1. That is one spooky coincidence. Having just finished John Gribben's marvellous 'Schroedinger's Kittens', and having nothing of an equivalent quality to hand forbedtime reading, I picked up 'Five Go to Smugglers' Top' and have just put it down...

    And the weird thing is, it confounds every stereotype you may ever have held about Enid Blyton, possibly acquiredthrough progressive, PCand feminist commentators.

    Yes, it may be a patriarchal worldwherelittle wifey'sand servant girls know their places,and the dusky-skinned Pierre Lenoir is nicknamed 'Sooty', but the alpha males from Julian to Uncle Quentin, determined chins notwithstanding, are just egotistical,slow-wittedidiots, while the stars of the piece, - uncompromising and anti-authoritarian - are Sooty himself and 'George'. And Timmy, of course.

    And the obvious marital strains between Uncle Quentin and Aunt Fanny - which might be lost on kids -is far from the wholesome happy-families impression of distant memory. Good shit! Secret passages too.

  2. Holy Crap! I have been meaning to re-read Five Go to Smugglers' Top for ages... I wrote a book review about it when I was 9, and it was published in the school magazine.

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