Enid Blyton's famous novels are being kept from view in libraries for fear of offending readers.

Uncensored original versions of some of Blyton's 700-plus collection have been removed from Devon library shelves and stored in back rooms to prevent the public "stumbling upon" language that is "outdated".

Although listed on the online library catalogue, readers can only get their hands on earlier editions of the texts if they specifically ask librarians for them. At this point they will be verbally given a trigger warning about the language contained within.

This is despite Devon County Council saying in a Freedom of Information request in October it "does not currently have a policy regarding trigger warning or content warnings".

In documents, Devon County Council said: "Where popular books have language that is increasingly outdated (Enid Blyton is the best example) we continue to purchase new editions where publishers have updated the language within."

Enid Blyton wrote hundreds of books in her career between 1922 and 1968. Her internationally-admired works include the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Noddy, and more than 600 million copies have been sold.

Dr Byrn Harris, of the Free Speech Union, said he was "bemused" that Blyton's famous stories were being treated as "dangerous and subversive samizdat".

He added: "Public libraries obviously cannot stock everything, but by law they must provide a 'comprehensive and efficient' service."

"Deliberately holding back certain works and making them less accessible might fall short of that standard, especially if the reasons for doing so are of dubious relevance - for instance, because the librarian finds those works subjectively offensive."

Blyton's older editions sit out of view with the autobiography of Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League.

There are also other unnamed texts which have been removed "following customer and/or staff complaints", the Telegraph reports.

In 2010 Enid Blyton publishers Hodder edited her works to remove words such as "queer", "gay" and "tinker", and phrases including "don't be an idiot" and "shut up".

Last year children's author Jacqueline Wilson reworked Blyton's 1943 title The Magic Faraway Tree to censor sexist narration such as women doing domestic work.

The council and Libraries Unlimited, which operates centres on behalf of the authority, have been approached for comment.

2023-03-19T16:53:42Z dg43tfdfdgfd