Diana Pullein-Thompson (1925–2015) was one of the Pullein-Thompson sisters, twin to Christine, and younger sister to Josephine. Like them, she based many of her stories on their experiences running a riding school. She ran the Grove Riding School with her sisters until she was forced to give up when she contracted TB.
Diana's books are full of people who stand up to bullies. Augusta, heroine of her first solo pony book I Wanted a Pony (1946), defies her dreadful cousins. Wealthy Christina struggles to make friends with people who despise her because of where she lives, but she succeeds.
Diana's heroines were often outsiders. When she created a succession of girls having trouble fitting in, she was writing about what she knew. In Fair Girls and Grey Horses she described herself at school at Wychwood as ‘an untidy girl struggling to be liked’. The horse world, for Diana, really was a better one.
The Augusta and Christina series
I Wanted a Pony
A Pony to School
Three Ponies and Shannan
Only a Pony
Sandy & Fergus
Ponies in Peril
Ponies in the Valley
Ponies on the Trail
Picture copyright: Benedict Farr