Ponies, ponies, ponies


Collins Seagull - Horse and Pony Titles

Publishers often produced cheaper editions of their titles to appeal to a wider audience, and Collins did it often. They produced the Crown Library editions, (a different thing from the Crown Pony Library); the Collins Standard series and the Children’s Press, amongst others. In the 1960s, the Seagull Library appeared. This included a wide range of books for boys and girls; classics and a few new works, but mostly titles Collins had already published. The books were produced much more cheaply than Collins’ standard range. The Seagull Library had mid blue boards with a silver seagull on the front; generally a specially designed dustjacket, and cheap paper, which browned very easily. The girl’s section included a good number of pony stories, a few of which only appeared in Collins Seagull editions: Patricia Leitch’s Riding Course Summer and Highland Pony Trek; Elinore Havers’ Surprise Riding Club, Denise Hill’s A Pony for Two and Coco the Gift Horse and Frances Murray’s Ponies on the Heather. Decie Merwin’s Holiday Summer had already been published in America, but the Collins Seagull printing was its first in Britain.

The Library also included Western titles; part of the boy’s library, but read avidly by girls too. I’ve included the more overtly horsy here.

Most titles had new dustjackets; generally a marked step down in artistic quality from the original. Sheila Rose, who did the cover for Holiday Summer, also produced the original for Christine Pullein-Thompson’s Phantom Horse, but this was replaced by an effort which is frankly lame. Anne Bullen managed to hang on to Plenty of Ponies, but her lovely originals for No Mistaking Corker and The Summer of the Great Secret bit the dust. Some titles (Pony Club Camp, A Pony for Sale and Plenty of Ponies) were printed after 1969 with no dustjackets, but with pictorial boards with the same cover illustration as the earlier Seagull edition. It may well be that more titles appeared with laminated boards. I’ve included just the ones I’ve seen.

In the 1970s, Collins replaced the generalist Seagull Library with single interest libraries, like the Pony and Ballet libraries.

I’ve included below all the Collins Seagull pony titles I know about: if you know of more, please contact me.

Links and sources:

The genesis of Collins Seagull
An illustrated index of Seagull titles for boys

Thank you to Helen Millar for clearing up the date when the pictorial board editions appeared, and to Steve Taylor for information on the series as a whole, and on books for boys in particular.

The titles

No Mistaking Corker
Monica Edwards

Summer of the Great Secret - Monica Edwards

Surprise Riding Club
Elinore Havers

A Pony for Two
Denise Hill

Coco the Gift Horse
Denise Hill

Highland Pony Trek
Patricia Leitch

Riding Course Summer
Patricia Leitch

Holiday Summer
Decie Merwin

Ponies on the Heather Frances Murray

Phantom Horse
Christine Pullein-Thompson

Cammie’s Challenge
Jane McIlvaine

Pony for Sale
Diana Pullein-Thompson

Plenty of Ponies
Josephine Pullein-Thompson

Prince Among Ponies
Josephine Pullein-Thompson

Show Jumping Secret
Josephine Pullein-Thompson

Trick Jumpers
Josephine Pullein-Thompson

Sagebrush Sorrel
Frank C Robertson

Black Beauty
Anna Sewell

The Young Range Rider
Frank C Robertson

Black Tiger
Thomas C Hinkle

Pony Club Camp
Josephine Pullein-Thompson