PBOTD: January 13th, Christine Pullein-Thompson - A Day to Go Hunting

Today it's the turn of another Christine Pullein-Thompson, A Day to Go Hunting. If I was forced to chose a favourite of her books, this one would be right up there. I've argued in previous posts that the author was at her best when she wrote about what she knew, and she knew her hunting. She was a whipper in for the Woodland Hunt.

Collins first edition, 1956

A Day to Go Hunting (1956) dealt with a small canvas. It follows various riders as they get ready for a day out hunting, and follows them throughout the fog bound day. The fog, you could say, represents the confusion many of the characters are in when they start the day. There's Jane, who works for the owners of the local riding school, and is not happy, and friendless Angela, whom the rather self-centred Truman family are forced to re-evaluate as she reacts to the disasters of the day. It's like the hunt is a melting pot, into which the author has thrown their characters, given them all a good stir with 
added fog, and then spat them all out again in the end when the fog lifts.

The book itself comes from the era when Collins produced particularly attractive pony books. Like many Pullein-Thompson titles of the time, it was illustrated by Sheila Rose, who had a particular gift for interpreting pony club children and ponies. Mary Gernat illustrated the cover for the 1969 Armada paperback version, and the 1970s version lost all illustration in favour of the fashionable photographic cover. 

Armada, 1969, cover Mary Gernat

Armada paperback, 1970s

If you'd like to read more about Christine Pullein-Thompson and her phenomenal output, you can do that here


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