Elizabeth Goudge (1900-1984)

A highly respected and collectable British author best known for her extremely well-written romantic novels. She has also written children's books, non-fiction and an autobiography.
She wrote one book which could be considered a pony story: it is a children's fantasy featuring a unicorn, but also a real life pony, and is now considered a classic piece of children's literature.

Ms. Goudge was born in 1900 in Wells where her father was a minister. She then moved to another cathedral city, Ely, and later to Oxford. Growing up in such an atmosphere of learning was no doubt instrumental in creating her talents as a writer. She was widely travelled and lived in a number of different places, most of which featured in her novels, which almost all have a deep sense of place. Throughout her life she suffered from mental health problems, but this did not prevent her becoming an extremely successfully novelist, with many of her popular books being made into films. She died in 1984 after a period of ill-health.

There is a society devoted to the author where you can find out more about her.

Horse & Pony Books:

Reprinted many many times, too numerous to mention, but including some hardback reprints by University of London Press, hardback editions published by Brockhampton and a lot of paperback editions. Still in print, with most recently a movie tie-in edition published by Lion.
Also has been published in the USA, the first US edition being published in 1947 by Coward-McCann, with many other editions to follow.
SUMMARY: Set in the Victorian era. Newly orphaned Maria is sent with her governess Miss Heliotrope to live with her uncle Benjamin Merryweather in Moonacre Valley. There she learns to ride on the pony Periwinkle, makes friends with a number of animals, and is also soon enveloped in the strange aura of mystery and legend which surrounds the place. What is the secret of the ghostly little white horse she glimpses from time to time? And how can the ancient feud which has brought tragedy to the families in the valley be lifted? Maria is determined to find the answers to these questions…

The book won the Carnegie Medal and has been adapted for the screen twice, firstly in a children's TV series in the 1990s called Moonacre and more recently in the 2009 film entitled The Secret of Moonacre starring Juliet Stevenson, Ioan Gruffodd and Tim Curry.

Read a review here (off web-site)

Collectors info:
This is an easy book to find as it has been reprinted so many times and thanks to J. K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame telling the world it was her favourite book, it has been brought into prominence once more - and at the moment is in print. It can also be found in America, as was published in more than one edition there. The first editions (both UK and American) are however rare and valuable.