Friday, 10 March 2017

Enid Blyton's Signature

There's a story in the Hereford Times this week about a lady who was browsing the outdoor bins outside the Cinema Bookshop, and found a copy of Silas Marner, which she bought for £1. When she looked more closely, it had a note glued inside it. The note was congratulating someone called Mary for winning a competition, and was signed Enid Blyton!
There's been a bit of interest in this from the media - my boss Greg has been talking to BBC Hereford and Worcester about it.
We, of course, had no idea the note was there. The outside bins are the "last chance saloon" for books which have previously been on the shelves indoors at a higher price.
Finding Enid Blyton's signature is probably not quite as exciting as the student some years ago who bought a copy of TS Eliot's poems to read on the beach from a second hand bookshop for 20p - and discovered he was holding a first edition, but it's still very interesting, even though the note is probably a generic one which Enid Blyton sent to all the winners of competitions - she edited a magazine called Sunny Stories - with the winner's name added in.
Enid Blyton died in 1968, and back then it was highly unusual for authors to do signing sessions. Now it's a common part of publicising an author's work - the readers get to meet the author, who signs their copy of the book. There's a joke that the unsigned copies of Terry Pratchett's books are more valuable than the signed ones, because he did so many! And Neil Gaiman signs books in bulk, in advance of appearances - he's given himself repetitive strain injury as a result.

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