Stephen Isabirye: Enid Blyton & Eileen Soper.

5 May

FROM Stephen Isabirye

[Response to “Eileen Soper shop Poole”]

I am glad that you mention Enid Blyton and Eileen Soper in one breath. The two, in fact, cannot be separated from one another since in a rather symbiotic manner, their [individual shares of] popularity were interconnected with one another and one could not do without the other.

For instance, Eileen Soper put a face (or rather faces) to The Famous Five in her illustrations which was to leave an indelible mark on how The Famous Five should or are supposed to look, just as Sean Connery left an indelible mark as to how James Bond should look.

Eforts to replace The Famous Five illustrations with those of Betty Maxey proved to be a miserable flop, thus enabling the comeback of the Eileen Soper illustrations in the Enid Blyton birth centennial editions of 1997.

Since I too grew up as a child reading The Famous Five Eileen Soper illustrations in them, it was no wonder that when I wrote and published my book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage

my front cover bore an Eileen soper illustration (rather than a Betty Maxey “updated” one), depicting the first official meeting of all The Famous Five crew.

-Stephen Isabirye

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