Tuesday, 6 May 2014

PBOTD 6th May: Monica Dickens - Follyfoot

In the early 1970s, a television series called Follyfoot appeared which was based on Monica Dickens' adult book, Cobbler's Dream (1963). Monica Dickens then wrote four books – the Follyfoot series – to tie in with the television programmes.  
Piccolo, 1971, 1st edn (also appeared
simultaneously in hb, Heinemann)
Like the later World's End series, the difficulty of surviving without a steady source of income is a central theme of both series, as is the mistreatment of animals. Monica Dickens does not shy away from the horrors that humanity visits upon animals: in Follyfoot there are some truly grim horrors. The teenage Night Riders leave a horse with its jaw hanging off after they ride it with a bit made from wire, and the selfish owners of the Pinecrest Hotel care not one jot for the welfare of their horses. They are quite happy to keep on using a saddle on a horse which already has terrible sores.
The Follyfoot series is about saving animals from all this, and with characters who are a ragbag of misfits and glamour, that's what they do.

Heinemann, 1988
I find it interesting that by the 1990s, publishers had given up using stills from the television series to illustrate the books. I'm not sure if the girl on the cover of the Mammoth edition illustrated below is Dora (who appears on the two covers above), or Callie.

Mammoth, 1992

Fabbri, 1992
Andersen, 2010
Follyfoot has been reprinted, but sadly publishers Andersen haven't published all four books from the series. Presumably they didn't sell well enough.



The Follyfoot Series
Cobbler's Dream (reprinted as New Arrival at Follyfoot)
Folllyfoot
Dora at Follyfoot
The Horses of Follyfoot
Stranger at Follyfoot

More on Monica Dickens
And everything you ever wanted to know about the Follyfoot series

2 comments:

Janet Rising said...

I loved Follyfoot. It was so 70s - Slugger, Steve, Callie – loads of angst and meaningful looks. I even had hair like Dora's. Come to think of it, I think I still have...

janebadgerbooks said...

And Ron. I even liked Ron, in an odd sort of way. Ron and his bike. Just a thought, but do you think Ron in Follyfoot was the inspiration for JK Rowling's Harry Potter?