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The Little White Horse

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,874 Ratings  ·  660 Reviews
When orphaned young Maria Merryweather arrives at Moonacre Manor, she feels as if she’s entered Paradise. Her new guardian, her uncle Sir Benjamin, is kind and funny; the Manor itself feels like home right away; and every person and animal she meets is like an old friend. But there is something incredibly sad beneath all of this beauty and comfort—a tragedy that happened y ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published December 31st 2001 by Puffin Books (first published 1946)
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BoyWithHairColorOfLemons It's not necessarily a book about a white horse, but the white horse has great significance and metaphorical reasoning. It is a good title for the…moreIt's not necessarily a book about a white horse, but the white horse has great significance and metaphorical reasoning. It is a good title for the story. (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 25, 2012 Miriam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger, gender
There are some beautiful aspects of this story, especially the descriptions -- nature, food, clothing -- there's a richness to them that is very appealing. And the characters were interesting, although I can't say I *loved* any of them.

But the didactic elements! Man, I see why Goudge set the story in 1842 instead of a century later, when it was actually written. Over and over, the emphasis on Maria having to learn to accept and embody feminine virtues (and they are explicitly denoted as feminine
Jun 14, 2007 Annie rated it it was amazing
One of my fav books from childhood & one I re-read annually. Thanks to JK Rowling, it's now undergoing a resurgence in popularity - being republished & make into a movie. Not bad for a book which one the Carnegie Medal in 1946. Ever since I have wanted a round tower bedroom.
Mar 10, 2011 Skye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: special-ones
This is a book that revels, without shame, in the star-dusted dreams of young girls. It is pure wish fulfilment in the most delightful and honest of ways and does not pretend to be anything else. Miss Goudge's beautiful prose is descriptive in infinite detail. Each time you enter a room or meet a character or enjoy a meal it is explained in full; down to the colour of the napkins or the pattern of the curtains. She creates a world that is both welcoming and comforting, with an edge of danger and ...more
Mar 31, 2013 Kemaria rated it it was amazing
It seems a lot of those reviewers for whom this story didn't resonate are those who only learned about it as adults after hearing that J. K. Rowling liked it. I think this is one of those books where if you don't read it as a child, you will never fully appreciate it as an adult.

For me, I first read this book when I was probably seven or eight, and adored it at first read. It has remained one of my favorite childhood books. There's sheer magic in the descriptions - like Maria's room at the mano
Oct 13, 2009 Dee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fantasy or fairytales...
If I could describe this book in one word, it would definatly be "gorgeous". The language, the atmosphere... I almost forgot about reality reading it! You may be thinking "who wants to read a book about a little white horse?" Honestly, its not like that at all. The book is much, much more than tea parties and riding sidesaddle, although we first meet the characters in a lovely horse-draw carrige...

Maria Merryweather, who recently became an orphan, is sent to live with her cousin Sir Benjamen wi
Monica Edinger
I reread this book a few years ago (after J.K. Rowling spoke of it as her one childhood favorite) and loved it. I'm eager to see what they do with the movie. I haven't heard of any kids today reading it and am afraid, frankly, to give it to any. Feels a bit of its time somehow. But I love it.
Mar 30, 2008 Andrealitchfield rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 8 and up
Recommended to Andrealitchfield by: Mom
Do you like adventure? Family pets that are not really, um ,family pets? Feasting? Ponies? Feisty heroines? Little boys who drop in for a play date that no one can see but you? Long family feuds that threaten to wreck everything unless someone very brave acts quickly with a clear head and great courage? This book's got'em! The story of young Maria Merryweather and her friend, Robin, is a classic. The scene at tea, where Robin and Maria agree to marry, had me rolling on the floor! It can be a bit ...more
The little white horse by Elizabeth Goudge is a book that I have read once every year or two since I was 10. It is old-fashioned, romantic with lashings of fantasy. It is a fun adventure, set in a pure and innocent world where good overcomes evil, enemies reconcile and hope is restored.

Set in 19th century England, it is a magical story of the newly orphaned Maria who has to leave her London home to stay with her guardian Sir Benjamin Merryweather, at Moonacre Manor. Before they arrive Maria and
Jan 01, 2011 Meika rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-quit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it
A sweet tale, and enjoyable enough to read, but so much of the story unnecessarily focuses on how important it is for women not to be curious. Don't ask questions, don't go exploring, wait for the men to explain things to you and tell you where to go. Additional important moral lesson: Don't ever quarrel with someone you love, because they will totally leave you forever.

The story is about a young girl who finds herself an orphan and moves from high-society London to her only surviving relative'
Sep 25, 2007 Charlie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with taste.
Shelves: favorites
my older sister (nerd) gave me this book for christmas one year. i was not open enough to know how amazing it was, but when i did find out how amazing it is, i now read EVERY book she gives me. she is a genius, this book is phenomenal! so beautiful i only mourn i cannot crawl into the world created here.
Benjamin Thomas
Jan 08, 2015 Benjamin Thomas rated it it was amazing
Continuing my December policy of reading books that have been on my TBR shelves forever, I picked up "The Little White Horse" by Elizabeth Goudge. This one was one of my wife's books that she brought to the marriage 25 years ago and judging by the cover would be a young adult fantasy novel that would appeal to girls. But it was on the I had to read it sometime...

Once again, I'm glad I did. My impressions were correct in that I think it would appeal to young teenage girls, mostly due
Naomi Sarah
Oct 27, 2015 Naomi Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
The main thing I liked about this book was the writing style. No, seriously. IT WAS ADORABLE. It made me smile, and it reminded me of soft tinkly piano music. It was gorgeous and adorable and ahhhh.

Not my favourite book in general, but I liked it. :-)
Seventh book of the twenty-four hour readathon. Gosh, I'm sleepy.

The Little White Horse is a little fairytale, really. I remember a friend in first year recommendng it to me over and over again, so I had quite high hopes, but I don't think it's really that special. Everything is very predictable, and often slightly silly -- mistaking a lion for a dog, really? It's kind of sweet, at times, but it edges into too sweet. I'd have liked more of a sense of risk, and for things to come a bit less easil
E. Writes
Aug 25, 2015 E. Writes rated it it was amazing
A completely adorable book from start to finish! I'm sorry I didn't run into this one sooner in my reading life, it's a sweet, perfectly balanced adventure for the young and imaginative, and is overloaded with all the best things one thinks of when one thinks of England.
I wonder if Devon is even half as enchanting in real life as it is portrayed in this book!!! If so, I want to go...

I liked the cleverness of the wording, the author shows a facility with language that is a true delight, with p
Nov 20, 2014 Jean rated it really liked it
Now and then, it is good for the soul to set aside the Songs of Experience, and read from the Songs of Innocence. The Little White Horse is one such song. It is marvelously innocent--from its pure-minded adolescent heroine to its straight-out-of-a-dream countryside-and-castle setting to its charming and surprise-less plot line.

Elizabeth Goudge's children's stories have been compared to the writing of E. Nesbit. Nesbit is one of my favorite authors, and the comparison is apt, especially once you
Karolinde (Kari)
I read this book because it has been pushed as one of J.K. Rowlings' favorite childhood books and a major influences on her work. There was also a limited release movie that looked fascinating. While the plot is interesting, there were so many annoying points that it made it hard to truly enjoy the story as much as I could have.

1. The resolution was all too predictable.
2. The main character is annoying. She is described as being aristocratic and that is her most important quality.
3. The animals
Elinor  Loredan
Feb 04, 2013 Elinor Loredan rated it really liked it
A fast-paced book that doesn't take much time to reflect on what is happening in it. Conversation and thoughts about events and state of being are a little less than I'd like.

Maria, the heroine, is rather cold. She takes her destiny as the current Moon Princess and her betrothal to Robin without much reaction. She's brave and level-headed with a strong sense of justice and duty, but there isn't enough going on in her mind to really bring me to a deep connection with her.

Loveday is a little too
Jul 21, 2011 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is beyond wonderful.

I came across an article about J.K. Rowling a little while back and she mentioned this as her favourite book growing up and glowingly praised it. I tracked it down for my Kindle and really loved every moment of it.

Set in 1842, thirteen year old Maria Merryweather travels with her governess, Miss Heliotrope, and her self-absorbed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Wiggins, by carriage to live with her uncle after the death of her father. A little vain and preoccupied wi
Beth Bonini
Aug 11, 2011 Beth Bonini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of this classic English book until a friend said it was the favourite book of her childhood . . . and, indeed, a "comfort read" well into adulthood. Now I see it everywhere -- and I marvel that I could have been unaware of it for so long.

By the third paragraph, I knew that I would love it.
"Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people -- those who find comfort in literature, those who find comfort in personal adornment, and those who find comfort in food; and Miss
Sep 29, 2009 Samantha rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Three stars is rare for me and I feel at odds to provide such a low rate compared to my standard. It wasn't a bad book in the slightest. This was a lovely and magical children's story full of hope and inspiration, magic and wonder. For taking place in the 1800's it shed a lot of light on female power which was not readily accepted or commonplace for the time at hand which was intriguing to read.

The reason for the seemingly low rate is simply that the story didn't resonate with me as others tend
Lady Flo
Apr 29, 2016 Lady Flo rated it it was amazing
And they have lived happily ever after...
I was so afraid that after searching for the so long I would be disappointed about reading it, but I'm not. It was a lovely book though a classic. So different from the movie that it's useless to compare them, for they both contain different worthy stories.
I'm delighted to read it, because I got what I wanted to in this book.
Oct 07, 2012 Meg rated it it was amazing
*This month’s Jolly Girls Book Club read!*

I had so much fun reading this delightful, happy fairytale for our book club this month! Written in the 1940's by Elizabeth Goudge, you won't find a modern tale anything like it. It has decent, good, kind, caring characters, and quite a bit of God and religion, Gasp*! I found the message of forgiveness and of the hope for something better inspiring, and the heroine strong and good. It is a book you want your little girls to read! And don't forget the des
Mar 23, 2015 Daniela rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
When Maria suddenly becomes orphaned at thirteen, she and her governess Miss Heliotrope move to Maria's last living relative - Sir Benjamen of Moonacre Manor. When they arrive by carriage in the middle of the night, they are enchanted by what they see: a castle bathed in moonlight set in a beautiful big park. Maria feels at home right away and soon makes friends in the animal and human world. But not everything is as happy as it seems - something evil lurks in the dark woods north of Moonacre Ma ...more
Ruth Williams
May 20, 2015 Ruth Williams rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I wish I had read this book as a child! I read it with a friend, and we both agreed that as children this is the kind of book we would have finished and, immediately, turned back to the first page to read again. The language in this book is beautifully descriptive so you see the actions as clear as if you were there. Though set in 1842, because of the suggestion of magic that surrounds Maria and Robin, it could as easily be yesterday. Maria is a captivating heroine who seeks to discover ...more
Lily Calder
Apr 02, 2015 Lily Calder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children-s, owned
Full review taken from here:

Oh, the nostalgia. Oh, the love I have for this book.

Having misplaced my well-worn paperback years ago, I decided this year to buy another copy and give this children’s classic a reread. I’m so pleased that I did. Details that I remembered from reading the book as a child were made even more vivid; Goudge’s knack for lovely description is so clear in this tale, as is her genuine skill at making a children’s book simple in style
Oct 13, 2013 Holly rated it really liked it
The Little White Horse is about little Maria Merryweather who goes to live with her cousin at Moonacre Manor after she is left an orphan. Moonacre, her ancestral homeland, is a charming place, but the whole valley is plagued by the shadows of mistakes made in the past. Maria, along with her new friends, has to "break the curse" in order to set everything right.

I never read The Little White Horse as a child. To be honest, I hadn't ever heard of it until I caught 'Moonacre' on Netflix one day. I t
Dec 31, 2012 Jenny rated it did not like it
I had to force myself to get through this one. There were two things wrong with this book.
1) Every character (even the 'bad' ones) were Mary/Gary Sues. Everyone had goodness in their hearts, everyone was perfect.
2) My belief was not suspended. Usually it is quite easy for me to immerse myself in a book and at least superficially believe what is going on. Not so in this case. Several examples: Deciding, on the fly, that you will marry a guy (two years older) that yells at you that you will marr
Jun 10, 2010 Phillip rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Goudge weaves her usual delicious prose in this good-hearted fantasy. Rather than being your standard fantasy adventure, this is more of a story of making discoveries and putting them to work. Maria, a spirited orphan, displays a precocious optimism that gets her through her challenges, whether they be conquering her own personal weaknesses or correcting mistakes of the past. The reader is swept away into a gentle world where animals demonstrate more than sentience (albeit a mute senti ...more
Akemi G
Oct 07, 2015 Akemi G rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-fiction
OMG I am so glad to finally find this book! This was my favorite of favorites in childhood, and I've been looking for this, not remembering the title. It's about a girl moving to this old castle or something . . . where there is a harpsichord . . . and a unicorn in the nearby woods . . . and men who seem scary and bad but not really. Make sense? What was it called? Google couldn't help . . . Hey, GR just "suggested" it to me!

Got to reread this sometime soon.
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Elizabeth Goudge was an English author of romance novels, short stories and children's books.

Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on 24 April 1900 in the cathedral city of Wells, she moved with her family to Ely when her father, a clergyman, was transferred there. When her father, Henry Leighton Goudge, was made Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, the family left Ely and went to Christ Churc
More about Elizabeth Goudge...

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“Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people - those who find comfort in literature, those who find comfort in personal adornment, and those who find comfort in food;” 133 likes
“Robin: When you do marry, who will you marry?
Maria: I have not quite decided yet, but I think I shall marry a boy I knew in London.
Robin(yells): What? Marry some mincing nincompoop of a Londoner with silk stockings and a pomade in his hair and face like a Cheshire cheese? You dare do such a thing! You - Maria - if you marry a London man I'll wring his neck! (...) I'll not only wring his neck, I'll wring everybody's necks, and I'll go right away out of the valley, over the hills to the town where my father came from, and I won't ever come back here again. So there!
Maria: Why don't you want me to marry that London boy?
Robin(shouting): Because you are going to marry me. Do you hear, Maria? You are going to marry me.”
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