The Famous Five consisted of Julian, Dick, George, Anne, and Timmy the dog. They ate smashing picnics, went off on their own, and had amazing adventures that resulted in lost treasure being found, baddies being delivered to policemen, and no one ever getting hurt.
The characters are rather two-dimensional, and their personality hangs off the attributes Enid Blyton has given them - Julian is dependable and authoritative, Dick is impulsive and rash, George is stubborn and independent, Anne is quiet and gentle. They are rarely allowed to act another way – we don’t see Julian as insecure, Dick as cautious, George as needy, Anne as demanding. In this way the characters are very satisfying to young child-readers as they can predict outcomes and ways of behaviour. For older and adult readers, who are not the audience anyway, the characters are less satisfying for the same reason, although the books fulfil a nostalgic pleasure.
When I was little I called my first cat ‘Timmy’ so we could be the Famous Two. Sadly there was a distinct lack of castles, smugglers, caves, well-spoken apologetic baddies, islands, and gypsy caravans for us to make a real good go at things. Still, we solved the Mystery of the Missing Sock, so there’s some vindication.
I still have all my Famous Five books and love to occasionally dip back into those days, back to when the sun was always shining, and mysteries were around every corner... or, in the case of the Missing Sock, in every drawer.
The Famous Five
Published: 1942 – 1962
Author: Enid Blyton
Illustrator: Eileen Soper Famous fact one: I used to interview celebrities
Famous fact two: Favourite actor interviews were with Will Smith, Josh Hartnett and Ryan Reynolds.
Famous fact three: Favourite music interviews were with Bananarama, Level 42, and Marti Pellow
Famous fact four: Favourite author/artist interviews were with Martin and Tanis Jordan, Jason Cockcroft, and Jill Barklem
Famous fact five: I also used to make costumes for West End musicals, including The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera
Three A-Z Highlights for 'F'
Katie Mills at Creepy Query Girl posts about the Family at Creepy Manor
Our lovely instigator, Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, posts about a Faraway Friend
Misha at My First Book talks about Fear