Friday, 9 May 2014

PBOTD 9th May: Caroline Akrill - Eventer's Dream

Caroline Akrill's Eventer's Trilogy is probably the best series of books about eventing. More modern attempts to cover the sport certainly lack the wit, humour and sheer bonkers dash of Caroline Akrill's books. 

Christine Lunness, Caroline's editor at Arlington Books spotted how popular eventing was becoming and commissioned a series on the sport.  Its heroine is Elaine, whose ambition to become an eventer is hugely complicated by her decision to work for the Fanes, the classic aristocratic family who are asset rich and cash poor. As one cannot pay the blacksmith with a bit of ancestral brickwork their livery business is in a parlous state by the time Elaine arrives, and it is the tension between the wayward Fanes and Elaine’s ambition that gives the books their spark. 

Arlington, 1981, 1st edition
The Fanes are extremely funny, though on occasions worryingly callous. It is Elaine who provides the humanity and the calm centre point of the stories. 

Granada, 1984
If you've been in the horse world a long time, you might well know the Fanes' mother, Lady Jennifer. In an interview I did with Caroline, I asked her if the Fanes were based on people she'd met in real life. She said: 
“Yes, but as individuals, not one family. Lady Jennifer is truly out there and she has never recognised herself!”
Armada, 1990
The Eventer's Trilogy
Eventer's Dream
A Hoof in the Door
Ticket to Ride


More on Caroline Akrill
Badminton Horse Trials

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