Friday, 17 December 2010

The nasty side of life

I tend to think of the 1920s as a generation rather tougher than our own, and less inclined to edit out the nasty side of life for our children.  It wasn't necessarily so, however:  author and illustrator Allen Seaby wrote several pony stories in the 1920s about British native ponies.  According to the foreword to his Dinah the Dartmoor, the first edition dustjacket of his Skewbald the New Forest Pony, published in 1923 was objected to because it showed a picture of two ponies fighting.  Seaby had to produce the version seen on very many reprints since, which was considered "less inciting to evil."

I still haven't seen a first edition dustjacket, but I now have a first edition.  Here it is.  I assume that, like later reprints, the illustration on the boards mirrored the one on the dustjacket.



This is the reprint:


- a sweetly domestic and maternal scene.  None of those nasty fighting males.

3 comments:

GeraniumCat said...

Oh, goodness, I loved Skewbald! I had a lovely copy of it which went missing somewhere and I do miss it.

callmemadam said...

I have a later copy of Skewbald but with the same illustrations. There's one showing the road to Burley (?) which looks exactly the same today as it did then, except that the modern road is metalled.
Very unsentimental, isn't it? All that about pit ponies.

Jane Badger said...

There are masses of copies around of Skewbald, GeraniumCat, and it's not an expensive book! Seaby isn't sentimental at all, CMM, though I must admit I find him a turgid read at times!