Image result for national velvet book 1st edition

Published by Egmont Modern Classics.

THIS is what dreams are made of.

The fictional tale of a young girl entering the Grand National.

This is frankly one of the best books I have read for years.

The passion, pace and the use of language are wonderful. The use of colloquialisms (this was published in 1935) perhaps a little strange, but add colour to this gorgeous book about a young girl’s dreams…

‘They’ made a film of it in 1944 (Elizabeth Taylor was in it) – but I suddenly remembered the book last week, realised it wasn’t in stock, had the ‘powers that be’ order some and bought a copy.

I can’t put it down.

‘She bent slightly and held him firm and steady, her hands buried in the flying mane firm on the stout muscles of his neck. She urged him no more, there was no need, but sat him still. He was a natural jumper. She did not attempt to dictate to him. They cleared the wall together, wildly, ludicrously high, with savage effort and glory, and twice the force and power that was needed…’

I so wish that I had read this when younger – a powerful book of the culmination of dreams and determination against – well – read it!

In 1935 women weren’t allowed to ride in the Grand National. In 1976 the Sex Discrimination Act was passed and Charlotte Brew entered the National in 1977 on Barony Fort.

In 1982 Geraldine Rees, on Cheers – finished the course. In 1988 three female jockeys entered. In 1994 Rosemary Henderson (riding Fiddlers Pike) finished in fifth place as did Carrie Ford (on Forest Gunner) in 2005. More recently in 2012 Katie Walsh rode Seabass and finished third…and Nina Carberry has entered the race five times… They have and are taking on the world…

There has been a plethora of books written about fictional and non-fictional tales of young girls/women who have done something remarkable. This precedes them all, both in age and in wonder, but is so much more than that – it’s glorious. I am SO pleased that Egmont have kept it in print. It is such an important volume.

Full of hope and horses…

What more could anyone want?

The cover above is that of the first edition hardback (no longer available), however, this is the cover Egmont have given this edition (17th) – just as powerful, but I wanted to acknowledge the age of this one – it is so very special.

National Velvet