The Famous Five is series of children’s adventure books written by the prolific British children’s author Enid Blyton. The Famous Five in the title of a book are a gang of children, Anne, Dick, George and Julian, along with their dog, Timmy. In the school holidays, away from their respective boarding schools, the four children and their dog have a series of adventures that tend to involve solving a crime or finding treasure. All-in-all, Enid Blyton wrote 21 books in the Famous Five series, due to it being incredibly popular with children and parents alike.
Order of Famous Five Series
|1||Five on a Treasure Island||1942|
|2||Five Go to Smuggler's Top||1942|
|3||Five Go Adventuring Again||1943|
|4||Five Run Away Together||1944|
|5||Five Go Off in a Caravan||1946|
|6||Five Get Into Trouble||1946|
|7||Five on Kirrin Island Again||1947|
|8||Five Go Off to Camp||1948|
|9||Five Fall Into Adventure||1949|
|10||Five on a Hike Together||1951|
|11||Five Have a Wonderful Time||1952|
|12||Five Go Down to the Sea||1953|
|13||Five Go to Mystery Moor||1954|
|14||Five Have Plenty of Fun||1955|
|15||Five on a Secret Trail||1956|
|16||Five Go to Billycock Hill||1957|
|17||Five Get into a Fix||1958|
|18||Five on Finniston Farm||1959|
|19||Five Go to Demon's Rocks||1960|
|20||Five Have a Mystery to Solve||1960|
|21||Five Are Together Again||1964|
|22||Famous Five Short Story Collection||2007|
|23||George's Hair is Too Long (Short Story)||2014|
|24||Five Have a Puzzling Time||2014|
|25||Happy Christmas, Five!||2014|
|26||When Timmy Chased the Cat||2014|
|27||Good Old Timmy and Other Stories||2017|
Enid Blyton wrote the first book in the Famous Five series, Five on a Treasure Island, in 1942. In it, we are introduced to the main characters, the siblings of Anne, Dick and Julian, who go to visit their cousin Georgina (who likes to be known as George). Georgina also has a dog, Timmy, who instantly becomes part of the gang. In search of something fun to do in the summer holidays, Georgina takes her cousins to Kirrin Island, which is owned by her mother’s family. While heading out to Kirrin Island, the five spot a boat, which, as Georgina explains, was a ship belonging to her great-great-great-grandfather, that had been transporting gold when it was wrecked in a storm. Once on the island, the gang get caught up in a storm, in which the shipwreck is brought to shore. From there, the Famous Five set of on an adventure which involves a treasure hunt and trying to outsmart a group of criminals.
The books continued in a similar manner, often set in Devon, which is where the children live, or various places where they go on holiday, such as a camping trip in the countryside. In fact, the seventh book in the series, Five Go Off To Camp, takes places when the gang go on a camping trip with Mr Luffy, a teacher at Julian and Dick’s school. Five Go Off To Camp was released in 1948 and has proven to be one of the most popular books in the Famous Five series. While going on their camping holiday, the gang are find that their camp site is near to a farm, as well as several train tracks. While doing their usual exploring, the Famous Five encounter a watchman at the train yards who tells them of ‘spook trains’ which run the line. We are also introduced to Jock, who lives on the farm with his parents. The gang go in search of the ‘spook trains’ and in doing so uncover a mystery that they decide to investigate and get to the bottom of. The usual shenanigans ensue and soon the gang are caught up in a world of mystery and crime, as usual in their summer holidays.
An alumna of Beckenham-based St Christopher’s School, Enid Blyton was also playwright and teacher. Incidentally, Enid Blyton, whose niche is juvenile literature and fantasy and mysteries, has written literary work under the nom de plume Mary Pollock. Among the literary figures that influenced Blyton include English authors Anna Sewell and Lewis Carroll, Scottish scribbler George McDonald, and American writer Louisa May Alcott.
Initially, Blyton hoped to write a series comprising of between six and eight novels. However, she ended up authoring over twenty books due to the instant success of the earliest books in the Famous Five series. Did you know that the series was originally called The Five’s Books before being renamed Famous Five?
There are around 106 editions of the Blyton’s earliest book in the Famous Five series. The first edition was initially published in 1942, entitled Five on a Treasure Island; and this book is shelved under the fiction, young adult, adventure, classics, fiction (specifically detective fiction sub-genre), and juvenile literature genres.
Famous Five series revolves around four child characters and a pet namely Anne, Dick, George, Julian, and a dog named Timmy. Anne is a ten-year-old and brave girl who is good at teamwork. Dick, who is Anne’s sibling, is humorous and reliable. George, a girl whose actual name is Georgina, likes behaving like a boy. Julian, the oldest among them, is a brainy and warmhearted boy aged twelve. Timmy is Georgina’s pet.
The turning point is when the four children and pet get acquainted when spending holidaying in a relative’s cottage instead of their preferred holiday destination. Georgina, their host’s daughter and cousin, takes them to a family-owned island called Kirrin Island. An old shipwreck and its connection to yet-to-be-found gold cache kick-starts their quest for the treasure cache while warding off dangerous men interested in the same. The plot is spellbinding in this book that propelled Blyton to literary fame.
Famous Five Awards
The books in Enid Blyton’s bibliography are highly-acclaimed. An example is a survey that was carried out on behalf of the Costa Book Awards in 2008; its findings showed that Blyton is the most adored writer in the United Kingdom. Better still, Blyton clinched a literary prize from Boy’s Club of America thanks to the American version (Mystery Island) of her 1944 book The Island of Adventure–it is the earliest book in Blyton’s Adventure series.
Famous Five Books into TV Shows and Films
There are both TV shows and films based on Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series and other books. Blyton’s Adventure Series was made into a TV series that initially aired in 1996; Alexis Jackson plays Dinah’s role, David Taylor appears as Jack, Peter Malloch was Philip, and Jennyfer Jewell acts as Lucy-Ann.
Among the starring actors in the various film adaptations of Famous Five include actress Valeria Eisenbart, especially in the films named Famous Five, Famous Five 2, and Famous 3–they were produced in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively. There is an animated series produced in 2008, named Famous Five: On the Case, wherein Clara Johnson starred. In a 1978/9 television series called Famous Five, Jennifer Thanisch starred. Jana Munster alongside Sophia Munster stared in a 2010 film called Hanni & Nanni. Lastly, Brit McKillip starred in Make Way for Noddy, a 2002 animated series.
Best Famous Five Books
The first three books in the Famous Five series are the best in that series.
Five on a Treasure Island: The first book in the series that we mentioned above.
Five Go Adventuring Again: This is the second book in the Famous Five series and was published in 1943. The five characters are fastening on to a thief via discreet passageways in a cottage.
Run Away: The third is called Run Away; originally published in 1944, this is the third book in the Famous Five series. The group has a run-in with smugglers.
Other Book Series You May Like
Readers who liked Blyton’s Famous Five series also liked these books. The first is named “The Naughtiest Girl” series, authored by Anne Digby. The second is titled “The Marlows” series, penned by Antonia Forest. It recounts the exploits of a holidaying Dorset-based family, especially its somewhat mischievous children. The third is called “Malory Towers”, a sextet authored by Enid Blyton. Partly ghostwritten by Pamela Cox, the title denotes a girls-oriented boarding school.
Famous Five FAQs
Q: Who wrote the Famous Five series of books?
A: The British author Enid Blyton wrote the Famous Five series of books.
Q: How many books are in the Famous Five series?
A: In total, Enid Blyton wrote 21 books in the Famous Five series.
Q: What is the first book in the Famous Five series?
A: The first book in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series is Five on a Treasure Island.
Q: What is the last book in the Famous Five series?
A: The last book in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series is Five Are Together Again.