Winning Year: 1946 Author: Elizabeth Goudge Title: The Little White Horse
University of London Press Current Publisher:
Lion Hudson Format:
0745945783 In Print
The beautiful valley of Moonacre is shadowed by the memory of the Moon Princess and the mysterious little white horse. When Maria Merryweather, the little heroine, comes to live at Moonacre Manor she finds herself involved with an ancient feud. She is determined to restore peace, harmony and happiness to the Moonacre Valley and the village of Silverydew. Maria usually gets her own way, because her niceness and sweetness is seasoned with a drop of acid.
Elizabeth Goudge was born in Wells in 1900 and she moved with her family to Ely when her father, a clergyman, was transferred there. When her father was made Regius Professor at Oxford, the family left Ely and went to Christ Church, Oxford.
Before the war she lived in the Chilterns, Oxfordshire and visited Ewelme Church where she was thrilled to see that on Thomas Chaucer's tomb, his feet rested on a unicorn. She also describes vividly a white horse on an old farmhouse's weather vane, "I watched him prancing in the west wind from the moors, or swinging round, heading away from the east wind from the moors, I always seemed to see a horn entangled in his mane. Those were the war years and it was good to escape sometimes from the fearful realities of that time into a world where a unicorn cantered behind the trees."
She spent her final years in her cottage on Peppard Common, just outside Henley-on-Thames. She died in 1984.
The first time i read this book i couldn't get into it and found it boring. A couple of years later i read it again and it is now one of my firm favourites! magical and entrancing, a great read for readers maybe 13+
With pluck, curiosity, magical animals, and the reader's hyperactive suspension of disbelief, maria thwarts a gang of poachers and cattle rustlers, reunites estranged lovers and finds her true love. perfect for girls who still believe in unicorns and boys who love baking and interior design.
This is a charming story set in early 1800s and with a delightful heroine. It would be a hard read for younger children but any over 10s with a good imagination should thoroughly enjoy it. Currently famous for being jk rowling's favourite book as a child!