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Enid Blyton - ridiculous

(182 Posts)
JumpRope Mon 10-Feb-14 20:17:52

Dick and Fannie from The Magic Faraway Tree have been renamed Rick and Frannie.

I'm a bit pissed off. How ridiculous!

curlew Mon 10-Feb-14 20:21:36

Absolutely. Utterly ridiculous. All her ghastly, badly written, sexist, racist, classist, mean spirited books ought to be pulped.

Elderberri Mon 10-Feb-14 20:21:40


bodygoingsouth Mon 10-Feb-14 20:21:46

ha ha, like to see what they do with a book I have of hers called g...y w...y and n....r. loved it as a child.

I would burn it but it seems wrong.

Only1scoop Mon 10-Feb-14 20:22:24

Bloody ridiculous confused

Fathertedfan Mon 10-Feb-14 20:24:07

How very odd. What would Moonface think?

nkf Mon 10-Feb-14 20:24:20

Kids should be allowed to snigger at Dick and Fanny. They'll be changing that line in The Lady of Shalott about the curse next.

Bowlersarm Mon 10-Feb-14 20:24:42


I loved Enid Blyton.

I have some very old editions, and still read them very occasionally. It's interesting reading from an adult perspective.

Pigeonhouse Mon 10-Feb-14 20:37:41

Those changes were made a long time ago - why the outrage now? Personally I'm in favour of not re-editing, but adding a preface to re-editions explaining for today's children the class/racial/gender attitudes of Blyton's times.

I adored them as a child, but with a few exceptions (The Valley of Adventure being on that comes to mind - in fact, most of the 'Adventure' series was better than other series by her, like the anaemic Secret Seven and the 'R Mystery' books) they now strike me as appallingly trite and simplistic.

And not one single character who isn't white, English and middle-class gets away without being caricatured - Welsh people are all small and dark and say 'Look you' all the time, black people roll their eyes all the time and are credulous and superstitious, working-class people say 'Coo' all the time and are either villainous or salt-of-the-earth and 'umble.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 10-Feb-14 20:39:30

Will 'Swallows and Amazons' "Titty" be renamed "Kitty" to prevent school child sniggering?

piratecat Mon 10-Feb-14 20:40:57

have they renamed Fatty?

AmysTiara Mon 10-Feb-14 20:41:31

In the Famous Five they still say Dick and Fanny so I'm not sure why they changed names in other books.

frugalfuzzpig Mon 10-Feb-14 20:42:30

Titty is one of the most awesome characters EVER. I love her!

I'd heard that the characters had been renamed in Famous Five (my most beloved books - I am actually reading book 1 to DD at the moment, something I've dreamed of doing since before she was even born!) but I have looked recently in whsmiths and I definitely saw the proper names. Maybe it depends what edition it is - there are usually a few different ones available.

Elsiequadrille Mon 10-Feb-14 20:42:45

Didn't they rename Bessie as Beth? More in keeping with current name trends or such like. Funny thing is that I'd say the name Bessie would fit that criteria now more than Beth.

We used our old books. With Dame Slap rather than Dame Snap.

TheLostPelvicFloorOfPoosh Mon 10-Feb-14 20:42:48

Happily, The Famous Five books are all still full of Dick and Fanny.

I'm not sure why it's unacceptable in the Faraway Tree books, but ok for the Famous Five.

You'd think they'd have done something about Chinky in the Wishing Chair books if they're going to start pissing around with stuff.

addictedtosugar Mon 10-Feb-14 20:43:02

I spotted Rick on opening the book.
Hadn't spotted Fanny / Frannie tho.

They may have changed ages ago, but I last read them aprox 20 yrs ago - when I grew out of them, and am now starting to read them to the kids. I wouldn't have noticed any changes in the mean time.

pinkdelight Mon 10-Feb-14 20:43:10

It's Dame Snap too, not Dame Slap. She just shouts. It's not at all the same. But I found an old copy of the Book of Brownies where Hop Skip and Jump still get a good spanking every day in the Land of Clever People. DS was not traumatised.

Starballbunny Mon 10-Feb-14 20:44:02

pigeonhouse our copy of Kippling's just so stories has a preface just like that.

catwithflowers Mon 10-Feb-14 20:47:45

Ooh, Pigeon, I loved the Adventure series. I think I was 8 when I read the books and staying at my gran and grandad's as my brother was ill. It was the first time I had stayed away from home for a whole week. Of course EB reads dreadfully now but I so loved her books when I was little. The Faraway Tree series was also one of my favourites smile

frugalfuzzpig Mon 10-Feb-14 20:48:04

We also coincidentally watched the swallows and amazons film last week (another thing I'd been looking forward to introducing to my DCs).

My DD is 6 and has absolutely no idea that 'dick' can be considered a rude word or what it represents. Same with 'titty'.

NoLikeyNoLighty Mon 10-Feb-14 20:48:17

YANBU, bloody ridiculous that they've felt the need to change the books.
I've got some old Enid Blyton books -free from ridiculous amendments-- with the original Dick and Fanny in.
Tried to get my 10 year old to read some of the adventure ones when he was looking for something new to read but he didn't get past the first page because he was too busy rolling around the floor in hysterics at Dick and Fanny. hmm grin
They've changed the Magic Faraway Tree too, you know. The scary school teacher in one of the faraway lands was called Dame Slap and used to chase the children threatening to slap them.
The politically correct version nowadays have her called Dame Snap who can sometimes speak to the children crossly and snappily. hmm
WHY?! Wish they'd leave the books alone. Yes, it's all not acceptable nowadays, but that's the way it WAS back then.
Should we be airbrushing history? No leave it alone and just have sensible discussions about them instead!

NoLikeyNoLighty Mon 10-Feb-14 20:49:30

It's Dame Snap too, not Dame Slap. She just shouts.

Just seen someone beat me to that point blush

frugalfuzzpig Mon 10-Feb-14 20:53:34

I have both the 70s and the 90s series of famous five on DVD, and the adventure series from New Zealand

I may be something of a Blyton nerd...

I also gave my 'manuscript' (ie about 30 pages in 10 or so chapters) to her daughter Gillian after she did a talk in our library, when I was about 10. She gave me her address so I could send it, and then sent me a lovely letter about it.

That has nothing to do with thread sorry am just waffling grin but it's a very happy memory.

Penguin0fMadagascar Mon 10-Feb-14 20:55:04

Spooky - I just read that chapter to DS2 before bed, and DH was saying that Dame Slap had been renamed Dame Snap. Then he had to explain to DS1 why that might be!

wandymum Mon 10-Feb-14 20:57:02

You are completely AIBU.

DS1 who is 5 had an old copy of the first book he loved. Got him a new copy of the subsequent one and he was totally baffled as to why they all had different names and very hard to explain without getting into a conversation about the alternative meanings of Dick and Fanny which is not ideal with someone so young.

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