Emmens, Peter

About the author

Peter Emmens, when he wrote the Simon and Dorothy series, was deputy head of Lumley Secondary School, Skegness. The Simon and Dorothy series, of which Time to Kill is one, consisted of four stories, as far as I am aware. Peter Emmens also wrote on the technicalities of teaching English.

Time to Kill was presumably intended as a discussion piece on hunting and cruelty to animals. Though it preaches against cruelty it is of its time:  I doubt now that Simon, having killed a blackbird, would be allowed to be knocked to the ground by his father. Simon’s father hits him out of temper, for which he apologises, but never the less, the reader is left with the strong impression the author thought Simon fully deserved what he got. Simon’s father is shown changing his views (though he is anti hunt from the first and remains so). He shoots foxes, but when one is in his barn, he refuses to let the hunt at it, but does not shoot it himself as he can’t shoot one in cold blood. Quite what the difference is between that and stalking one and shooting it is not gone into. The Master is rather obviously characterised as rich and ruthless. It would have been a better book had the huntsmen been human.

Finding the book
Its existence as a school reader means it is not terribly easy to find, particularly in good condition.

Time to Kill

Bibliography (pony books only)

Time to Kill

Blond Educational Ltd, London, 1963, pb.  Illus Rosalind Hoyte.  64 pp.

“Is it right to hunt foxes? Or to kill animals?  Simon Carter finds that his father feels strongly about the answers to both these questions. But, after a  hard winter foxes are killing the farm hens, so something
must be done….”