plenty of Fun’ complete with my childish signature and an Emlyn Hughes England Team Panini football sticker on page one!

      9.Was amazed at how friends,parents, relations would buy me just the right Five book I needed next in the right order!….thanks Mum!

      10.Initially felt very jealous of the 1970’s TV Five….cant really explain why.All my family assumed I would love the show…but I couldnt bear to watch it…..

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  2. Colette says:

    Great idea, Stef! My own facts are:..

    1) Like Pete, threw all my Blyton’s away (under duress!) and am proceeding to re-collect them – but they must be the sam editions I had as a child

    2) Whenever I read a Blyton as a child, I would always accompany it with a feast of sweets/cake/nice foods – it was because of her descriptions!

    3) My favourite Find Outer book was and always will be Banshee Towers – I don’t get the bad press it receives

    4) I used to make up little Famous Five stories in which George had lots of sisters – and their names all started with ‘George’

    5) Aged about 9, I would often try to read all the Famous Five books over a weekend. I don’t know why or what I thought I was achieving, but I did!

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