ENID BLYTON CONTINUATION SERIES—MYSTERY/ADVENTURE: ADVENTUROUS FOUR/SECRET SERIES
(Last Updated: 22 September 2009)
The Adventurous Four was a very short series indeed. There were just two books in the series originally - The Adventurous Four and The Adventurous Four Again, published in 1941 and 1947 respectively. In addition to these full-length novels is a short story called “Off with the Adventurous Four Again!”, published in Sunny Stories Magazine and Enid Blyton’s Omnibus in 1952. The Secret Series was a little bit longer, containing five books published from 1938 to 1953.
GERMAN ADVENTUROUS FOUR/SECRET SERIES TRANSLATIONS, REVISIONS AND CONTINUATION NOVEL
Although these two series are entirely separate entities in English, they were blended into a single series in Germany. The Secret Series books were translated first, and the series was originally called “Die Arnoldkinder” (The Arnold Children) in German. The “Arnoldkinder” books were published between 1963 and 1967 inclusive. Then the Adventurous Four novels were translated and rewritten to have the same characters as the Secret Series translations. These were published in 1969 and 1970 respectively. Ilse Winkler-Hoffmann translated both series. The entire group of seven books was then labelled “Die verwegenen vier” (The Adventurous Four). The earlier “Arnoldkinder” books were given new titles. For example, Die Arnoldkinder reißen aus (“The Arnold Children Run Away”, the translation of The Secret Island) was retitled Die verwegenen vier reißen aus (“The Adventurous Four Run Away”). The same pattern was followed with the other titles (i.e. the words Die verwegenen vier replaced the words Die Arnoldkinder).
Are you still with me? A quick summary: in German, the Secret Series and Adventurous Four series were combined into one series called Die verwegenen vier (The Adventurous Four). But that’s not quite the end of the story. In 1978, Brigitte Blobel wrote a new novel in the series. But like Blobel’s Barney Mysteries and Famous Five “translations”, this was not authorised and quickly went out of print. It has never been translated into English, not even unofficially (as far as I know). Details below:
German No.: 8
Title: Die verwegenen vier retten das große Pferderennen (Literal Translation: The Adventurous Four Save the Big Horse Race)
Author: Brigitte Blobel
Year of First Publication: 1978
ENGLISH ADVENTUROUS FOUR REVISIONS AND CONTINUATIONS
In the late 1990s, the Adventurous Four series was reissued with slightly new titles. The female characters were also renamed: Mary and Jill have now become Pippa and Zoe. Off With the Adventurous Four! was also added to the series, but rewritten and expanded by Clive Dickinson. The new-look series is detailed below:
Title: The Adventurous Four: Shipwrecked!
Original Title: The Adventurous Four
Title: The Adventurous Four: Stranded!
Original Title: The Adventurous Four Again
Title: The Adventurous Four: Trapped!
Author: Clive Dickinson
Year of First Publication: 1998
Original Title: Off with the Adventurous Four Again! (short story by Enid Blyton)
ENGLISH SECRET SERIES TV NOVELISATIONS
In 1998, HarperCollins issued novelisations of the TV adaptations of Enid Blyton’s Secret series. The books have the same titles as the Blyton originals, but are new stories based on the TV adaptations and have been written by various British authors.
Title: The Secret Island
Author: Alice McCann
Title: The Secret of Spiggy Holes
Author: Alice McCann
Title: The Secret of Killimooin
Author: Helen Wire
Title: The Secret of Moon Castle
Author: Alexandra Parsons
Title: The Secret Mountain
Author: Gillie Russell
ALL NEW SECRET SERIES CONTINUATION NOVEL
Title: The Secret Valley
Author: Trevor Bolton
First Published: 2009, by Award
Note: The cover and internal illustrations were done by Val Biro, who may be known to some of this site’s visitors as the author of the Gumdrop series.