Enid Blyton’s unseen novel ‘Mr Tumpy’s Caravan’ discovered

February 23rd, 2011 - 3:05 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 23 (ANI): A previously unseen novel by Enid Blyton has been discovered in a children’s book centre.

‘Mr Tumpy’s Caravan’, an 180-page fantasy story about a caravan with a mind of its own, was located among a collection of manuscripts auctioned by the Blyton family in September last year, reports the Telegraph.

The collection was bought by the Seven Stories centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Initially, the novel was believed to be a version of a comic strip collection called ‘Mr Tumpy and His Caravan’, published in 1949. However upon closer examination, it appeared to be a completely different book.

The address on the typescript - Old Thatch, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire - dates it to early in Blyton’s writing career, as she left there in 1938.

“This story had been sitting unnoticed in a pile of manuscripts, I guess in a bottom drawer, and I don’t think anybody fully understood what it was,” said Tony Summerfield of the Enid Blyton Society.

“The chapter titles are pretty naive and I think this was a very early attempt at a novel, perhaps one that was sent to a publisher in the early 1930s and rejected. It is unique - I am certain there are no other Enid Blyton manuscripts sitting around,” he said.

Seven Stories paid 40,000 pounds for the archive, which includes draft copies of the ‘Famous Five’, ‘Secret Seven’, ‘Noddy’ and ‘Malory Towers’ stories.

It was auctioned following the death of Blyton’s elder daughter, Gillian Baverstock.

“There’s always excitement when an unknown typescript is found of anybody’s who is well known. Because this wasn’t even known about, it has to rank quite high,” Blyton’s younger daughter, Imogen Smallwood, told the BBC.

Blyton died in 1968. More than 500 million books by the much-loved author have been sold around the world, and they continue to sell eight million each year.

The manuscript will be available to view during behind-the-scenes tours of Seven Stories, which houses a national collection of manuscripts and illustrations from Britain’s leading children’s authors. (ANI)

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