Biography

Stuart, Sheila

Sheila Stuart (1892–1974) was a pseudonym used by Mary Gladys Baker. She was brought up in Renfrewshire, where her father was a minister in the Church of Scotland. During World War One, she worked as a VAD, but most of her career was spent writing. She worked as a journalist, and wrote short stories and serials for periodicals such as Scottish Field and The People’s Friend.

The Alison series, about Alison and her brother Niall, is set in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland, an area Sheila Stuart knew well. Out of the fifteen titles in the Alison series, two of them involve ponies; the other books (I haven’t read every one so can’t be completely accurate) mention them occasionally, but the books are more concerned with defeating members of ‘The Gang’ and fishing.

The Alison series
Alison’s Highland Holiday
More Adventures of Alison
Alison’s Christmas Adventure
Well Done Alison!
Alison’s Easter Adventure
Alison’s Poaching Adventure
Alison’s Kidnapping Adventure
Alison’s Pony Adventure
Alison’s Island Adventure
Alison’s Spy Adventure
Alison and the Witch’s Cave
Alison’s Yacht Adventure
Alison’s Riding Adventure
Alison’s Cliff Adventure
Alison’s Caravan Adventure

Finding the books
The two pony titles were re-published in their orange format by Blackie in the 1960s, so are relatively easy to find in that guise. The original hardbacks are a bit trickier, but not impossible. Some of the other titles in the series are very hard to find indeed. Fidra Books republished some of Alison’s adventures, but not the pony titles.

Links and sources
Fidra Books
Many thanks to Fidra Books, Julie Makin and Lisa Catz for their help with the pictures.

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