It is possible to murder a man without
stopping his heart.
A man named Hugh.
A dog named ‘Bobs’.
And the woman who ensured
that their lives ended in misery.
“We must not speak ill of the dead”
is the mantra of those who demand
‘respect’ for malicious people;
and silence from their victims,
whose grief, pain, and misery continues
long after their tormentor is gone.
But there are Bullies …
and Bullies who pretend to be “victims”.
Both strive to domineer,
disgrace, and destroy
the life of someone else.
Is ‘getting your way’, career, or vengeance,
worth it … ?
You may think so.
But in the process of ‘getting what you want’,
you reveal your true character
to the world.
It is inconceivable that there could exist
any child – raised in Britain in the 1960’s,
who did not know the name of Enid Blyton.
For those of us growing up in the mid to late 60’s,
Blyton’s books were pure adventure.
Boys and girls alike could picture themselves
right in the middle of any of her adventure
or mystery stories.
She wrote as if she were one of us –
from the personal perspective of a boy or girl,
looking around us at,
or listening to the conversations of,
the adults in whose world we were living.
Blyton’s children – like those of us in Britain
in the 1960’s,
were taught common sense by our parents;
and exercised our bodies, minds, and morals
out in the fresh air, rather than having
our brains stupefied and morals depraved
in front of a screen.
Manners were DEMANDED of us;
and we spoke to, and regarded adults with,
courtesy and genuine respect.
And while those facts may make
them laughable to legions of belligerent,
back-talking brats of today,
for us, we WERE those children; and instantly
imagined ourselves in those pages,
right alongside them.
Enid Blyton was “one of us”.
One of us … that is,
because we could never, ever have suspected
the way in which she treated people who trusted her.
The way she treated even her own dog.
Had I known the truth about “Bobs”,
I would have thrown every one of her books
in the bin.
Enid Blyton was born on the 11th of August, 1897,
to Thomas Carey Blyton and his wife, Theresa.
Enid’s childhood was marred by the terrible arguments
that she and her brother had to listen to
once the children went to bed.
When she was 13, Thomas Blyton left his family
to continue an extramarital affair
that he was having with a woman.
Her father’s departure was the reason
that Enid began to write stories in which children
had adventures without the presence of adults
In 1920, her father, Thomas died.
Enid did not attend his funeral.
Enid was 27 when, in 1924, she met a Scotsman,
Hugh Pollock, whose father had run a bookshop in Ayr.
In October of 1913, Hugh had married Marion Atkinson
… who would become his reason for leaving
the Scottish town.
Whilst overseas during World War 1, Marion
became embroiled in an adulterous affair, brutally
informing Hugh that she was leaving him
for someone else.
With no desire to return to the place
of his happy memories, Hugh obtained employment
as an editor with the Newnes Publishing Company
It was here that he would meet a remarkably
child-like woman who came to Newnes Publishing
to inquire about having a typescript printed.
The woman was Enid Blyton.
Despite being abandoned by a wife who preferred
to live in open adultery, Hugh was still legally married.
At Enid’s suggestion, he obtained a divorce
and married Enid in 1924, in a private ceremony
to which her family was not invited.
Having married a man in the profession of
book publishing, Enid Blyton was now well placed
to establish her writing career.
Told by her physician that she could not bear children,
Enid began a six-year series of hormone treatments,
which resulted in the arrival of a daughter, Gillian,
who was born on the 15th of July, 1931.
Due to Enid’s obsession with writing, however,
Gillian was raised almost entirely by a nanny –
– a situation which, strangely, did not seem to bother
the elder daughter who, as a mature woman,
justified the fact by pointing out that her mother’s
career was flourishing – (something which, evidently,
made her mother’s selfish neglect excusable.)
The practice of ‘mothers’ sacrificing
the care and nurturing of children
to the vanity of a career …
was underway well before the late 1960’s.
Gillian’s acceptance that she and her little sister
took second place to money and fame,
was the bizarre frame of mind that resulted in
both sisters being estranged from each other
as mature women.
I remember being horribly upset to learn
the truth about the family dog, Bobs –
the inspiration for, and subject of,
a set of children’s books that Enid had published
entitled, fittingly … “Bobs”.
Upon successful sales of the “Bobs” series,
Enid spoke publicly about the disgrace of owners
who neglected to give suitable attention to their own dogs.
Yet, rather than show gratitude to her muse,
Enid showed … nothing … when it most mattered.
As much later recounted in a 1996 article
in the Irish Times, her lack of empathy had been noted
by one of the family’s household staff
when the family gardener, Dick Hughes,
became disgusted by the lack of
attention being given to Enid’s ailing dog, “Bobs”
Approaching the mistress of the house,
Hughes all but demanded that Enid call a vet
for the dog whom – the gardener insisted,
was extremely ill.
Enid ignored the man’s pleas.
Despite his best care and personal attention,
Bobs the Dog died as the gardener
cradled the suffering animal in his arms.
Upon burying the dog, Hughes found little difficulty
in despising the woman who refused to show
any sympathy for the grievously suffering animal
that had greatly enhanced Enid’s
all-too hypocritical career.
It was in 1935, upon the arrival of another daughter,
Imogen, that Enid told the new nanny, Mrs Richards,
that she did not want to be bothered
with the care of the child at all.
Declarations made in her later biography
are quite incredible: that is to say,
the hypocrisy is beyond belief –
“You wouldn’t expect me to neglect
my own children for others, would you?
… All true mothers will know what I mean
when I say that.”
[Blyton, The Story of My Life, Pitkins, 1952 ]
Enid lost no opportunity in taking advantage
of press photographers who would request
a photographic session with the famous
children’s author …
the ‘photo shoots’ were the isolated times
that Enid actually … did … call the children
to spend time with her.
Everything was done for the camera.
Equally incredible were the statements
made in interviews, noting how her younger daughter
“loved” her latest books,
and never tired of reading them.
As Imogen would recount in later years,
she neither saw those books, nor had her mother
so much as asked her opinion about any of them.
With the advent of lavish social gatherings
which turned the family house over to hordes
of vacuous strangers, Hugh began to withdraw
… attempting to anaesthetise his loneliness
and disappointment with liquor.
In 1941, whilst on holiday in Devon,
Enid was introduced to a physician
named Kenneth Waters.
The pair promptly leased a flat in London,
which they rented under nurse Richards’ name.
Almost constantly ignored, Hugh –
quite understandably – found companionship
with Ida Crow, a woman whom he had first met
in 1927, when she came to Newnes’ Publishing
Company to inquire about having one of her own
After that initial business relationship
and subsequent separation due to war,
the pair began to talk, and then meet socially,
In 1942, Blyton – well into her adulterous affair
with Kenneth Waters – demanded a divorce
from the man who had given her the chance
at being a published writer.
Concerned only that the divorce not tarnish
her public image, in yet another characteristic
display of perverse selfishness, Enid told Hugh
that, if he ever tried to see the children,
she would cut … THEM … out of her will.
Out of concern for his children, Hugh agreed
to Blyton’s demands and accepted full legal blame
for the divorce by citing his relationship with Ida.
( Hugh – 19 years Ida’s senior, would eventually
marry her in October, 1943. )
With Hugh out of the house, Blyton lost no time
in moving her lover, Kenneth Waters, in.
Not content with getting what she wanted,
Blyton then embarked upon a course of ruining
Hugh’s name and character as best she could.
Her vindictive malice levelled an ultimatum
to Newnes – the publishing company of her books,
to inform them that she did not want Hugh
in their employ.
Hugh Pollock was fired.
Having demanded an end to their marriage,
and destroyed the man’s career,
Enid next changed the names of the girls
to that of her new, surgeon husband. Waters.
Hugh – the man that created her career, was now
– in every figurative way possible – effectively
For another 7 years, he struggled to find work
outside the publishing industry from which
Enid had him ostracised,
As Blyton’s riches poured in, Hugh Pollock
was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1950.
(After Hugh’s death in 1971, and in an effort to
‘clear’ his name and reputation that had been
so savagely destroyed by Blyton,
Ida Crow would later reveal to the world,
her account of the vindictive woman
known as “Enid Blyton”.)
A Call to Self Examination
Lapses of sound judgment, occasional outbursts
from fear or frustration are the Uncharacteristic
failures of even the most honourable of men
and women that will never be mentioned
by those who are decent human beings.
BUT there is a vast difference between the
rare human failings of a kind and considerate
man or woman,
and the Continual practice of selfishness,
apathy, or malice in someone who lives for Self.
There are more than a few for whom even
‘charitable work’ is performed to produce a
‘good opinion’ amongst the public.
Such individuals are generally without
a moral conscience that would trouble them
for their own self-serving depravity.
Enid Blyton’s father died in 1920.
She did not attend the funeral.
Enid Blyton’s mother died in 1950.
She did not attend the funeral.
Enid Blyton’s dog made her a household name.
She allowed it to die in distress and suffering,
by refusing medical help despite her gardener’s pleas.
Enid Blyton’s husband, Hugh Pollock
launched her career in 1924.
She Maliciously DESTROYED
And forbade him
to ever see his daughters again.
Ruined, disgraced, bankrupt – but loved by Ida Crow,
Hugh lived out the remainder of his life, with Ida,
in Malta, where he died at the age of 83.
Eldest daughter Gillian would later learn that,
on the day of her wedding, her father quietly stood
on the footpath across the road from the church,
just to see his daughter walking from the church
as a new bride.
No tender-hearted man deserves the kind of cruelty
that was visited upon Hugh Pollock by the mother
of his children.
Hugh Pollock, the maliciously abused husband
of Enid Blyton, died in 1971. He outlived the
loathsome Kenneth Waters – Blyton’s conscienceless
lover … who died in 1967.
Ida Crowe, the woman who would provide Hugh
with the companionship that he neither received from
his first wife, or from Blyton … died at the age of 105,
on the 3rd of December, 2013.
Enid Blyton’s eldest daughter Gilliam (Baverstock)
died on the 24th of June, 2007.
Imogen (Smallwood), born in 1935, lives in South London.
Her autobiography is entitled, A Childhood at Green Hedges,
[Methuen, London, 1989]
The price of one woman’s Vanity
was the ruin and misery of those
who were closest to her.
And she was happy to pay it.
What example have I set to others,
in the time given me on this earth ?”
Has my Personal Life been used
as a constant source of self veneration –
pursuing Vanity, Vengeance, Ease,
and Entertainment ?
Or has my life demonstrated to others
that I have lived
for some higher purpose ?