E. F. Stucley (1906-1974)

British author. Full name Elizabeth Florence Stucley. Born in 1906 in London, but grew up in Devon and was indeed descended from good West Country stock, being related to Sir Richard Greville, one of the heroes of the Armada. As well as writing she also worked as a teacher, a driver in France during the Second World War and as a children's occupational therapist. She moved around and travelled a lot, visiting America and the Hebrides and living in Devon, London and Bath.

She also seemed to enjoy the company of children, her home in Clapham being a mecca for local children who formed a club there, and it is perhaps this affinity for children which made her children's books realistic and popular. Her most well-known book was
Magnolia Buildings which is in fact based on the Clapham kids and their gang and was written for them.

Just one of her stories is pony themed and it is in many ways not the traditional sort of pony story at all, being perhaps more of a psychological study of grief and repression and its impact on people. Unfortunately it is now fairly rare and hard to get hold of.

Horse & Pony Books:

THE SECRET PONY
(FABER & FABER 1950)
ILLUSTRATED BY RICHARD KENNEDY
Rare.
SUMMARY: Unusual pony story set not long after the Second World War. Irish Kit must go and stay with family in Devon and finds it hard to cope with the gloomy and repressed atmosphere of the household who are mourning the death of one family member from a hunting accident and still suffering from the after effects of the war. Respite for Kit comes in the form of a nearby pony.

Collectors Info:
Hard to find, especially outside of the UK, although not usually too expensive when it does appear.