Popular author of numerous pony novels and adult crime fiction, Josephine Pullein-Thompson died on 3 June aged ninety. Josephine’s first pony novel, It Began With Picotee was written with her sisters Christine and Diana and was published by A&C Black in 1946. She went on to write many trilogies, series and single titles in the pony genre, delighting thousands of pony-mad fans.
I first met Josephine in the mid 1970s during my time at Brockhampton Press in Leicester, where as Rights Manager I sold her novels into several translations. At that time she was writing for the Black Beauty series (Random House) and also the successful Moor series of pony adventures. Josephine became one of my clients for her children’s fiction in the late 1980s when I set up my own literary agency. Her novels continued to be in demand here and in translation. I enjoyed visiting her at her Fulham house and remember fondly her chuckle and mischievous smile.
Josephine was General Secretary and then President of PEN International and was awarded an MBE in 1984.
Fair Girls and Grey Horses, written collectively by the three Pullein-Thompson sisters, is a wonderful autobiography detailing their eccentric childhood and the story of how they became writers. Originally published as a hardback by Allison& Busby it has now been re-issued this July 2014 as a paperback and ebook.