Showing posts from December, 2010

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas everyone.  Christmas is not Christmas without some Rutter.

Sussex Carol

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.


We had our Nine Lessons and Carols Service yesterday. MIGHTILY relieved we had an influx of new sopranos and I was able to scuttle off to be an alto again. Despite many layers, church still perishing. Have suggested next year we bring a duvet to keep about our knees.

Pony Book News: Hazel M Peel

Great news if, like me, you have managed to lose your childhood copy of Jago:   it will be back in print in March next year, and available from GIETE , along with Hazel's other Australian wild horse story, Fury.   A particularly gorgeous first edition of  Jago  was one of the very first pony books I sold in my bookselling career, and of course I've never seen another.  If I did, I think it would be a case of having to breathe smoothly and deeply and not scream.  Or leap about.  Always assuming I could afford it, of course. I've done a new page on my website gathering together news on what's coming up in the pony book world, but will still continue to post stuff on my blog.  If you have any news of new books, please let me know!

Christmas Quiz

If Christmas all becomes too much, why not retreat to your favourite pony book, with the excuse that you are doing research for my latest quiz , on which you might win a £50 book token to spend on pony books?  The closing date is 3rd January.

Yet more frost

I have no idea what the temperature was first thing when dog and I pounded round the fields in the dark, but earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.  Still are, but goodness, it's beautiful. This morning and this afternoon


Although we don't have the snow other parts of the UK do, we have some pretty spectacular frost.   Until I came to let the junior hens out of their house this morning, I hadn't spotted the cobwebs festooning it.  The senior hens live in the stable, as they were so violent when the juniors came on the scene they had to be separated.  All is now reasonably harmonious, but the hens have maintained their separate sleeping arrangements. Junior hen Echo was less than impressed with the snow, but seems positively perky about the frost. There was the most amazing damask pattern on the concrete slabs outside the stable - a week or so ago I'd washed it down, which had left a thin veil of mud, which has turned into what could be some splendid fabric design. It's all really rather beautiful.

Well, that's cheering

Cataloguing away busily, I checked the price on one of my books.  Up came something else I don't actually have in stock at the moment:   Riding with Reka , by Heather, now safely out of copyright, and therefore grist to the mill of the Print on Demand merchants.  You are asked to cough up a minimum of £20 for this title on Abe, and one seller, whose honesty I suppose is admirable, says in their description: This book may have imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process but they're still going to sell it, imperfections and all.   Obviously no one at any part of the process cares enough to check what's produced.

White horses....

Thanks Charlotte for sending me this (I know I've posted something similar before, but the video's different for this one.  And I just like it anyway.)