Jack
Jack asked:

Anyone know anything about the author, Patricia Ward? Did she write anything besides The Secret Pencil? Seems to be a favorite childhood book of a fair number of people of a certain age (Boomer), but Web search doesn't reveal much about Ms. Ward. It was certainly one of my favorites. I still have the well-used 1959 Random House hardback.

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Ruth Butler Book was written by Lady Patricia Ward. Youngest daughter of William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley and Rachel Countess of Dudley. She wrote articles for newspapers and high society journals. Have read the book, I felt she had reinvented her siblings and other relatives. Further research reveals Lady Patricia's brother renewed the copyright in the 1980's which clinched it for me.
Liz Loved this book as a child! My aunt gave me her hardbound blue cover copy when I was pouting and bored one day. Though I am not a boomer, but a Judy Blume-r, The Secret Pencil is still one of my favorite books. The book was outside the norm for 1959, in that it had an adventurous female protagonist. Aside from Nancy Drew, there wasn't a lot out there.
Jonathan Shearing I knew the author of this book (rather The Silver Pencil) though I was very young at the time. Lady Patricia Ward lived in Chevington, Suffolk and then Bampton, Oxfordshire. We shared the same birthday and I was staying with her in Bampton for our birthday (my 10th) when this book had just been published. I remember her delight when she received a royalty cheque and she took me to Oxford to buy a birthday present, a train set. I had a signed copy of the book which sadly disappeared during one of my family's clear outs but I've just bought it again for the memory.
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