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Enid Blyton 50p Coin Blocked As She Had "Racist, Sexist, Homophobic" Views
27 August 2019, 13:47
Plans to give Enid Blyton a commemorative coin were stopped by The Royal Mint because the author is said to have had “racist, sexist and homophobic” views.
The Royal Mint revealed that the idea of a commemorative 50p coin for Enid Blyton was discussed at a meeting of the Royal Mint's advisory committee in December 2016.
Newly released documents from the minutes of the meeting, obtained under freedom of information laws, reveal that members dismissed the plan because "she [Enid Blyton] is known to have been a racist, sexist, homophobe and not a very well-regarded writer".
They also reveal that the committee, which was considering producing the coin to mark the 50th anniversary of Enid Blyton's death in 1968, was worried about a potential backlash if members went ahead with the proposal.
The decision to stop the release of the coins has been debated on Good Morning Britain, where Richard Madeley criticised the action.
“It seems to me that if you were to draw a line in the year say 1955 and go backwards from there you could pretty much pick up anybody based on our modern values,” he said.
Social media viewers responded to the debate on Twitter:
@GMB I’m with @kehinde_andrews . Some of Enid Blyton’s stories featured very racist themes. He is not saying ban them. He’s just saying don’t commemorate her. It doesn’t diminish her accomplishments by denying her a commemorative coin— Kate Robbins (@KateRobbins) August 27, 2019
Royal Mint. You’re ridiculous in banning Enid Blyton— Nick Pye 🇬🇧 (@Nick_Pye) August 27, 2019
I loved Enid Blyton’s books when I was little, but I definitely think there is a valid case for her not having a commemorative coin at this point in our history. Especially as she would never have been given a commemorative coin in her own era.— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) August 27, 2019
Enid Blyton is the author of the famous childrens' books, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven. Her stories have been among the world's best-sellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies.
Her books are still enormously popular, and have been translated into 90 languages.
The Royal Mint recently released two new coins featuring Paddington Bear at the Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral.