Rosemary Simmonds is a prolific writer of short stories. She wrote six collections of them for Award Publications, though not, as far as I know, any full length novels. I’ve read one collection: Molly and the Misfits, which is the sort of book a Victorian child would have been given to teach it how to look after a pony. It is chock-full of moralistic advice, and in nearly every story disaster happens because of the thoughtlessness of the pony owner. The end effect of all this is to make you feel intensely gloomy, particularly as some of the situations are a little far-fetched, and you would have hoped that they at least would have ended well, disaster having seemed so unlikely at the off. It seems that, in Rosemary Simmond’s world at that time, anything that could go wrong, would. I am told the other collections are cheerier reads. I hope so.
According to the biographical information in the books, Rosemary Simmonds had a great interest in taking on other people’s difficult ponies. Perhaps this is what skewed her view; if all you ever see is the disasters caused by other people’s hopelessness presumably you do need an outlet somewhere. When she wrote her stories, she lived in North Yorkshire, and owned a Welsh Arab cross gelding, Thornley Star Turn, whose mischievous temperament apparently provided inspiration for some of the stories; presumably the happier ones!
Finding the books
None are now in print, but are all easy to find, and cheap.
Links and sources
Biographical information in the books
Many thanks to Sue Howes for her help with the pictures.