Ponies, ponies, ponies
Dorothy Potter Benedict
Dorothy Potter Benedict wrote three horse books, set in Montana, which together make up the Pagan series. The first book is about Pagan, and the next two about his sons. The third book, Susan Bourgeau told me, “reads more like a recruiting poster for the Army than a horse book…..the US was involved in Vietnam at the time, but children’s books that depicted teenage boys turning towards a military career were pretty unusual.”
Dorothy Potter Benedict was born in 1889 and rode her first pony in Chicago, Illinois, which is where she was born. Her father had a ranch in Montana, and there she raised horses and rode out on long trips, sometimes with her children. The stallion Pagan was based on one of her own horses, and his story was made up out of things which had happened to horses she had known.
Finding the books: the books are all easy to find in their native USA, even though there were no paperback printings. Finding the UK printings (all three books were published in the UK by Oliver & Boyd) is very difficult indeed.
Links and sources
Dustjackets of the books, and Susan Bourgeau, to whom many thanks for all the information on this page.
The Pagan Series
Pagan the Black
Pagan the Black
Pantheon, New York, 1960, illus John Groth
Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh and London, 1960, 188 pp. (far right)
Pagan was supposed to be wild, and a killer, like his mother, but Sandy would
not believe this. He had known Pagan as a colt, and he kept his promise never
to master the stallion, so together they spent days riding over the Montana
countryside, until tragedy struck.
Pantheon, New York, 1961, illus Joseph Papin
Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh and London, 1963, 220 pp.
Rigby Ltd, Australia
Mistie has a Palomino mare, Sunshine, and Fabulous is her son by Pagan.
Pantheon, New York, 1963, illus Joseph Papin
Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh and London, 1964, 223 pp.
Bandoleer is the second son of Pagan, but Sandy neglects his training as he is worried by
his feelings for his adopted sister Mistie, and about his choice of career.