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First edition cover by Dorothy M. Wheeler
|Illustrator||various over the years|
|Series||The Faraway Tree|
|Publisher||George Newnes (1943)
|Preceded by||The Enchanted Wood|
|Followed by||The Folk of the Faraway Tree|
It is the second book in the series of novels The Faraway Tree, in which Jo, Bessie and Fanny (renamed Joe, Beth and Frannie in later editions), the protagonists of the series, have their cousin Dick (renamed Rick in later editions) over to stay with them. They then introduce him to Silky, Moonface, Saucepan Man and all their other friends in the Magic Faraway Tree.
The book is also heavily referenced in the graphic novel V for Vendetta, in which the third book is called 'The Land of Do-as-you-please" and includes V reading The Magic Faraway Tree to Evey Hammond.
Lands In the Series
- The Land of Topsy Turvy
This land is a peculiar place where everybody walks on their hands and everything is upside down. A policeman gets angry at Jo, so he puts a spell on Jo to turn him on his hands too.
- The Land of Spells
There are many witches and wizards with spells in this land and Jo gets put back right side up, by a friendly old witch.
- The Land of Dreams
Here everything that happens is very dream-like and unreal. The characters get stuck in this land because the Sandman throws sand in the children's eyes to make them sleep.
- The Land of Do-As-You-Please
In this land, anybody can do what they want and the children have great fun. Jo gets to drive a train, and all of them get to wade in the ocean.
- The Land of Toys
Saucepan man accidentally thinks of this land to be The Land of Goodies, so he gets imprisoned for stealing candy. Jo and the others rescue him from jail.
- The Land of Goodies
This land is filled with free goodies such as cake and treacle pudding. Rick eats a knocker from one of the resident's houses, getting in trouble.
- The Land of the Old Woman
Dame Washalot's friend, the old woman who lives in a shoe, comes down the faraway tree to live in Moonface's house. The children lure her back to her land, with Rick making up for his mistake in The Land of Goodies and saving his friends.
- The Land of Magic Medicines
The children's mother is ill, so the children visit this land to buy her medicine.
- The Land of Tempers
In this land everyone has a bad temper and if anyone loses their temper here, they will have to stay in the land forever.
- The Land of Presents
A place full of presents, which the children go around picking up for each other and their parents.
Influences on anarchism
The Land of Do-As-You-Please has had an effect on the philosophy of anarchism as a popular analogy within anarchism as it is seen[by whom?] to be very similar to the philosophy itself. This was represented in Alan Moore's graphic novel V for Vendetta, in which the main character (known as V), wishes to destroy the totalitarian state and create a place called The Land of Do-As-You-Please, though he admits that, for the time being, all he can do is create "The Land of Take-What-You-Want" and that it will be up to the people to create his fabled utopia once he has freed them.
The modern reprints have altered the names of the main characters. Jo is now Joe, Bessie is now Beth from the original Elizabeth. Dick and Fanny have been changed to Rick and Frannie, due to the modern sexual connotations of the original names.
In October 2014 it was announced there would be a big screen adaptation of The Magic Faraway Tree, to be made by Sam Mendes' production company Neal Street Productions. In November 2017, Simon Farnaby, who had previously written the screenplay for Paddington 2, confirmed that he was working on the project, a collaboration between Neal Street Productions and StudioCanal UK.
- "Top 100 Books". BBC - The Big Read. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
- "Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree set for cinema". BBC News. 22 October 2014.
- "Enid Blyton's The Magic Faraway Tree to be made into film". BBC News. 20 November 2017.