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Betty Roland (1903 - 1996) was born Mary Isabel Maclean in Victoria, Australia on 22 July 1903 (she changed her name to Betty Roland in 1951). She married Peter Davies at the age of 19, and had a son. She worked as a journalist and playwright, and in the late 1920s met Guido Baracchi, a wealthy Marxist (which seems something of a contradiction in terms.) After separating from her husband, she and Baracchi travelled to Russia, where Betty worked on the Moscow Daily News. In 1935 she returned to Australia, and became involved in left wing politics. She continued writing plays and scripts, and set up the New Theatre League. The relationship with Baracchi broke up, and in 1952, Betty left for London with her daughter, Gilda, where she wrote for magazines and comics. After returning to Australia in 1961, she set up an artists’ community, and wrote several children’s books.


Her Jamie series is aimed at the younger reader. As far as I know, there are four books in the series, and they all have some horsey content.


Finding the books: easy to find, and not expensive, though it is difficult to find copies which are not ex school library.


Links and sources
Betty Roland in Girl
A photograph of Betty Roland

Betty Roland

Bibliography - pony books only

The Forbidden Bridge
Bodley Head, London, 1961, illus Geraldine Spence, reprinted 1976
The Forbidden Bridge & Jamie’s Discovery
Bodley Head, London, 1976, 124 pp.
Scholastic Book Services, New York, 1973, 1975

Jamie’s Discovery
Bodley Head, London, 1963, 77pp.
The Forbidden Bridge & Jamie’s Discovery
Bodley Head, London, 1976, 124 pp.
Scholastic Book Services, New York, 1973, 1975



Jamie’s Summer Visitor
Bodley Head, London, 1964, 75 pp, illus Prudence

Seward
McGraw Hill, New York, 1964
Scholastic, New York, Sydney, 1981


Jamie has a visitor from Sydney: Nola. There
are two things wrong with Nola. Firstly, she’s a
girl, and not the friend Jamie hoped to play with,
and secondly, she can’t ride.


Jamie’s Other Grandmother
Bodley Head, Acorn Library, 1970, illus Prudence Seward


Jamie finds out he has another grandmother; a very wealthy one who lives in Australia
on a sheep farm. Jamie, despite not being keen to start with, spends Christmas with her.




Jamie

The Forbidden Bridge
Jamie’s Discovery
Jamie’s Summer Visitor
Jamie’s Other Grandmother