It's awf'lly bad luck on Diana,No, I was never a great lover of pony stories, but it was hard not to feel nostalgic coming across the Telegraph obituary of Christine Pullein-Thompson.
Her ponies have swallowed their bits;
She fished down their throats with a spanner
And frightened them all into fits.
John Betjeman, "Hunter Trials"
As regular readers of Liberal England will know, I grew up on the children's adventure stories of Malcolm Saville. In those days Armada paperbacks had striking two-tone covers - one day I would like to fill a shelf with them just for the effect - and advertisements for other books at the back. Many of these were for books by the Pullein-Thompson sisters, of whom there seemed to be about 20.
As the obituary shows, there were three: Christine, her twin Diana and their elder sister Josephine. Their mother was Joanna Cannan, a cousin of the writer Gilbert Cannan who had quite a vogue in his day and ran off with J. M. Barrie's wife.
I once come across an Armada paperback by one of the P-T sisters in a charity shop. It was from the later 50s or early 60s, and had a Jamaican boy living in Britain as its hero. So perhaps there was more to them than fetlocks and jodhpurs after all.