Biography

St Vincent, Isobel

Isobel St Vincent wrote mostly for the younger child. Her titles, which are generally about animals, have dated rather to modern ears: Barty Bantam and Basil Bumblebee are two, though I suspect Jill Crewe, a contemporary, would have had something withering to say about them. They sound rather like the sort of winsome title Mrs Crewe would have turned out.

Isobel St Vincent was born in London, though lived in the country from a young age: Happy Returns is to some extent based on her own experiences. During the war she worked for the Forestry Commission: 'An experience,' she said, 'I wouldn’t have missed for worlds since, having to be on the job at 7.30 am, I saw a new dawn every morning!'

Besides writing, she also kept bees and rabbits, and 'kept her charming old world cottage single-handed.' How times have changed.

Happy Returns has rather charming illustrations by Ernest H Thomas. Isobel St Vincent also wrote a book about a donkey: Mischievous Mokie. As far as I am aware, she wrote no pony books for the older market, though she did attempt a school story, Three in the Fourth.

Finding the books
Both titles are easy to find, and usually cheap.

Sources and links
Dustjacket of Happy Returns

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