How exciting to read that a manuscript of Enid Blyton’s has popped up in a children’s book centre. Although Mr Tumpy’s Caravan doesn’t sound my ideal Blyton (I prefer Famous Five or the boarding school stories), there’s something so Blytonish about this lost manuscript suddenly appearing.
It’s grim to think in the future that, thanks to our technology, lost manuscripts languishing in dusty, spider-filled attics suddenly materializing may well be a romantic happening of the past. Computer files seem so impermanent, don’t they
And so I’m celebrating this historical moment along with other Blyton fans around the world with a toast of ginger-beer and keeping my fingers crossed the powers-that-be don’t decide to ‘modernise’ Mr Tumpy’s Caravan before publication.
In our house we read a lot of Blyton. My daughter adores the Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair books and never tires of them. She also loves Blyton’s books which are about children – rather than the modern trend of using animals in place of children. And I’ve been slowly collecting all my old Blytons that my mother sent to op-shops when my back was turned. Tony Summerfield of the Enid Blyton Society was quoted in the London Telegraph as certain there are no other Enid Blyton manuscripts sitting around. It’s still lovely to imagine that somewhere out there are early drafts of Famous Five or a mystery never seen.
And so, if you are interested in a fantasy of a caravan with a mind of its own, a dog-headed dragon and a princess, then cheer along with me that Mr Tumpy’s Caravan has been discovered.
You can read more on Mr Tumpy here