For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mr Tumpy is alive and his caravan is kicking

Noddy, Enid Blyton's most famous
creation, had the exclusive right to
provide taxi services in Toytown ...
"Unknown Enid Blyton story found" is the startling headline of the Press Association release that stunned the world with news of the chance finding of an unpublished novel by the creator of Noddy, The Famous Five, the Secret Seven, Malory Towers and  a generation of unashamedly politically incorrect "we-read-Noddy-and-it-didn't-do-us-any-harm" adults -- the infamous Enid Blyton.  The media release explains:
"Mr Tumpy's Caravan, an 180-page fantasy story thought to have been unknown previously, was found among a collection of manuscripts auctioned in September. The Seven Stories children's book centre in Newcastle paid around £40,000 for the haul .... Archivist Hannah Green then discovered the unpublished work, which follows the adventures of a caravan with feet and mind of its own [The feet are a novelty. Anyone who has tried driving with a caravan in tow will already know that it has a mind of its own]. 
A spokeswoman for the centre said: "... It's a very clean manuscript with no spelling mistakes." [Merpel's not surprised. The Enid Blyton stories she's read also didn't have any spelling mistakes. Ms B knew her limitations and didn't risk using difficult words she might have got wrong]. The manuscript was initially believed to be a version of a picture book called Mr Tumpy and His Caravan, which was compiled using comic strips, but the Enid Blyton Society confirmed it appeared to be a completely different book. 
Imogen Smallwood, Blyton's youngest daughter, told BBC News: 
"It's a whole book, written with words, about a completely different Mr Tumpy and indeed a completely different caravan ...".
Enid Blyton died in November 1968, says the IPKat, so this work, being unpublished at the time of her death, will remain copyright-protected in the UK till the end of 2039 (thanks, Graham Cornish, for the correction!). But what intrigues him is the close similarity between the two titles of two apparently entirely different stories.  Merpel's not surprised: she points out that William Shakespeare did exactly the same thing with his plays.  The storyline in Henry IV Part I is totally different from Henry IV Part II, but after a new sniffs of the old catnip you can hardly spot the difference at all ...

No comments:

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':