Sunday, 12 January 2014

PBOTD: January 12th, Pamela Macgregor Morris - Clear Round

Pamela Macgregor-Morris became The Times' equestrian correspondent, a position she took over from John Board. Pamela was able to turn her hand to most forms of pony story, and her books are always entertaining and authentic. Today's choice is Clear Round, the last pony book she wrote. Originally published by Collins in 1962, it was republished as part of the Collins Pony Library in the 1970s. I was bought this edition of the book, along with Patricia Leitch's Afraid to Ride, and I loved it dearly. It had what most pony books of the era didn't: romance, though it was not of a form to frighten the horses. Oh no. Clear Round's heroine, Fiona, had her horsey adventures in the sort of finishing school that combines flower arranging with horses, lest the gels become horsey bores. It's this last that convinces Fiona's family to send her here, as they don't know what else to do with her.

Collins Pony Library edition, 1973
It all works out. Fiona manages the flower arranging, and turns out to be an excellent rider. The owners of the school have a son, Gavin, and Fiona catches his eye, therby circumventing any  need for her to go and do the season, because she's got the man already. In fairness to the book, I don't think that there's any hint that Fiona was going to be booted off to be a deb, but the same's not true of some of her fellow inmates.

I do like the original cover, with its gamine sixties heroine. It's an elegant period piece. If you fancy reading it yourself, both versions are reasonably easy to find. If you'd like to read more about the author, you can do that here


Collins first edition, 1962

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