|Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, 1st edition, cover Caney|
“A few more children had arrived, but mostly it seemed a gathering of men who had been waiting for just this opportunity to get away from their wives, judging by the way they threw their weight about in quite unnecessary directions...”
“Miss Jardine thanked me nicely for having disentangled the pony, and Mrs Allibone said: “Oh, Jane doesn’t mind making herself useful, do you, dear?” as if she would have liked to say Jane is one to push herself forward on every possible occasion. “
“I managed to buy my way into a faint sort of popularity by providing sweets for other people to eat under the bedclothes at night.”
Jane Howell’s Pony Club is clique-ridden and unkind; those who do not fit in are ruthlessly excluded; Patience McElwee’s is certainly a more realistic view of the depths children’s behaviour can reach than is normally seen in the Pony-Club-is-Heaven plot. Mrs Allibone runs the Pony Club for the greater good of her daughter, and the Master’s daughter, and not from any desire to promote horsemanship and sportsmanship.
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Most of the text of this piece is taken from my book, Heroines on Horseback.
For more on the author, see her page on my website.