Clapp, Estelle Barnes

About the author

Estelle Barnes Clapp wrote just the one horse book: Laurie. Unusually for a book of its age, it tackles the themes of adult illiteracy and drunk driving. Estelle Barnes Clapp was, according to the dustjacket of Laurie:

an active believer in family living, and has striven with great success to make LAURIE a family story. She has taught dancing and physical education, raised a Tim and Laurie of her own, and done a great deal of child-study work, so her qualifications for writing such a book are as varied as they are undebatable.

Mrs. Clapp was born in Chicago and grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, with summer sojourns in Maine, where she “pulled lobster pots” with Robert Tristram Coffin’s brother, and now lives in Westport, Connecticut. Far from being an “ivory tower” writer, she admits ruefully that she composes equally well in her sunny dining room and a waiting room in Grand Central Station. As she explains, “If one wants to write, I believe one writes regardless of condition.

Finding the book
Laurie was not published in the UK. It’s readily available and reasonably priced in the USA in its Grosset and Dunlap incarnation, but is more expensive as the first edition.

Links and sources
Laurie – dustjacket
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for all her help with the pictures, the biographical information and the contents of the book.

Bibliography (horse books only)


Doubleday, Garden City, NY, 1953, illus Kurt Wiese
Reprinted in Grosset & Dunlap’s Famous Horse Series

The blurb:

“Laurie wanted Fella so much that she was willing to get up at five in the morning to feed him, knock herself out of the loft pitching his hay, and practise riding until she couldn’t sit down! .. It was worth it if she could earn the right to have Fella for her very own.”