My Life In Books: Amelia Jane
This one should have been on the list rather earlier, as I’m trying to do these books in roughly the order I read them in. I was quite young when I read these, but I’d forgotten all about them until recently.
Amelia Jane was the protagonist in a series of books Enid Blyton wrote about the toys in a nursery that come to life when the humans are out of the room. Amelia Jane was a big rag doll who was always naughty, and bullied the other toys.
I must have been about four or five when I first discovered these books. They appealed to me because I liked to believe that my own toys came to life when I was asleep. Sometimes I would wake up in the morning convinced that some of my dolls were in a different place to where they had been when I went to sleep.
Like all Enid Blyton books, these books feature imaginative story lines with a strong moral lesson about the evils of being naughty and disobedient running through them. Amelia Jane’s naughty behaviour always led to some form of punishment. It seems they are still in print, but I suspect they have been heavily amended since I was reading them over 35 years ago. The original books – published in the 1960s – featured a variety of toys as characters. One of them, as can be seen from the cover image, was a golliwog. These books were written in a less politically correct age. Golliwogs were actually still around in the 1970s, but they were banned rather a long time ago. Presumably the golliwog in the contemporary re-issued books has been replaced by a different character.
It’s nice to know they are still available, but I wonder what modern children make of them. I suppose kids will always delight in stories about someone being naughty – that, at least, is a timeless entity.