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The Far-Distant Oxus

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The Far-Distant Oxus is a children’s novel of 1937, written by Katharine Hull 1921–1977 and Pamela Whitlock 1920–1982 The title comes from Matthew Arnold's poem Sohrab and Rustum; the real Oxus is a river in Central Asia

Contents

  • 1 Ponies and Exmoor
  • 2 Ransome and Cape
  • 3 Success
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Further reading
  • 6 References

Ponies and Exmoor

Hull and Whitlock met when they were pupils at St Mary's School, Ascot fourteen and fifteen respectively, whilst sheltering from a thunderstorm They discovered shared interests and decided to write a story about ponies set on Exmoor They planned out the entire book and wrote alternate chapters, exchanging them afterwards to edit

Ransome and Cape

The story follows the model of the books of Arthur Ransome, describing the school holiday adventures of children of active, adventurous families, centred on outdoor activity and a vivid landscape soaked in imagination Ransome had boats and Windermere, The Far-Distant Oxus had ponies and the moors

Whitlock sent the manuscript to Ransome in March 1937; he in turn brought it to his publisher Jonathan Cape, saying that he had "the best children's book of 1937" for him Cape published the book in the same format as Swallows and Amazons, and persuaded Ransome to write the introduction

Success

The book, with illustrations by Whitlock, was indeed successful; contemporary reviewers were impressed and critics today are still positive The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books comments that it is "as absorbing as Ransome at his best" The two authors followed it with Escape to Persia 1938, The Oxus in Summer 1939 and Crowns 1947

Fidra Books reissued the novel in August 2008

See also

  • List of books written by children or teenagers

Further reading

  • The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English, by Victor Watson, Cambridge University Press, 2001
  • The Life of Arthur Ransome, by Hugh Brogan, Jonathan Cape, 1984
  • The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, by Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard, Oxford: OUP, 1984
  • Where Texts and Children Meet, by Eve Bearne and Victor Watson, Routledge, 1999

References

  1. ^ Carpenter and Prichard, 182
  2. ^ Carpenter and Prichard, 569
  3. ^ "Katharine Hull & Pamela Whitlock" wwwjanebadgerbookscouk Retrieved 20 March 2018 
  4. ^ a b c Bearne and Watson, 56
  5. ^ Brogan, 353
  6. ^ Watson, 1121
  7. ^ "Katharine Hull & Pamela Whitlock" wwwjanebadgerbookscouk Retrieved 20 March 2018 
  8. ^ "Fidra Books - Katharine Hull and Pamela Whitlock" wwwfidrabookscom Retrieved 20 March 2018 

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