February 22, 2011 / 9:52 PM / 8 years ago

"Lost" Enid Blyton novel discovered: charity

LONDON (Reuters) - A previously unknown novel by British children’s writer Enid Blyton has been discovered, according to a charity which bought a collection of the bestselling author’s manuscripts at auction last September.

“Mr. Tumpy’s Caravan” is a story of around 200 typed pages which was initially believed to be a version of “Mr. Tumpy and His Caravan,” a picture book made up of newspaper comic strips, said Kathryn Row of the Seven Stories children’s book gallery.

But the charity’s archivist looked in more detail and called in an authority on Blyton.

“They (the experts) are fairly confident it’s an undiscovered piece of work,” Row said.

“We bought these manuscripts at auction last September, and the archivist went through it all. Just before Christmas she had a hunch that this was something quite different,” Row added.

Imogen Smallwood, Blyton’s youngest daughter, told the BBC: “There’s always excitement when an unknown typescript is found of anybody’s who is well known. Because this wasn’t even known about, it has to rank quite high.”

The story is not dated, but according to the BBC, it bears the address Old Thatch, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, which was Blyton’s home until 1938.

Mr. Tumpy’s Caravan follows the adventures of a caravan with a mind of its own.

Blyton died in 1968, and was one of the most successful children’s writers of the 20th century.

According to her publisher Chorion, she wrote nearly 800 books which have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. She created a group of internationally renowned series which included mystery and adventure stories like “The Famous Five” and “The Secret Seven,” school stories such as “Malory Towers” and the “Noddy” stories for younger children.

Seven Stories’ Row said the charity could not publish the newly-discovered work, because Chorion held the rights.

“It is up to them, and at the moment there are no plans to publish,” she said.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Patricia Reaney

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