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The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage - Enid Blyton

The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage - Enid Blyton

The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage - Enid Blyton

The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage

Book One in the Mystery Series

 

Author : Enid Blyton

Format : Paperback, 126 pages

Condition : Used. White-out used to cover name and scribble on first page, covers contacted, no other marks or tears.

 

About the Book

Who could have set fire to Mr Hick's cottage? The suspects include a tramp and even the housekeeper, Mrs Minns. The Five Find-Outers and Dog aim to solve the mystery before Mr Goon, the grumpy policeman.

 

About Enid Blyton

How Did Enid Blyton Become a Writer?

In her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1952), Enid Blyton says that, from an early age, she "liked making up stories better than I liked doing anything else." As a child she would go to bed at night and stories would flood into her mind "all mixed-up, rather like dreams are, but yet each story had its own definite thread—its beginning and middle and ending." Enid Blyton did not realise at the time that that was unusual, remarking in a letter to psychologist Peter McKellar on 15th February 1953: "I thought all children had the same 'night stories' and was amazed when one day I found they hadn't." She described her "night stories" as "all kinds of imaginings in story form," saying: "Because of this imagining I wanted to write—to put down what I had seen and felt and heard in my imagination."

The young Enid was keen to develop her writing and story-telling skills. She told stories to her brothers, made up her own rhymes based on the rhythm and rhyme-scheme of popular nursery-rhymes, kept a diary, wrote letters to real and imaginary recipients, entered literary competitions and paid great attention in English lessons at school. She also read widely. As well as fiction and poetry, she read biographies of famous authors and borrowed books from the library on the Art of Writing.

The advice Enid Blyton gives in The Story of My Life to children who want to write is: "Fill your mind with all kinds of interesting things—the more you have in it, the more will come out of it. Nothing ever comes out of your mind that hasn't already been put into it in some form or other. It may come out changed, re-arranged, polished, shining, almost unrecognizable—but nevertheless it was you who put it there first of all. Your thoughts, your actions, your reading, your sense of humour, everything gets packed into your mind, and if you have an imagination, what a wonderful assortment it will have to choose from!"

Enid began submitting her work to publishers when she was in her teens, but at that stage she received countless rejection slips. However, that only made her all the more determined to persevere with her writing: "It is partly the struggle that helps you so much, that gives you determination, character, self-reliance—all things that help in any profession or trade, and most certainly in writing." As we know, Enid Blyton went on to achieve phenomenal success, beginning with the publication of magazine articles and poetry when she was in her twenties.

From Where Did Enid Blyton Get Her Ideas For Her Stories?

Enid Blyton maintained that the gates of her imagination were always ready to swing open at the slightest touch. All the things she had experienced in her life provided her with material for her stories. These life experiences:

"... sank down into my 'under-mind' and simmered there, waiting for the time to come when they would be needed again for a book—changed, transmuted, made perfect, finely-wrought—quite different from when they were packed away.
 
And yet the essence of them was exactly the same. Something had been at work, adapting, altering, deleting here and there, polishing brightly—but still the heart, the essence of the original thing was there, and I could almost always recognize it."

In a letter to Peter McKellar on 26th February 1953 she elaborated on this, saying that things she had seen on holidays, such as islands, castles and caves, would pop up frequently in her stories as she wrote:

"These things come up time and again in my stories, changed, sometimes almost unrecognisable—and then I see a detail that makes me say—yes—that's one of the Cheddar Caves, surely! Characters also remind me of people I have met—I think my imagination contains all the things I have ever seen or heard, things my conscious mind has long forgotten—and they have all been jumbled about till a light penetrates into the mass, and a happening here or an object there is taken out, transmuted, or formed into something that takes a natural and rightful place in the story—or I may recognise it—or I may not—I don't think that I use anything I have not seen or experienced—I don't think I could. I don't think one can take out of one's mind more than one puts in... Our books are facets of ourselves."

Other Books in the Series

  1. The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage
  2. The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat
  3. The Mystery of the Secret Room
  4. The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters
  5. The Mystery of the Missing Necklace
  6. The Mystery of the Hidden House
  7. The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat
  8. The Mystery of the Invisible Thief
  9. The Mystery of the Vanished Prince
  10. The Mystery of the Strange Bundle
  11. The Mystery of Holly Lane
  12. The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage
  13. The Mystery of the Missing Man
  14. The Mystery of the Strange Messages
  15. The Mystery of Banshee Towers

 

 

The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage

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