Stoke & Staffordshire

Woman finds Enid Blyton letter in £1 book

The letter
Image caption Jacqueline Ralph found the note in a second-hand bookshop

A woman has found a letter by popular children's author Enid Blyton in a book that cost £1.

Jacqueline Ralph found the note in a copy of Silas Marner, by George Eliot, which she purchased in the Cinema Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye.

Ms Ralph, from Lichfield, Staffordshire, told the Hereford Times she was "amazed" by the find.

Experts said the letter was probably a generic copy that was sent to the writer's fans.

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Image copyright Hulton Archive
Image caption Experts say the note was probably a pre-printed one sent by the author to fans

The letter reads: "Dear Mary, my warm congratulations on winning one of my prizes.

"You did very well and you deserve a prize. I am very pleased to send it. Well done! Love from Enid Blyton."

Ms Ralph said she found the note attached to the inside cover of the book.

"When I opened it up I couldn't believe what I saw," she said.

"Enid Blyton's signature is so recognisable from growing up reading the Famous Five books."

Image caption It is believed Enid Blyton had "some help" with personalising letters to fans

Experts pointed out that the name of Mary, the recipient of the letter, appeared to be in a different ink and handwriting to the rest of the note.

Chris Albury, auctioneer and senior valuer at Dominic Winter Auctioneers, said: "The 'Mary' looks like it might be a bit smeared and I think that word is ink, but possibly not in Enid Blyton's hand.

"It has the 'smell' of a pre-printed facsimile with just the word 'Mary' inked in."

Sarah Lawrance, collection and exhibitions director at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, said: "It looks as though the name of the recipient has been inserted by another hand.

"Enid probably dispatched so many prizes that she wrote the certificates in bulk and had some help with personalising them."

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