Midnight Feasts and Lashings of Ginger Beer

January 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Posted in Eating and Drinking | Leave a comment
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As the queen and royal family of literary gluttony respectively, Enid Blyton, and the Famous Five in particular, get lots of coverage in this BBC Radio 4 programme Midnight Feasts and Lashings of Ginger Beer, broadcast on Tuesday 12 January and available until the 19 via the BBC iplayer.

In the words of author and contributor Michael Rosen, food is ‘the sex of children’s literature’ – the one unfettered desire that children’s authors can write about (in contrast to a writer like Ian Fleming who writes about sex and food with equal greed and sensory description). The concept of food as a substitute for love gets plenty of attention – one example being Martin in Five on Kirrin Island Again. When the children discover he has lost his mother they make sure he gets the nicest buns at teatime. Elsewhere in this book Blyton describes how Joanna the cook is the queen of comfort food: ‘That was always Joanna’s way! If she thought anyone was upset, she offered them her best and freshest food’.

There are endless other food-related quotes with which to illustrate this post so here is just one:

‘”If we go [to Kirrin Island] for a week or ten days, we must take plenty of stores,” said Julian. “The thing is – can we possibly find food enough for so long? Even if we entirely empty the larder I doubt if that would be enough for a week or so. We all seem such hungry people somehow.” Five Run Away Together, p.75.


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