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Heroines on Horseback: The Pony Book in Children's Fiction

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The pony book galloped on to the children’s book scene with a flick of its rosetted bridle in the 1930s, and has remained a fixture ever since. Brave girls, nervous ones, scruffy ponies and ornaments of the show ring cantered through pony tale after pony tale, all fallen upon by an audience desperate to read anything that reflected their own passion for the pony.
Published 2013 by Girls Gone By
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Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I eagerly awaited the release of this book back in 2013 and I was not disappointed. It has since become my 'go-to' book for referencing anything pony book related.
Badger explores the history of the pony book in children's fiction and provides insight on the common themes, storylines and writing techniques used by various pony book authors throughout different eras.
As a result of reading Heroines on Horseback, my 'to-read' pony book list has further expanded.

I recommend this book for anybody who
Cheyenne Blue
The first book I can remember being given to ME, just me, not me and my brother, not given to my parents to read aloud to me, was "Jill Enjoys Her Ponies" by Ruby Ferguson. My grandmother gave it to me, along with a Chalet School book (which I never really got into) when I was either 8 or 9. I loved Jill. Adored her, wanted to be her. Jill was the start of my pony book obsession. I had shelves and shelves of them, and I'd curl up on my bed with one of them after school, read into the night with ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horses
I have just been sitting here for half an hour deliberating between four and five stars for this book and have finally made the decision to err on the side of generosity.
It deserves it for being a really good read, laced with a subtle humour that does not patronize the genre in any way and also for being that rare beast of a scholarly book that achieves exactly what it sets out to do: to give an overview of the history of a genre to date. As such it is a thoroughly researched labour of love.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, 8, childrens, non-fiction
This was a thoroughly enjoyable look back at - as the title suggests - the pony book in children's fiction. Yes, I was one of those girls who read pony books and dreamed. I was surprised at just how often, when a title was mentioned, I would think "Oh yes, I remember that one." Some were mine, some had been my mother's, but she grew up on a farm and had horses, so somehow her copies were a bit more "real" than mine.

I wonder what happened to them all? Unless there's lying forgotten in a box in my
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one. Like the author, Jane Badger, I read a great many pony books when I was young but there are obviously many more I didn't read! I was delighted to find Silver Snaffles included, along with the Jill series and other less pure-pony-books such as those of KM Peyton and Monica Edwards. Jane Badger picks up on maddening questions such as the inconsistencies in the Jill books. She can't explain them, but just to see them discussed gives me a fellow-feeling. I love reading such rounded ...more
Kate Lattey
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read, really fascinating to learn about some of the history behind the authors who inspired me to write. I was generally in agreement with Jane's assessment of the merits of various authors, and have read and re-read sections of this book several times. Highly recommend!
Cressida Ellen Schofield
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves pony books.
This book is a must for any pony book lover. From Black Beauty and Moorland Mousie through to the modern pony book, the author takes a close look at how the genre has evolved over the years. Covering classics such as Jill, Jackie, Jinny, Follyfoot and the prolific Pullein-Thompson sisters, amongst many, many others, this book contains an insight into the popular pony books that everyone read in their childhood.

This book, however, is not just a clinical compilation of books that happen to contain
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
Expected this to be a little bit of a dry read but it was mostly a fantastic and a very engaging read. This very original book looks through children’s pony fiction, focusing on British authors up to about the 1980’s. The book takes a mostly chronological approach but also focuses chapters on the major authors and also some of the chapters are dedicated to themes such as wild horses or illustrators . I am too young to have read these books when they first come out (had read a lot of them that ha ...more
Emma Rose Ribbons
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horse-and-ponies
This is an enjoyable account of the pony book. I'm a newcomer to the genre and the author does a really good job of explaining what's interesting about specific authors and specific books. I really loved this - I was expecting more of an encylopeadia and I was pleasantly surprised to see that she'd chosen to focus on a few authors representative of the genre at different times. It made for a very long to-read list!
A favourite quote: 'In those days you could have sold Richard III if you had give
Bron Lloyd
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved it. I now want to go and buy all the books I missed out on as a kid! My only criticism would be that I wish the referencing had been more thorough especially with quotes from authors etc. but that's probably only because I'm a historian :)
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Jane Badger runs the publishing company Jane Badger Books, which specialises in finding and reprinting classics of horse fiction.

Her own books include Heroines on Horseback, a gallop around the world of children's pony fiction and Ruby Ferguson and the Jill Books, which looks at the author of the best loved British pony series of all. She's also written a continuation of the Jill series, Jill and

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