Enid Blyton commemorative 50p coin was blocked by Royal Mint over backlash fears

A PROPOSAL to release a coin to commemorate a beloved children’s author Enid Blyton was blocked over fears that it would provoke a backlash.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 10:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 11:07 am
Enid Blyton. Picture: PA Wire

Mrs Blyton, who is one of the best-selling authors of all-time, created series such as The Famous Five, Noddy and The Secret Seven.

However the Royal Mint’s advisory committee dismissed plans to honour her with the release of a commemorative 50p coin to mark the 50th anniversary of her death in December 2016.

The Mail Online reports that in the minute’s from the meeting, which were obtained under the freedom of information act, members said that: 'she [Blyton] is known to have been a racist, sexist, homophobe and not a very well-regarded writer’.

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And that members were concerned about provoking a backlash if it did produce a coin to commemorate Mrs Blyton.

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The minutes state: ‘Deep concern that this theme will bring adverse reaction… concern over the backlash that may result from this.’

Mrs Blyton has sold more than 600 million copies of her books worldwide since publishing her first work in 1922, she was born in 1897 and died in 1968 aged 71.

The decision to not release a commemorative coin to honour Mrs Blyton was debated on Good Morning Britain today.

Presenter Richard Madeley criticised it saying: ‘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.

'There are social lines that have changed and you can't judge people by the standards of today, so actualy I think personally to call Enid Blyton homophobic is ridiculous.

'I was re-reading some of it last night and I don't detect a line that you could say "oh that's anti-women, that's anti-female, that’s mysognist or that's homophobic".'

A spokeswoman for the Royal Mint told the Mail Online: ‘The point of the advisory committee is to ensure that themes commemorated on UK coins are varied, inclusive and represent the most significant events in our history. For these reasons not every event will progress to a UK coin.'