(the following excerpts from "Noddy, older and wiser?" in The Scotsman newspaper)
there were accusations of homosexuality (hey, i was a kid and we understood friendship - we didn’t understand sexuality – and what difference did being gay or straight make anyway??? – let’s not forget, we’re talking wooden dolls here!!!!)
the fact that Noddy and his top chum Big Ears – without whom, let's face it, he'd probably still be wandering around the woods in the buff – would cuddle up in bed together with a nice steaming mug of hot chocolate has been the cause of much sniggering for many years... Blyton's liberal use of the words 'queer' and 'gay' was deemed 'inappropriate' and in 1989 all use of the words was taken out, and Big Ears was banished to his own bed”
“Golliwogs were popular toys at the time of Blyton's writing, but by the 1980s they were seen as promoting negative black stereotypes. The golliwog characters were airbrushed out in 1989, some erased completely, while others were replaced with goblins.”
even librarians hated noddy...
“Children may have loved Noddy, but librarians loathed him. Described by one as "the most egocentric, joyless, snivelling and pious anti-hero in the history of British fiction", poor young Noddy was on the verge of being blacklisted. There was a movement in the 1960s to ban Blyton's books – and in particular Noddy tomes – from libraries, because of their supposed limited vocabulary, but it did not last long, with many finally recognising that Blyton's ability to get children to read in the first place was far more important.”
"Blyton's own life has been a source of continual fascination, perhaps because she so unfailingly represented it as bathed in perpetual sunshine. The Channel Four series Secret Lives recently probed the dark, secret shadows of her life with great relish - Blyton's frigid relations with her own family her affairs and bitter divorce, her intense friendship with Dorothy Richards (Bi Women on the Web, a resource page for bisexual women, lists Enid Blyton as one of its heroines, along with Josephine Baker, Simone de Beauvoir and Sandra Bernhard).
Most tellingly, Blyton has finally been the subject of an in-depth critical analysis, published last month in the UK as Enid Blyton and the Mystery of Children's Literature. David Rudd, a senior lecturer at Bolton Institute, has examined the life and work of Blyton, with particular emphasis on the fact that, despite the storm of adult negativity, Blyton remains the most popular children's author ever.
"Why does a writer accused of being ... middle-class, snobbish, sexist, racist ... continue to fascinate in our multicultural world? To fascinate not only in France, Germany and Australia, but also in Malaysis, Russia and Japan, and in languages such as Catalan and Tamil?" Rudd asks.
The accusation of sexism, for example, is one that has always troubled me. Of all the thousands of books I read as a child, it is George of the Famous Five that remains most vivid in my memory - the tomboy who refused to let the boys push her around, the girl who could out-swim, out-climb and out-wit anyone. The critic Bob Dixon has described George as "a very bad case of ... penis-envy', yet she was a powerful role-model for literally millions of young girls.
Blyton's books are filled with passionate, independent girls who fight desperately against being straitjacketed in normal gender roles. Even Anne, normally dismissed as the typical domesticated female, has her own power, which often takes her brothers by surprise. And as Rudd points out, without the contrast of Anne, George's behaviour would not appear half so subversive."