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Blow those timelines!Article by Ian Mander and Keith Robinson (December 2, 2005)
This was sent in by Ian Mander, who clearly doesn't share Enid Blyton's happy delusion than children stop aging when they get to their teens...
Five on a Treasure Island
Five Go Adventuring Again
Five Run Away Together
Five Go To Smuggler's Top
Five Go Off in a Caravan
Five on Kirrin Island Again
Five Go Off To Camp
Five Get Into Trouble
Five Fall Into Adventure
Five on a Hike Together
Five Have a Wonderful Time
Five Go Down to the Sea
Five Go to Mystery Moor
Five Have Plenty of Fun
Five on a Secret Trail
Five Go to Billycock Hill
Five Get Into a Fix
Five on Finniston Farm
Five Go to Demon's Rocks
Five Have A Mystery To Solve
Five Are Together Again
Thanks for that list, Ian. I always saw Julian as thirteen or fourteen throughout all the books, but in fact he grows to at least the ripe old age of sixteen as pointed out by Uncle Quentin in Five Fall Into Adventure. Beyond that the details become fuzzy as the series continues to grow.
This is probably a good thing, because the idea of Julian at twenty-three years old in the last book and STILL without a driver's license or girlfriend... well, it's just not right. And besides, he frequently puts on his "most grown-up voice" to cower the bad guys, such as in the nineteenth book, Five Go to Demon's Rocks. And in various books, the boys make hints (and direct comments) to indicate that they're "still just children"...
That's not to mention any of the illustrations throughout the series, which clearly show children in the beginning, young men towards the middle, and then children again towards the end. Confused? I am.
Another interesting point added by Ian is that Tinker is 9 years old in Five Go to Demon's Rocks and 11 in Five Are Together Again (as you'd expect since there are clearly two years between the two stories). So apparently Blyton did advance the ages of some of the characters when it suited her!
Ian adds: I'm wondering if an "optimised" series listing could be made, where the adventures are not quite in chronological order and they have multiple adventures in each holidays except where they would expressly overlap, such as the last couple which both start on the first day of the Easter/April holidays (but maybe the Easter holiday was in March that year!) or when they refer to an adventure being the year before (which might partially explain why they don't mention adventures just a few months earlier). For me the list raises the question of why they had so many adventures in April. Maybe this would make more sense if I translated it to the southern hemisphere's equivalent of October... I suppose I always want to go adventuring in the spring!
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