Eilis Dillon (1920-1994)

Respected Irish writer born in Galway on 7th March 1920. Lived in Ireland and Italy, and also California.

Like many writers on this website, she began writing at an early age. Her first books were written in Irish, although the majority of her work was in the English language, Her children's books are mainly set in Ireland, especially the Connemara coast, although a couple are based in Italy. Three of them are pony related, though most are general children's adventure stories. Her books were acclaimed for their strong Irish background of place, people and custom.

As well as children's books, Eilis also wrote adult novels and plays.

For more info, including photos of the author, a list of works  and a more detailed biography please visit the link on the right hand side.

Horse & Pony Books:

THE ISLAND OF HORSES
(FABER 1956)
ILLUSTRATED BY RICHARD KENNEDY
Reprinted in hardback in both the UK.
Reprinted in paperback  a couple of times.
Also published in the USA by Funk & Wagnalls in 1956.
Most recently reprinted as a hardback in the New York Book Review (NYBR) Children's Classics series.
EDITIONS PICTURED: 1st edition, Puffin paperback. NYBR edition
SUMMARY: Two Irish boys, seeking adventure, travel to the remote and forbidden Island of Horses. There they find a mysterious black colt and even more adventure than they had bargained for!
Read Reviews

A PONY AND TRAP
(HAMISH HAMILTON 1962)
ILLUSTRATED BY MONICA BRASIER-CREAGH
Reprinted in hardback
Reprinted in paperback by Collie Books
EDITIONS PICTURED: 1st edition, Collie paperback edition
SUMMARY: The children of a choir have an exciting time searching for a pony and trap.

THE HORSE FANCIER
(MACMILLAN PB 1985)
First edition paperback.
As far as I am aware not reprinted.
Rare.
SUMMARY: Younger children's novel. A little boy who lives in a high rise flat invites a horse home!

Collectors Info:
Island of Horses is by far the easiest one to find of the three and is usually found second hand in the Puffin paperback edition. There is however also a newer hardback edition available which is in print at the moment. The book can also be found quite easily in the USA. The Horse Fancier is quite hard to get hold of and may be expensive. It and Pony and Trap can be very hard to find in USA or indeed anywhere outside the UK.