At last, at last, the Christine Pullein-Thompson bibliography is on the website. It has been an epic task, as she wrote over 100 pony books - surely the most of any pony book author? Unless Bonnie Bryant of Saddle Club wrote more. And that would only be true if Bonnie Bryant is in fact one person rather than a load of different authors writing under that name.
Huge thanks to Dawn of Pullein-Thompson archive who has been the most fantastic help. It really would have been very difficult to do it without her, as she has a much keener eye for detail than me, and also has an amazing collection which she is very happy to plunder for photos.
Christine PT is though the Pullein-Thompson I am most ambivalent about. There are some titles of hers I absolutely love: The Horse Sale, Phantom Horse, I Rode a Winner, and now I am older and can cope with romance, The Impossible Horse, but there are some I find tricky. I think it's the way her characters' despair is so total. One minute they're quite cheerful, and the next it is utter doom and gloom. I found that my own emotional response to the story lagged behind the characters' and felt I couldn't quite keep pace with their dizzying plunges: the book I'm thinking of particularly here is A Pony in Distress, which I read quite recently. She also seems to make a very determined effort to make her characters outsiders and that perhaps pushes her writing further than she was comfortable with.
I wonder too if the reason why I find some of her books uncomfortable is because they stray outside my own comfort zone? The world some of her books describe, from the 1970s at least, seemed alien to me, but then thinking about it, I went to a comprehensive (albeit one that was a grammar school when I started it). However, we weren't poor, and I didn't live in the inner city until I was much older. Hmmm. I'm not sure I've come to any very useful conclusions there.