Marjorie Mary Oliver & Eva Ducat: Sea Ponies

Sea Ponies is a wonderful holiday story set by the sea. Poor Roger has not been able to go away with his parents because of his ill health, and so he must stay with his Aunt Matilda. Aunt Matilda has firm opinions on many things, and Roger lives a sad and restricted life, until he meets Chris, and Bunch, and Miss Rhoda and their ponies, dogs, cats and rabbits. First published in 1935, this story was based on the life one of the authors lived herself on the Sussex coast.

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An attractive cover and an interesting introductions and a book that’s very much of its time. Some of the information is outdated now eg leaning back when jumping but fits with the old-fashioned feel of the book. It has a variety of characters (human, equine,dog and goat though I think that the humans are quite two dimensional) , a slightly weird (by today’s standards) setting and there’s a good plot. A good book for pony book nostalgia. (Dawn)

Another delightful book in the Bunts series … (Gillian)

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Publishing history
Country Life, London, 1935 (with Eva Ducat), 135pp.
Country Life Junior Library, London, date uncertain
Jane Badger Books, 2020

Many thanks to Henry Sotheran Ltd for the picture of the earliest edition.

Aunt Matilda and Roger are staying at Lindon-on-Sea for a month for his health. Aunt Matilda is a grade A fusspot, and Roger’s life is constricted and dull in the extreme. Then Roger meets a group of children and their ponies, Miss Rhoda Belton and Wilderney Bay. “Fancy turning a perfectly good boy into a Ghastly Suburban Figure. Something ought to be done about it,” says Miss Rhoda. So they do something about it, and also about the threat by Miss Rhoda’s landlord to throw her out.

The Ponies of Bunts, 1933
Sea Ponies, 1935
Ponies and Caravans, 1941

Earlier editions




Author: Marjorie Mary Oliver and Eva Ducat