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This is the horse book that’s been in my family the longest. It sat in my grandmother’s bookcase, unread even by me, who had ferreted Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies out of the same bookcase and read it to death. Gypsy was one of those books my grandmother wanted me to read because of its religious significance: the horse is ridden along the same route as John Wesley, and the book is dedicated to 'the boys and girls of Methodism.' I loved my grandmother dearly, but this was one of the few things she and I didn’t see eye to eye on. If I hadn’t known the book’s religious connection, I’d have picked it up and read it, but I did, and I wanted to read a book for itself, and not feel there was a message lurking which I was supposed to take note of. So, for the same reason I avoided Aesop’s fables, I avoided this. I’d forgotten I had it until we cleared out the books before a house move.
The Rev Dr Leslie A Newman (1904–87) was a Methodist minister. In the 1928s, he served at the Gants Hill Methodist Church: an immediate success, so much so that notices had to be put up at services declaring the church was full. Newman was chairman of the Voice of Methodism Association. In the late 1960s plans were afoot to join the Anglican and Methodist churches: Newman (like former Archbishop, Lord Fisher), objected.
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Bibliography: pony books only
Gypsy Tells Her Story, The Epworth Press, London, 1947, 83 pp.