The Famous Five

When I was growing up, The Famous Five was the one series of books that I read over and over again. Even now, I will occasionally go back and read a few of them. I still get a huge kick out of watching them solve their mysteries, and they’re fun to read.

As a child, it was a long time before I would actually read them. I had this idea that if something was popular, I was going to avoid it (which explains why it took me so long to read Harry Potter or buy an iPod). It’s not something I always believe now, thankfully.

The first time I ever read a Famous Five book, I was in Cornwall. I’d read all the books I’d taken with me, and we’d stopped in a little charity shop. I can’t remember the specifics surrounding the purchase, but I do remember agreeing to give it a go.

The book in question was Five on a Hike Together, and to my horror now (as I no longer have it) I think it was a very early edition, possibly even first. As soon as I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. I ended up with them all and that was that.

The Famous Five old edition collection

So it was very apt that I found this collection of old edition Famous Five books whilst in Cornwall, in one of the very places I stayed as a child. We stopped in at the oddest little charity shop I had ever seen and Alice found them, knowing I was interested in children’s books. Bought all 7, and now kind of wish I could find the rest in a similar style to make it complete, particularly as my favourite (Five Run Away Together) wasn’t among them.

The Famous Five old edition collection

I love everything about them. The imperfections. The differences. The gorgeous hardback covers. How previous owners have written their names in, and ticked the books off.

One has the original sticker in it from when it was sold and has a lovely message from a grandmother. Each one has something about the Famous Five club which sounds brilliant. Five Get Into a Fix even has a little illustration on the front.

And oh the illustrations! They are gorgeous! Some have colour, one book has a colour plate in the front. They’re just so bloody lovely. I’m so happy I found them, and hopefully one day I’ll find the rest!

Here they are in all their glory!

Five Go off to Camp, Hodder & Stoughton, 4th Impression, 1951

Five Go Off to Camp

Five Go Off to Camp

Five Go Off to Camp internal illustration

Five Go Off to Camp internal illustration

Five Go Off to Camp illustration

Five Go Off to Camp illustration with colour

Five Go Off to Camp illustration

Five Go Off to Camp illustration with colour

Five Get Into Trouble, Hodder & Stoughton, 6th Impression, 1955

Five Get Into Trouble

Five Get Into Trouble

Five Get Into Trouble internal illustration

Five Get Into Trouble internal illustration—isn’t this gorgeous?!

Five Get Into Trouble internal illustration

Five Get Into Trouble internal illustration

Five Have a Wonderful Time, Hodder & Stoughton, 4th Impression 1956

Five Have a Wonderful Time

Five Have a Wonderful Time

Five Have a Wonderful Time internal illustration

Five Have a Wonderful Time internal illustration. This one still has the original shop sticker and lovely message!

Five Go to Smugglers Top, Hodder & Stoughton, 11th Impression, 1957

Five Go To Smugglers Top

Five Go To Smugglers Top

Five Go To Smugglers Top internal illustration

Five Go To Smugglers Top internal illustration

Five Go To Smugglers Top colour illustration

Five Go To Smugglers Top colour illustration. No idea why the font for this one is so different to all the others!

Five Have Plenty of Fun, Hodder & Stoughton, 4th Impression, 1959

Five Have Plenty of Fun

Five Have Plenty of Fun

Five Have Plenty of Fun internal illustration

Five Have Plenty of Fun internal illustration

Five Have Plenty of Fun illustration

Five Have Plenty of Fun illustration

Five on Finniston Farm, Hodder & Stoughton, 1960

Five on Finniston Farm

Five on Finniston Farm

Five on Finniston Farm internal illustration

Five on Finniston Farm internal illustration

Five on Finniston Farm illustration

Five on Finniston Farm illustration

Five Get Into a Fix, Hodder & Stoughton, 5th Impression, 1966

Five Get Into a Fix

Five Get Into a Fix

Five Get Into a Fix illustration

Five Get Into a Fix illustration

Five Get Into a Fix illustration

Five Get Into a Fix illustration

The Famous Five Club

The Famous Five Club

Five Get Into a Fix internal illustration

Five Get Into a Fix internal illustration