So I read a Noddy book for the first time in years the other day. One of the kids accidentally stole it from a children's hospital (it was an old ratty edition so I didn't feel compelled to take it back). This was months ago and I just chucked it on their bookshelf, and then the other day they pulled it out to read at bed time.
Kudos to old Enid, it kept their attention in a way that I am quite sure a lot of books from that era would fail to do. And it's kind of nice to read a book where Big Ears goes around bashing people with his stick and generally being a bit of a shit as opposed to all the sanitised stuff these days.
But anyway that's kind of by-the-by. At one point there was some vaguely homoerotic double entendre kind of stuff between Noddy and Big Ears. Nowhere near concrete enough to think that EB was writing with a knowing wink to the parents and she probably wasn't. However, it did make me immediately remember the Magic Faraway Tree with it's characters Dick and Fanny.
Surely these words had their double meanings back in the 30s when Enid was writing this stuff? I mean the 18th century novel Fanny Hill - he didn't choose that name at random? They have the feel of dirty words that are at least centuries old. I know old WS did a bit of comic relief stuff around cock (Macbeth maybe?), does anyone know if he ever made any dick/fanny jokes?
So assuming that they has these meanings back then, well, Enid could not have lived such a sheltered life to not be aware of it. So why write a kids book about Dick and Fanny? Was she reclaiming the names, as some people would like to do with gay=happy? Was she actually having a bit of fun? Did anybody ever ask her? Have school children been tittering at her books forever or is it a recent phenomenon?
I demand answers.