I clearly remember finding this book and laughing when I opened it to the title page. I was just doing an annual tidy of the bookcase when I came across it and it made me smile again. As you can see the former owner has quite emphatically crossed out the author’s name “Mary Pollock” and carefully pencilled in “Enid Blyton”, complete with the two strokes under the “d” in Enid.
In 1940’s, George Newnes published two books by Mary Pollock, Three Boys and a Circus and The Children of Kidillin. The books became so popular that one reviewer was prompted to remark “Enid Blyton had better look to her laurels”.*
It was of course Enid Blyton, writing under the pseudonym, a combination of her married name, Pollock, and her middle name, Mary. War-time paper rations meant Enid was having to spread her books among several publishers, but the Mary Pollock titles were published with her main publisher Newnes, so it’s not very likely it was purely a paper-saving exercise. It is more likely Enid was curious to see how the books would sell without her name on the cover.
Sell they did, but the children were not deceived. They quickly realised it was their Enid Blyton and many children began to write letters of complaint to the publishers and Enid herself. There was such confusion over the whole affair that the books the publishers eventually decided to reissue them under Enid’s own name.
There were six books in all published under Mary Pollock between 1940 and 1943, you can view the titles at The Enid Blyton Society.
* Stoney, Barbara, Enid Blyton, Tempus 2006