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Lost Enid Blyton book is discovered

23rd February 2011

A previously unknown work by Enid Blyton has been discovered in an archive of the author's children's books.

The unpublished Mr Tumpy's Caravan, a fantasy tale about a magical caravan which has feet and can speak, was found in a collection of manuscripts auctioned by the family of Blyton's eldest daughter, Gillian Baverstock.

Believed to be written before 1938, the adventure follows Mr Tumpy and the titular vehicle as they cross an ocean, fight a dragon with a dog's head and attempt to save the kingdom of a beautiful princess.

Imogen Smallwood, Blyton's youngest daughter, said it was initially believed the story was connected to a 1940s picture book called Mr Tumpy and His Caravan but the dates do not correlate and the details are completely different.

'There's always excitement when an unknown typescript by anybody who is well known is found. Because this wasn't even known about, it has to rank quite highly,' she told the BBC.

Hannah Green, an archivist at the Seven Stories children's book centre in Newcastle, which purchased the collection, agreed that the Blyton story appears to be unrelated to the picture book and said finding an unpublished work by such a famous author is very rare.

Last year, archivists revealed that Blyton's work, which includes favourites such as the Famous Five and Noddy books, was not broadcast on BBC radio for more than 30 years because executives at the time considered her writing 'second-rate'.

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