enidblytonbio.co.uk

ABOUT THE BANNER

The Banner at the top of this page was once a striking feature in a newspaper for teachers called The Teachers World. It was drawn by M.L.Yardley, a talented artist who was working for Evans Brothers Ltd, the publishers of the newspaper. The image was so appropriate for the series of Tales of Romance Enid Blyton was running in the newspaper that it was featured prominently at the top of the page of each episode in the series.

These Tales of Romance were not about romance in the sense we use the word today, but about bravery, heroes and chivalry in the Middle Ages. They were all part of an elaborate World History course Enid Blyton was commissioned to write for school children eleven years and younger in the then Public Elementary Schools. 

Here we are in the early 1920s when the educational system was not as developed as it is today. Because the Curriculum drawn up by the then Board of Education was not prescriptive, teachers were free to devise their own lessons, using the Suggestions in the Curriculum as guidelines, or use ready-made lessons published in newspapers aimed at teachers.

Among the newspapers providing ready-made lessons was The Teachers World whose editorial staff would often engage graduates, teaching professionals or qualified teachers to write lessons on various topics that could be used straightaway in classrooms.

So because Enid Blyton was an ex-school teacher who had already successfully fulfilled a commission to write a series of brilliant Nature Lessons for primary school children, she was given another commission to write a new series of weekly lessons in World History.

Under the caption Stories of World History she wrote the series, all wrapped up in wonderful stories. The scheme was so carefully planned that she published in advance her syllabus outlining all the topics she intended to cover in the time allocated to her. (see illustration on the right).* From scrutinizing this syllabus we can see how comprehensive the history lessons were. Teachers would then incorporate the lessons in their Time Tables and subsequently read them out in classrooms as part of the Oral History Lessons programme. As time went by the caption: Stories of World History was changed to Tales of Romance to reflect the nature of the last set of stories in the syllabus.

When did these lessons start? How many of them did she write in all? Were these the only lessons she was commissioned to write? Were the lessons ever published in book form? What did teachers think of her writing skills and teaching ability? How was she able to retell accurately so many stories covering a wide field of History, as we can see from examining her syllabus on this page? The answers can be found in two chapters: Enid The Professional Storyteller and Enid the Columnist & Feature Writer in my book Enid Blyton - The Untold Story. 

Finally, so strongly did this banner appeal to me that I've modified it to feature at the top of every other page in this website.

*Click here: SYLLABUS to see a reconstruction of her syllabus in case it does not show clearly in your web browser.  

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IMPROVEMENT OF THE BANNER

I'm grateful to 2Graphic, a company based in West Yorkshire, England, for its help in providing new lettering and borders for the original banner image that was carried in an earlier version of this page. Thanks to the photo manipulation team, it now stands admirably at the top of this page, and modified at the top of every other page, in this website. The quality of work is second to none. Apart from image manipulation, the company also provides a range of services including photo restoration, enhancement and manipulation, and web design. For more information please visit its website:  www.2graphic.co.uk 

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