Biography

Seaby, Allen

Allen W. Seaby (1867–1953) was one of the last exponents of the pony stories in which the pony was the hero. He concentrated on British native breeds, meaning that his books still have a popularity today, with the resurgence of natives. The stories reflect the changing times in which they were written: the coming of the car and its dominance; war, and the cheapening in value of ponies. Perhaps they also reflect a changing in sentiment: the original dustjacket of Skewbald (reproduced below) was objected to because it showed a picture of two ponies fighting. This was seen as a bad example to children, so Allen Seaby had to 'draw another illustration less inciting to evil.' [Source: Dinah the Dartmoor].

Finding the books
Skewbald and Exmoor Lass, having been reprinted many times, are both easy to find, and cheap. British Ponies and Our Ponies are reasonably easy to find, but can be expensive. Dinah and Sons of Skewbald are reasonably easy to find, though not with their dustjackets. Mona and Sheltie are the hardest titles to find, and because of the native pony connection, tend to be sought after and expensive.

Links and sources
Dinah the Dartmoor, 1935, foreword
Wikipedia on Allen Seaby, retrieved 19th March 2014
Many thanks to Dawn Harrison for her help with the photographs.

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