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Enid Blyton signature found in historic bible in Ipswich bookshop

PUBLISHED: 19:02 22 November 2019

Bev Vincent with her Coronation Bible containing a message from Enid Byton   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bev Vincent with her Coronation Bible containing a message from Enid Byton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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One shopper in Ipswich got the surprise of her life when the bible she picked up carried a message from one of Britain's most famous authors - Enid Blyton.

The Coronation Bible belonging to Bev Vincent, 
 that has a message from Enid Byton   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Coronation Bible belonging to Bev Vincent, that has a message from Enid Byton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A shopper in Ipswich got the surprise of her life when the bible she picked up in a charity shop carried a message from one of Britain's most famous authors.

Care assistant Bev Vincent found the commemorative Queen's Coronation bible at the Global Educational Trust's free bookshop in Princes Street had a dedication written by Enid Blyton.

Miss Vincent, aged 51, said: "There was a loose page so the volunteers at the shop put that back in for me, I must have had it in my hands half an hour before I saw the inscription at the front. I couldn't believe it.

"I loved Enid Blyton books as a child, I grew up with my sister reading them to me.

Bev Vincent with her Coronation Bible that has a message from Enid Byton   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBev Vincent with her Coronation Bible that has a message from Enid Byton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"And I've always wanted to read the bible, my father is very religious and goes to church in Martlesham every morning.

"But my daughter Ivy is in her third year at university right now, and I think this will make a fantastic present when she finishes."

The inscription reads: "Here is the greatest book in the world. I hope you read it every day. Love from your friend, Enid Blyton."

Miss Vincent is hoping to find out more about the bible and how it came to be signed by Blyton, or who the friend in the message was.

Bev Vincent and her dog, Echo, with her Coronation Bible that has a message from Enid Byton   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBev Vincent and her dog, Echo, with her Coronation Bible that has a message from Enid Byton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The free bookshop Miss Vincent found the bible in opened in August this year.

It lets people pick three books to take home, completely for free, and accepts donations to stay stocked.

"I think it's a fantastic place, I'm always telling other people to visit it," Miss Vincent said.

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"The fact you can take three books home for free is great, you can always bring them back as well.

"I don't think there's anything like curling up with a good book."

The Ipswich shop is the first to feature reading rooms for customers and a kitchen to allow volunteers to make a tea or coffee.

Hundreds of books have already been donate, including history, fiction and children's picture books.

The shop is run entirely by volunteers and usually opens Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm.

There will also be volunteers at the shop until 8pm on November 28 for the next late-night shopping event of the Christmas season.

Enid Blyton is one of the best-selling authors of all time, with more than 600 million copies of her books sold since she started writing in the 1940s.

The creative force behind the Famous Five and Secret Seven series', she also wrote 24 Noddy books for younger children.

How much is a signed Enid Blyton book worth?

Auctioneer at Lockdales in Martlesham, Al Mcilwain, said: "Enid Blyton is still a very collected author today.

"Signed items of hers are highly sought. Examples of letters signed by her are regularly selling at auction for between £200-300.

"The book we have here is nice in the fact that it has a very pleasant inscription, although it doesn't help that it's not in a book written by Blyton which would fetch a premium.

"Nonetheless we would think it would achieve at auction between £80-£120."

The valuation has not swayed Miss Vincent, who is looking forward to seeing the book in her daughter's hands when she graduates from university next summer.

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