Heroines on Horseback
Girls Gone By, Bath, 2013
Republished Jane Badger Books, 2019
All children’s books are about the fulfilment of dreams, but pony books, perhaps more than most, allow their readers to live their dreams. Most of the children who read pony books will never have riding lessons, let alone ponies. Heroines on Horseback looks at the development of the pony book from its beginnings in the pre-Victorian animal story, to the time when, Geoffrey Trease wrote, “you could have sold Richard III if you had given it the right wrapper and called it A Pony for Richard.”
“Jane Badger has given horse and pony stories the serious consideration they deserve. A huge amount of research and editing must have gone into this book. I loved reading it and I’ve learned a lot.” Victoria Eveleigh, author
”This wonderful book brought back many, many happy memories for me. And suggested some authors that I had missed … Highly recommended!!” Cole Thornton, Amazon Top 1000 reviewer
Ruby Ferguson and the Jill Books
Jane Badger Books, 2020
Ruby Ferguson wrote one of the best-loved pony series of all: the Jill books. But who was she? And why are the books still so popular?
Jill and the Lost Ponies
In Ruby Ferguson’s Pony Jobs for Jill, Captain Cholly-Sawcutt told Jill and Ann to put ponies aside as a hobby and go and do a shorthand course. I always wondered what would happen if they went off and did just that. And so in this sequel to the Jill books, set in the 1950s, we find Jill and Ann are at a London secretarial college, doing what they’ve been told to do. With ponies left firmly behind them. Or so they think.
“A brilliant evocation of the world of Jill Crewe as she pursues her first year, pony-less, in secretarial college. Jane Badger captures beautifully the world and the characters of Ruby Ferguson’s beloved pony book series to create a new story that had me smiling from start to finish.” C L Hawley
“Finally, a new Jill book! Jane Badger effortlessly captures the tone and feel of the original Ruby Ferguson ‘Jill’ books, making ‘Jill and the Lost Ponies’ a seamless continuation of the earlier books. Just as warm and witty as anyone could hope, this sequel is written with obvious love for and deep knowledge of the originals, and perfectly captures Jill’s distinctive voice.” E Grey
Jill and the Unexpected Horses
Jane Badger Books, 2020
Two terms of secretarial college in London have left Jill Crewe desperate to get back to her friends and her ponies in the country. Her planned visit to cousin Cecilia was bad enough but when that falls through, it looks as though she’ll be staying in the deserted college lodgings. Fortunately, Captain Cholly-Sawcutt comes to the rescue, although he has a monumental task to keep Jill busy. But at least she’s back with horses even if she’s still having to avoid Cecilia and all her plans.
Articles and introductions
Ten of the Best Horse and Pony Books
Books for Keeps, January 2012
Introduction – Josephine Pullein-Thompson’s Six Ponies, Fidra Books, 2007
Introduction – Primrose Cumming’s Silver Snaffles, Fidra Books, 2007
The Peculiarities of Child Growth in Chatton, Folly Magazine Christmas Special, 2009
How to Write a Pony Book, Folly Magazine, Summer 2004