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The Little White Horse

When I was ten, I read The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, checked out from my local library in London. A year or two later, it lingered in my mind, and none of the local libraries had it. A year or two later again, in Iowa, I found an ex-library copy at the Planned Parenthood annual booksale, and bought it. I still remember some of the poems in it. My impression of the plot is hazy, although I think of the book with residual fondness. One of the things I remember liking about it was that, although there are fantastic things in the book, there is also a great deal of common sense. It was a very grounded book.

At the bookstore on Monday, I picked up a book with an unfamiliar title in the young adult's section - and learned that The Little White Horse was now a major motion picture by the name of The Secret of Moonacre. It stars - among other people - Dakota Richards and Tim Curry. The world of the trailer looks far less sensible than how I remember the book, but it's been a very long time since I last read it. Its English premier will be January 25th. (Its world premier was the Toronto IFF). We'll see....

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
la_marquise_de_
Jan. 15th, 2009 12:28 pm (UTC)
It's a favourite of mine, too. I am deeply worried by the idea of a film...
(Deleted comment)
owlfish
Jan. 15th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
The Wikipedia page on the subject says that, "In 2008 the director Gabor Csupo talked to Empire magazine about how to adaption the classic novel. He had decided to amp up the adventures and magic, and lay down of dresses and sweets."

It would have had to be adapted anyways to work on screen. The question is, does amping up adventures and magic still retain the sense of the book?
agaj_d
Jan. 15th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
I've never read this book-am I to understand you recommend it?

And I adore Tim Curry, so I will see film no matter what.

I have a weird feeling that at some point each girl wants to be a princess... I feel nostalgic right now!
owlfish
Jan. 15th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
I have a weird feeling that at some point each girl wants to be a princess... I feel nostalgic right now!

Want to fill out a survey on the subject? This was recently advertised in another community I follow.
agaj_d
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
wow, this is interesting, while thinking about my answers I thought about Marina Warner's book 'From the Beast to the Blonde'.

Will you be at the coming BSFA meeting?
headgardener
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favourite writers of comfort reading, though mainly her adult books. I can't remember whether I've read the Little White Horse and only retain a very vague impression, or not. Her books seem unavailable these days -- years since I've seen any, even second-hand copies. I'll go see the film, and hope that in its wake some more of her books start being reprinted.
owlfish
Jan. 15th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
Good to know her other books are so worth reading: The Little White Horse is the only one of hers I've read!
pennski
Jan. 15th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Scour the internet and second-hand bookshops for more! Trust me, they are worth it.
heleninwales
Jan. 15th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
I too read The Little White Horse as a child and loved it. I remembered it with great fondness -- though I could recall nothing of the plot -- but I spotted it in a bookshop this summer and re-read it on holiday.

I delighted to say that I still love it!
of_remedye
Jan. 15th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
This was my favo[u]rite book in the word circa 8/9. I think a movie could be good--but I think it could also ruin it. Hopefully at the least they will have pink geraniums!!
coth
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
The trailer makes me shriek and shrink. They ought not to be allowed to recolour the inside of my head. The self-contained and exquisitely ordered Maria Merriwether who exulted in the violets in her muff is not a Disney princess with floating hair. Moonacre Manor is not a Disney fairy castle. Elizabeth Goudge's exquisitely coloured tales of the wonder to be found every day every where are not garish, frenetic cartoon adventures.

But of course I didn't give a shit that they messed with Inkheart because I've never read it and it never meant anything to me, even though Marianne was affronted. And of course they can do exactly what they like and it shouldn't matter. But I'm not going to see it. I'm keeping the book in my head.

Elizabeth Goudge has been one of my favourite writers from childhood on, and I have very many fond memories of books I read over and over. I particularly remember her children's books The Little White Horse and The Valley of Song, and her adult novel The Dean's Watch. After a lapse of two decades, I have recently reread two of the Three Cities of Bells, and half of The Valley of Song. I do intend to reread more, as I think she was a very wise woman and was probably a major influence on me, but I am proceeding cautiously, as I value the memories so. Should you read more? I don't know. I can lend half-a-dozen of her books if you wish, and would be very interested in your opinion if you did so.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )