Monday, May 30, 2011

Advice from the Enid Blyton medical textbook

I've been re-reading some of Enid Blyton's books lately, since the boys have been reading Famous Five, the Five Find-outers and some of her other adventurous characters.

What strikes me, reading these books as an adult, is how often her stories start with the kids being sick with some kind of illness (like a bad cold, for example). So the doctor is called and when he turns up, the recommendation is invariably that they all need to go away on some sort of holiday to make them better.

In the one I was reading yesterday afternoon (Five Get Into a Fix), the doctor recommended that the best place for a holiday to recover from a severe cold and cough was to go for a trip to the snow. I'm no doctor, but it did seem to be a bit of a stretch to call that good medical advice.

I'm a bit sad that they don't make doctors like those ones anymore actually. I'd love to go to the doctor with a bad cold and have them tell me that I needed to go away on a holiday for a week or two. And then supply me with the medical certificate so that I could do it.


Sarah said...

I LOVED the Famous Five books when I was a kid (still do). It's a pity they aren't as readily available for today's kids. I must say though, Anne did annoy me the way she was always playing with dolls, and Julian kept bossing everyone around thinking he was an adult when he was like 13 or something.

The whole 'sick kids need a trip to the country' theme is prevalent in all of Enid Blyton's books. Cities are apparently filthy places full of sickly children who need to be sent to farms where they can get fat legs and rosy cheeks. She makes it sound like the industrial revolution and not the 1950s :)

Karen said...

The thing is, I thought that in the Famous Five, George already lived in the country?? So I wonder why they had to go somewhere else to get better when they were already getting plenty of fresh air?

Sarah said...

Yeah but George was never sick (neither were the others though if I remember correctly). But in other books such as the Children of Cherry Tree Farm/Willow Farm series, the country life is definitely portrayed to be healthier and better. Maybe she is just reinforcing that view in all her books: country kids = happier/healthier kids. Doesn't work for me unfortunately. Since moving to the country three years ago, I have never been more sick!

Karen said... definitely need to read Five Get Into a Fix. All of them were sick, and in fact, I think George may have had the worst cough of all five of them!?
It's pretty amusing though. And I like the concept of being happier and healthier if you live in the country. I just wish you could still find doctors who would recommend a holiday to get over a week of the flu!

Sarah said...

I haven't read Five Got Into a Fix yet. I'll have to see if I own it already or need to hunt it down from somewhere.