Collection Book of the Week – Five go to Mystery Moor

As most of you know, I enjoy books, not in any creepy or immoral way, naturally, but I do enjoy real books. The smell, the feel and the look of them on my shelf. A couple of years ago I decided to start trying to build a small collection of first editions. I have always been interested in Enid Blyton’s children’s adventure stories and decided that I would see if I could start acquiring some of these. I now have a very small collection of first editions, built around Enid Blyton books, along with a few other random books that I have picked up here and there.

I thought that I would like to feature one book from my meagre collection each week and include some pictures and some brief information about where I acquired it and any relevant information about it. Hopefully this will interest some people and if anyone has any ideas about further information that they would like to see included please let me know in the comments. I will call this series of posts ‘Collection Book of the Week’, I think. The order will be totally at random.

Since I make no claims of being in any way an expert, if anyone notices any false or incorrect information please let me know. Sometimes identifying true first editions can be very tricky and most of my information has come from internet searches and from talking to dealers at book fairs. Obviously I would prefer it that you told me something I thought was only worth a few pounds was actually worth thousands, rather than the more likely reverse situation, but either way I would like to know.

So unsurprisingly we will start with an Enid Blyton book, one of the Famous Five series. The book is ‘Five go to Mystery Moor’ and was one of my earliest purchases. It is the thirteenth book in the original series of twenty one books. Here are a few photographs, sorry about the quality, I am most certainly not a photographer.

P1000043 P1000044 P1000045 P1000041 P1000042

So this book was published in 1954 by Hodder & Stoughton. It is in reasonable condition, and was available for a very reasonable price, being one of the later books in the series and thus less rare than the earlier ones. This book basically started my collection and was purchased at a small (eighteen dealers) Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA) book fair held at Hylands house in Chelmsford. This was purchased in late 2011 and only cost £35.

Many factors affect the price of first editions, but condition is one of the most important. One important point to remember is that without the dust jacket most of these books would be considered pretty much worthless. It is generally recognised that having a dust jacket (wrapper) is responsible for in excess of 80% of the value of the book. Anyway, this one has one, and while not in perfect condition, is far from terrible. Many of the first editions I have seen have had large chunks of the dust jacket missing and are really just separate pieces held together by a protective plastic cover.

So there is the first book featured in the ‘Collection Book of the Week’ series. I would be interested to hear any comments that you have regarding anything related to the format and content of this post or the book itself. I will be back with another exciting book for you next week.

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18 thoughts on “Collection Book of the Week – Five go to Mystery Moor

  1. I’m not familiar with Enid Blyton’s books, but I like that you are posting about your collection. I do a bit of book collecting, but with small change. I love Modern Library editions. I’ve always thought of them as the perfect sized hard-cover book. I know that dust jackets add quite a bit to the value, which is probably why I can only afford those without dust jackets 🙂 Yet, it’s pure pleasure to see the artwork on dust jackets. One gets the feeling that more love and care went into producing books back then …

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  2. I just so happen to have a copy of Child Whispers, which was dear Enid’s very first book–and a book of poetry at that. She was an interesting woman. Used to be quite an amazing pianist and I believe there are still some archived sound clips and grainy video from her in those days that I recall seeing at one point. She gave it up to become a teacher…I respect that.

    Is it mostly the 21 Five books that interest you or is it just this author in general?

    Is there a somewhat official looking stamp on that book anywhere that says : Chorion Limited?

    I quite like this post just as it is. It was interesting and informative and allows readers a glimpse int your hobbies. I do however request a closeup shot of the dust jacket on your next post. This one hurts my eyes.

    QFT

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    • Interesting, I look forward to seeing that.

      I like all of the children’s adventure stories really – famous five, secret seven, mystery series, adventure series, the adventurous four, the R series. To be honest I do not pay much attention to the many other books that she wrote though.

      Nothing about Chorion Limited – I think they got the Enid Blyton rights in 1996, although I believe Hodder have them again now.

      I will see what I can do with the dust jacket next time. I did warn you I was crap at photography.

      SFT

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  3. I’ve been collecting Enid Blyton’s “Adventure” series, starting with “Valley of Adventure.” I had read that book as a child and it completely captivated my imagination–but I had forgotten the title and the author! Over the years I had made cursory internet searches without any luck until about two years ago I found a site where you could post the plot of a book and people would help with the author and title. In reading through some of the plots, I found one similar to “my” book, along with someone’s response that it sounded like Enid Blyton. I looked up a website dedicated to her–and there, over 40 years after I first read it, was the name and plot of “MY” book! I ordered it and have gotten several more in that series as gifts.

    Years ago someone gave us “Five Go to Mystery Moor” for our kids. I haven’t read it yet, but now I’ll have to! I have quite a few “old” books that I treasure and never tire of re-reading.

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    • The Adventure series is probably my favourite Enid Blyton series, and ‘The Valley of Adventure’ my joint favourite along with ‘The Circus of Adventure’. The Famous Five books were good, but the Adventure series were written with older children in mind.

      I have to confess that I never read any of the first editions and I was even having kittens taking the photographs. I always have a second set of the books to actually read. I bought a set of old, knackered first editions of the Adventure series a little while ago on ebay, no dust jackets and in poor condition, because I also bought the 2011/2012 editions of the same books and I am looking at how they have been bastardised in the name of political correctness.

      I hope that you enjoy ‘Five go to Mystery Moor’ 🙂

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      • Yes, I know what you mean by “political correctness.” I know, I cringed a bit at a few things, but it actually makes a good lesson about how we’ve learned to me more considerate of others who are different from us. I don’t have First Editions, and I do read my only copies–but they’re high up on the living room shelves, not on the childrens’ shelves where careless little hands might hurt them. I love my grandchildren, but I know their failings! 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Collection Book of the Week – The Naked Lunch | Julian Froment's Blog

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