Dear Readers and Riders: A Biography (Pre-Order)
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Coming in May 2024
The untold story of the bestselling children's book author and how her most popular titles came to influence generations of aspiring writers and devoted equestrians.
In certain circles, her name inspires immediate recognition and pronouncements of a committed admiration that has likely spanned decades. As an author, Marguerite Henry was indeed remarkably prolific, with 59 books published, millions of copies sold, and nearly 80 years of her life spent writing them—or responding personally to the stacks of fan mail she received—at her typewriter. Her books, most meticulously researched historical fiction about influential horses and the hosts of fascinating characters who surrounded them—to name just a few, her Newbery Award winner King of the Wind, the book that changed an island Misty of Chincoteague, and the glowingly reviewed Justin Morgan Had a Horse—have had an outsized influence on those who grew up reading them, ultimately leading to writing careers, lives dedicated to riding and caring for horses and other animals, and even fan memoirs describing Henry's impact.
But despite a professional existence that became profoundly public, particularly after Misty of Chincoteague, published in 1947, became a bestseller and eventually a popular feature film in 1961, Henry's own life was mostly shielded from view.
With particular purpose to uncover what is little known about the author, as well as superb instincts for illustrating fascinating details that help readers construct the settings in which Henry's creative mind, intensive historical and scholarly research, and storytelling ability matured and evolved, accomplished journalist and author Lettie Teague has provided a unique biography that is as much a pleasure to read as her subject's own books. Highlighting over a dozen titles that represent, to Teague, not only the best of Marguerite Henry's work but help tell the story of Marguerite Henry herself, and following the trail of some of her remarkable collaborators—most importantly, the charismatic and talented artist Wesley Dennis—Teague gives Henry fans what they always strived for through their thousands of letters: personal connection.
Perhaps what Henry would deem less important, but becomes more and more valid as time passes, is Teague's desire for the author's legacy to live on. Many of Marguerite Henry's books are still very much in print, but as time passes, fewer will remember once writing her fan letters, or perhaps think of the author at all. In these pages, Teague ensures that Marguerite Henry the writer will always be considered as every bit as remarkable as the books that she wrote. Featuring original artwork by Wesley Dennis from some of Henry's best-known books, as well as over 100 personal photographs, letters, and artifacts few have seen, this is a warm and wonderful biography for bibliophiles, horse lovers, aspiring writers, and Marguerite Henry fans, young and old.
Author: Lettie Teague
Page Count: 392