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Sheila Stuart

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.

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.

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

Alison’s Riding Adventure
Blackie, London, 1958, illus Gilbert Dunlop

Blackie, London, 1966, cover Harry Green

Fishing this time takes second place to riding as Alison and her
brother Niall solve a mystery about a missing Australian.

Alison’s Pony Adventure
Blackie, London, 1953, illus Gilbert Dunlop

Blackie, London, 1965, cover Harry Green

Bibliography - pony books only